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Aesthetical changes, in Brazilian pop-music.
© Copyright by Victor Aquino, 2001, 2006
WEA Books & Publishing Inc.
Monroe, LA USA

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One of the several studies dedicated to
analyze the appearance and decline of Punk
movement, in consideration with that which
would have been an apparent device of
personal objective of his partisans emphasizes:
“If the adult world politics is confused, do not
demand for political coherence of this
movement”. In reality, besides differences
between the latter and Hippie movement,
salient previously in another work from our pen,
there is age aspect which must be considered.
Hence, in the XX Century, while at 60's
participants' age comprised extensive range;
proximate or superior to thirty years, at the
70's this age was restricted to twenty years at
the maximum.
A generation unsatisfied with the world
utilized a variant of rock style to mark out its
protest. For that reason we can see
aggressiveness as an element of its lifestyle.

Bivar, on the other hand, also remembers the
famous speech of Johnny Rotten, one of the
most expressive persons of Punk movement,
founder of Sex Pistols, internationally known for
irreverence: “we are not interested in music, we
are interested in chaos”. The aggressiveness
distinguishes Punk movement in the whole
world, besides animating a great portion of its
handwritings and designating the style of its
music, also determining the kind of vesture that
originated from itself. The same genre would he
expropriated by identical models disseminated
from clothing industry.
The model reproduced industrially from
the form adopted by the partisans of the
movement, before creating the original idea of
social no satisfaction and expressing its
authenticity, is deprived of its appropriate
sense. In this manner, clothes, shoes,
ornaments and an enormous variety of
accessories placed for sale at that period only
reflected a simulacrum of a re-creation,
including all that were essential to the origin of
the movement: phonographic production.
Everything according to their market
exploitation reflected a re-creation without their
original essence, while the content is empty or
without exponent and natural manner, that
unchained the movement: a social protest
against unemployment, quality of life and
solution for unsuccessful politics.

If we have to consider purism the protest
of the first integrant of the Punk movement, we
will he forced to exclude all commercial
currency after its explosion. Even because of
specific relations with phonographic production
and all that which are not restricted to the
single recorded by Sex Pistols: Never Mind the
Bollocks. The first and only recording of that
group, it can be considered as embryo of the
whole movement, an outcome of influence by
marginal groups of London on the movement
that transformed the original song for all
manifestation. This influence occurred from
periphery to downtown in one of the most
aggressive manifestation ever suffered by
traditional standards.
For all that indicates, this is an
explanation for such disagreement or for
transformation of something that, against its
own nature, in something totally suitable, lies in
the very essence of capitalism. For that reason
its principal objective is its own growth and, for
that to he possible, all is permitted and possible
to happen. As there is only two unique forms
for its expansion, one is always an
approximation with an object which justify its
We know, for example, that the capitalist
system create permanently necessities of
consumption or appropriate itself to necessities
never previously cogitated such as

commodities. It is precisely of this medium that
the system advance over any tendencies, which
results in the manifestation practiced against
itself. So it ends in transformation of more
products for sale, among an enormous mass of
consumers, total lack of information as such as
its origin, nature and objectives. And that either
we like it or not, it is concerned with aleatory


If we take into consideration that
whichever manifestation of protest against the
system, generically, can be absorbed through
medium that is used in disseminating its
versions (freed of its original sense) we will
reach a conclusion that majority of people, that
have posterior knowledge of this manifestation,
knows the versions and never the original fact.
At this point, even up to utilization of particulars
of this manifestation can contribute to arise
false expectation as much as its origin and
“Thanks to alienation, we can see
consumption like something apart of
production, or in other words to see it
dissociated of facts that gave its origin”.
Naturally, the bizarre relation that is established
between a consumer and a producer who
attracts his attention and desire of purchase,
far away to justify his identity from the object
consumed, separates him every time from it, at

the chance of re-creations by duty of those we
referred as agents of cultural market.
We have up to this moment insisted in
denomination of cultural market for knowing
that it is very important that implications of
cultural industry properly said, in relation to
demand and consumption of products after
apprenticeship of manufacture, says more to
our objectives. For this reason we must
consider the space on which the process of
“buying and selling” of those called “cultural
products” occurs likewise a cultural market.
For Teixeira Coelho, for example, cultural
industry is not only the events of the capacity
possessed by communication media, in the
sense of placing same message within the reach
of great number of people. It's before anything
else, a product of liberal capitalist society in
which economy is characterized by monopolist
action, and the society by the scale
consumption. But above all there must be an
opposition between culture, “said” superior, and
other inferior, or of the mass.
These observations are necessary in the
sense they make possible to associate the
meaning of mass culture, likewise manifestation
capacity to supply the whole society for
products, whose nature arise of interest
generalized by its “cultural” content. The whole
essence of the question resides in specific
condition of mass culture. Beyond a proper

characteristic, related to numerous populations
it is composed, there's other related to
generalization of collective interest for same
object. The “neuralgic” point of this question
that whichever by form, depends on how such
interest is manifested.
When we speak of music, for example, we
must consider a certain control over audience.
Adorno said that “the promoters of commercial
diversion wash their hands confirming that they
are giving masses what they really want? Since
this appears to he appropriate for commercial
finality, justifying “authenticity without quality”
for an apparent satisfaction of the audience in
an instant of ephemeral identity towards the
object of musical creation.

Yet in this manner, it's worth to emphasize
that all this apparent authority turns possible in
view of linking together elements, which
compose diffusion of contemporary popular
music, and the whole of the remaining
elements, present in the rest of products that
are concomitantly consumed. One same record
is executed in different ways, simultaneously, in
innumerable channels of radio.
Likewise, the interpreter of his music,
reproduced in a great number of models “live”,
appears also simultaneously in television
channels and his image, besides an identity
position of interest attached by audience, also
focus the products announcement at the same
period. Finally, the personification of the music
in video clips includes the audience in the
context of musical composition. And the cycle
when the audience acquires the record or
whatever other product that's associated to it,
although indirectly.
Large scale consumption, a characteristic
of cultural industry, also serves to establish
proportion of respective market, as long as
space to offer products related to expectative
identification in mass. This same scale
consumption also serves to justify market
ideology, whose main attribute is to guarantee
reduction of stocks by a cycle of rapid sale with
profits and yet an apparent satisfaction of

consumers. Such satisfaction, in return, will
guarantee reward, briefly, of consumers in
process, when purchasing other goods.
As affirmed by Adorno, “at the moment
commodities assure the life of its producers in
the market, they are already contaminated for
this motivation”. In other words, whichever the
product, including cultural goods, only turns to
be market object at the moment that its
manufacture justifies the investment
demanded. In the same way that consumption
justifies the profit expected. In this sense, it is
not important which objective is initial, that
produce its production. The important is the
certainty of an easy profit, rapid and secure.
For this reason, we must bear in mind
that all that stimulates commercial interest of
investors, independent of origin or nature of the
object, fatally will be reproduced in series for
scale consumption. Henceforth because in any
way it's not possible to imagine that a supposed
ethics will regulate production source, avoiding
this veridical advance over whichever
occurrence of activities or human manifestation,
with the purpose of transforming in product.
Not only the great movement of political
contention stopped to be converted in piece of
publicity and consumption, producing a
misunderstood in this contention is incorporated
to the own system.

In a clear demonstration of efficiency, the
capitalist system has a trick to take advantage
of the whole occasion or motives to create
condition of profit. For such it takes advantage
of all that emerges from the very social context.
The utilization that gives rise to social
movements in the 60's and 70's at XX Century
can be considered as a classic example. At the
point of transforming those movements, that
were of noted confront with actual system or of
total rupture with the existent standard of
them, in objects of generalized consumption.
This way, also the resistance finishes being
absorbed by the system, incorporated with
turns to be standard superimposed to the
anterior ones.
In this manner, such as we can see, rock
represents today a varied range of styles,
justifying this occurrence with multiple
ruptures, reproducing a landscape of
ambiguities. Such styles, in their time, cause
the existence of a varied discography,
representative of all tendencies evidenced since
their original manifestation.


Starting from Elvis Presley, no doubt, the
context of popular music in the whole world
suffered a great impact and strong influence of
American popular music. It is clear that this
influence does not occur only in function of
characteristics of style that, then also, stopped
being a manifest for lack of interpreters
adequate to the success reached afterwards.
No. A great evidence of rock, likewise
contemporary popular musical gender, must be
the fact of its emergence as expression of
disagreement of youth to stop the existing
standards, with basis in anterior gender that
already served as manifestation of protest or
social disagreement. At the moment in which
social and political episodes operated
manifestations unchained in the 60's coinciding
with expansion of this gender, we can see that
they can properly be presented such as one of
the more adequate tongue to the protest that
started delineating.

If on one hand its roots indicate the whole
as a past of protest or social “reclamations”
against racial discrimination, against the war
and against domination, on the other it turns to
be the best language for expression of the
inconformity, likewise to local politics, as
regards of repression to movements against an
undesired war. This mode will lead to the
agglomeration of thousands of youth in turn
embracing a cause that was common to them.
Lately music appeared as the translation of the
sense of the whole rebellion. For this reason,
the by gender which expresses such music. The
music itself demonstrated as mark of a rupture,
that started to occur not only from the point of
view of its lyrics, to manifest the “displeasure”,
but fundamentally from the part of musical
style, for improving an execution of displeasure
in a form of totally margin of anterior
The rupture was total. Not only to
promote free harmony of standard and musical
composition then being played, but how to
promote a new form to present respective
interpretation. Starting with the voluptuous
movements of Presley, passing to deafening
volume of electric drum kits and electric
guitars, up to exaggerated noisily vocalizations,
all these contributed for the new music, since
its principle is known as a rupture of itself.

However, besides it, the form of how its
interpreters exceed to present themselves is
also an evidence of flagrant rupture to stop with
the standard even up to the predominant ones.
The first indication of this rupture, following the
musical rupture, would express in the clothes
used by the interpreters of the new genders of
the music. It turns to be unnecessary to
remember, however, that nobody with age over
15 years around the 50's was left out to use
some part of characteristics of that musical
gender: socks, close fitting trousers in vogue,
blouses (sometimes made of leather) carelessly
unbuttoned, edge of trousers substituted by
negligent folds falling over unpolished shoes,
and so on. Naturally, without explaining the
mode of hair dress. If a boy, he display
“overcast” of brilliantine, well lobed on both
sides, and purposely puff at forehead. If a girl,
she uses it invariably fixed at the back of the
Who remembers, knows that to chew gum
in public, especially in the classroom, religious
ceremonies or even during movie sessions, was
an act of aggression to older people. In the
meantime, conduct such as this occurred miles
and miles distant of downtown, where the
principal style of rupture was developed,
nothing more than a reproduction of “new
models”, rendered possible thanks mainly to
cinema and international magazines in
circulation, such as Life.

This is nothing more than a reproduction
began by the media of a model created,
starting from its authors and interpreters of
rock. Soon this “revolt” against the existent
standards, formulating its own concept, not
only the musical gender, likewise the form to
present it, was transformed in a new fashion.
From this form transmitted to audiences.
Audiences that were an immense contingent of
youths who in it newness, transformed the
whole integrant elements of the rupture in
something to be followed or imitated.


Of such luck, that prognosticated the
social movement of the 70's, already
incorporated to the first rupture, it was
necessary to unloose all another in the interior
of proper music, for possible use like common
language of a new generation, concerned in
other manifestation. In the same mode, also
the forms of visual identity turn possible
starting from a new conception of dress appear
modified to unroll by manifestation. Not for
that, however, the industry stops the object to
he object of use, wrathful from the media that
disseminate it like a new tendency, to transform
it in product of scale consumption.
In this manner, another cycle of
generation of models completes a rupture with
former standard followed or maintained,
disseminated by the media which reproduce in
scale objects, materialized by style, in
substitution to the earlier and, naturally, the
consequent consumption that justifies the

dissemination. Thus, the whole of that which
represented an act of breaking with standards
is transformed in another standard. For this
only, to the extreme end of some time, requires
for a new “metamorphosis”.
Along the last three decades that has
occurred. In a much particular mode, while
manifestations that arise against the form of
fruition and enjoyment of music, also in the
field of respective exhibition arise
manifestation, as to dress and conduct. In one
way, generally, the Hippie movement came to
inaugurate a radical form of clothing, breaking
simultaneously the field of music, with former
standard. But such evidence encounters a
similar experience, more presently, when Punk
movement turns up.
The evidence that the rupture occurs in
parallel respect of musical manifestation and in
reference of the form of expression. Thus, the
confront established between the conventional
sonorous standard and the innovations in this
area, proposes more than a rupture in the
whole directions. At such mode that the whole
standards are broken, not only at the musical
point of view, but extremely about the form of
interpreting the new style, product of this
confront. This form involves conditions at which
the artists dispose to disseminate their
compositions. And, it's obvious, such conditions
without relations with the phonographic market.

