Semiotics 1980 pp 195-204 | Cite as

The Rock and Roll Concert: A Semiotic Analysis

  • Dan Hays


Besides the music and the spectacle, a rock and roll concert involves a fairly distinct pattern of exchanged and exhibited signs. The performance itself, which includes a multitude of signals and implicated meanings, is the focus of the situation. However, persons other than the performers also take part in the situation, and their role in the communication of meanings and exhibition of signs (whether or not fully processed on a given occasion) must be included in any comprehensive semiotic analysis. The inclusion of both audience and performers in this analysis follows the example of Paul Bouissac’s discussion of often constrained role of the spectator in circus performances (1978), Marianne Shapiro’s careful analysis of the performance of a classical ballet (1978), and other studies. It follows also the tradition in semiotic studies of analyzing the interplay of performer, audience, and surrounding situation, as in for example the major work of Roland Barthes (e.g., 1975) and Jan Mukařovský (1977).


Sound Pressure Level Temporary Threshold Shift Rock Music Semiotic Analysis Rock Star 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Hays
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentThe University of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA

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