| home | authors | calendar colophon | links | newsgroups | newsfeed | new | printer version |  
markus heuger's



  Abstract 0379
  Scott, Derek (2001), "(What's the copy?) The Beatles and Oasis." In: Yrjö Heinonen, Markus Heuger, Sheila Whitely, Terhi Nurmesjärvi and Jouni Koskimäki (eds.), Beatlestudies 3. Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 conference. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä (Department of Music, Research Reports 23), 2001, 201-211.
  This article explores the links, musical and otherwise, between Oasis and the Beatles. In so doing, it reveals the shifting meanings that result when apparently similar messages are articulated at differing historic conjunctures, and raises questions about the character of pastiche in popular music. The widely-held view that the Beatles have been shamelessly plagiarized by Oasis is challenged. The issue, in a nutshell, is whether Oasis simply copy the Beatles, or whether Oasis look to make creative use of those aspects of Beatles' songs that might, in the new millennium, be regarded as the musical vocabulary of a common pop language. A variety of musical parameters and structural features will be scrutinized in order to clarify the relationship between the Beatles and Oasis. For example, the Beatles in 1963-1964 typically opt for cut time with a Latin feel, as heard in "PS I Love You". Sometimes there is a more marked Latin influence as, for example, in "All I've Got To Do". A hard rock rather than a Latin rock or eight-to-the-bar rock 'n' roll style begins to develop in Rubber Soul of 1965.
  Oasis, while seemingly most influenced by the "live band" Beatles of the earlier Sixties, typically choose a later "hard rock" style — with its sixteenth-note subdivisions. If we examine melodic phrasing, we discover that the Beatles often clip phrases, creating an irregular hypermetre — as, for example, in "Eleanor Rigby". Oasis tend to extend phrases, creating irregular phrasing within a regular hypermetre. Moving on to consider historical and cultural matters, it should not be forgotten that, despite the reputation the Beatles acquired for their involvement with "progressive" rock, the Beatles did not start out as a "progressive" band. Paul explained in an early interview that they had gone along with trends rather than initiating them. The Beatles could well be labelled retro themselves, even in 1964, with their covers of 1950s rock 'n' roll by the likes of Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. Later, their stylistic quotations become parodic, as in the ragtime vaudeville songs and the Fifties four-chord riff of "Octopus's Garden".
  In that they are not attempting to "progress" or create an individual language for themselves, Oasis can lay claim to being postmodern — rejecting metanarratives, and playing down the role of "originating genius". The Beatles' concern with innovation, technology, progress and individuality mark them out as modernists, despite their occasional forays into postmodern parody.
  1997-2016 © Soundscapes