In this form, when we referred that the
youth of the gender promoted the principal
revolution in popular music, we credited
specially to this particular condition of
exercising influence over new generation. So
the youth of musical gender, flanked by
characteristics and surround it, contributed
overall for influence of youths always alive of
In the same direction, it must be
emphasized that the rupture with the whole
standard presents itself for changes in forms of
creation, production, interpretation, and
audience in popular music, turned possible
thanks to the spirit of rock, that foresees its
possibility of permitting a rupture even in itself.
What, in other words, can he expressed in
different currents and style that at three
decades, happened like a result, for that matter,
of rock'n'roll of 50's.
That most protrudes in whichever
observation over this gender, such as present in
our days, is respect to its characteristic
essentially new or young. Or, in other words,
principally the new generation, besides they are
equivalent to appeals of gender, also they are
responsible for assimilation of styles that is over
put, assuming its particularities and all of that
This is possible thanks to assimilation of
rhythms almost immediate, fruition probably of

the act that proceeds between the youth and
rock. Besides, it's obvious, the reason of
inexistence of bond between them and possible
national identities. This turns it an international
gender, unsatisfied by whichever defensive
politics or party, such as independent of
systems or governments in any place of the


Naturally, the fact is always associated to
artists, groups of interpreters of currents or
style, more diverse than particularized,
contributes expressively to turn it in easy target
and vulnerable medium. This condition of
vulnerability, as we can see, is the weak point.
It's sufficient that one of these artists converts
in easy success, for immediate rise of multiple
forms at will be passed to audience. The form
that is established, in other words, is a new
dimension and a new sense for that whichever
artists express originally.
Consequently the whole of that which
surrounds of those particular movements of
rock, transformed by success, represents a
component of dissemination. Almost always
dissemination is associated to scale of
consumption, starting by proper record, that
divulgates the music and all that it signifies.
Principal product of the industry in this process
it represents, only a period, vehicle of diffusion

of the music (or the musical gender), and of the
In this context, all reproduction of models,
likewise manifestation that expresses to
different styles of rock is transformed in a
medium to offer new products associated to
music. The record, that previously was only a
product requested for diffusion of music, is
converted into instrument of acceleration of
consumption. Principally, that which the market
collects among the stars of new music, altering
them in object of reference to parallel market.
The principal of these objects, as it could
not be left to be, is the vesture used by
interpreters of new music. Which, transformed
in fashion by the media, pass to represent the
reference of music style? Could it be then the
case of enquire the reason of these
characteristics, borrowed to record from a
transitory market, starting from an industry
that is supported by rock, but which is destined
to foment a fashion associated.
The answer can be encountered in five
points, over which the structure of record
market is based. This market, likewise vehicle
of diffusion to popular music, is also an
instrument of acceleration of consumption, and
it depends on youth, social inconsistency,
absence of tradition, necessity of constant
renewal, and possibility of market articulation.

Youths are an unconditional basis for
record market, likewise space of circulation and
diffusion of new styles, to find support in new
generation to growth. A support that brings an
additional guarantee of subjective quality of
song that sales the new record. Enough if it
represents a new style.
Social inconsistency is in respect of easy
alteration of standards. With this, not only a
renewal of music style is easy, but also the
whole extension of this style over all turns to be
more efficient. So vestures and ornaments
which the interpreters of rock use, beyond the
posture that they assume, are easily converted
in fashion.
Absence of tradition reproduces a
necessary basis to permanent renovation of
phonographic market, once without it becomes
easy to promote a rupture of traditions and an
acceptance of new standards. Thai means no
musical standard achieves an establishment on
rock. Necessity of constant renewal for its time
arises as a result of absence of tradition. Since
if that is inexistent, likewise musical forms
define, it turns to be necessary for
establishment of alternative form superposed
one over another, producing by itself that which
we could nominate renovation as norm.


Possibility of market articulation, the last
of these points, relates to interdependency
which between record and other products
circumstantiated in the market. Occurs that is
to say that a record of rock is not an attractive
product only, in an industry where
predominates the transitoriness. In other works
it signifies that it reinforces the dissemination of
other products, as it is reinforced by these
same products.
Precisely starting from articulation of the
market where these products of transitory
nature are made and consumed, rock stopped
being a musical gender only to turn a product.
A product that is consumed in a back scale. At
this point all that rejection of the gender is
converted in product, which was established as
language of disagreement expression and which
was changed in the common site of advertising,
accelerating the consumption and creating a
new “manière d'être”, nothing consonant with
its objective.

Of equal mode, this market establishes a
new scale of values, where the elements which
were the basic of the protest lose their space.
Slowly all were substituted for others whose
main characteristics say in respect of
recreations processed for a greedy market, that
returned only to receive practical result of
opportunities encountered in all the social


Finally, if the record market disposes of a
market support, offered by articulation of
products which are fabricated to present its
styles of rock, it also suffers the influences of
whatever products. Since the vesture of an
artist passes to represent an element of identity
between the style which he performs rock, and
the audience which surround him, new artist
and new recording inspired in initial style that
tends to influence, every time, the form of
exhibition of this musical gender. An evidence,
consequently, of transformation of musical
gender in product of consumption. A cultural
product that is consumed in a wide scale, such
as any other.


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