Amid the recent increase in scholarly attention to rock music, Understanding Rock stands out as one of the first books that subjects diverse aspects of the music itself to close and sophisticated analytical scrutiny. Written by some of the best young scholars in musicology and music theory, the essays in this volume use harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, formal, and textual approaches in order to show how and why rock music works as music. Topics of discussion include the adaptation of blues and other styles to rock; the craft of songwriting; techniques and strategies of improvisation; the reinterpretation of older songs; and the use of the recording studio as a compositional tool. A broad range of styles and groups is covered, including Yes, the Beach Boys, Cream, k.d. lang, Paul Simon, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead.