Hudební Věda

Regionalistic Historiography of Czech Rock Music and Its Recent Acquisitions

article summary

Aleš Opekar

Since the late 1980s and early 90s a wide variety of publications have been brought out charting the rock music scene in different regions of the Czech Republic (e.g., Plzeň and Křivoklát regions, among others). The annexed bibliography lists over thirty titles dealing with this subject produced over the last three decades. Each author dealt with their task independently of the others, driven by purely individual motifs and using their own perspective. The preparation of the various publications was in no way co-ordinated, the present paper representing the first synthetic approach to this production.

The introductory part sums up the current general historiography of Czech rock music whose list is enclosed in a separate appendix. The main section of this study describes and evaluates individual recently produced texts in the field of regionalistic historiography of rock music, following approximately the chronological order of their making. Most of these publications are structured in a dictionary format, supplemented by a foreword setting their subject in a wider context. Others are centered around interviews with individual personalities. A common denominator of all is their emphasis on pictorial documentation. Over the last few years it has become increasingly common to stage exhibitions coinciding with the publication of a book. In cases of findings of previously unreleased recordings, these are often enclosed with the newly published books.

While some of these books are strictly personal memoirs, others have striven to complement the author´s individual reminiscences with information obtained in communication with other persons involved, and in more than a few cases the authors even engaged in a systematic and detailed source-oriented research in private collections and institutional archives. The category of eye-witness authors has been readily expanded by a younger generation of writers, notably university students, who tend to tackle the subject from a broader perspective and without emotional burden.

The conclusion offers a general overview of the characteristic features of this literary genre and its assessment as a useful compendium of information, personal commentaries, analyses and generalizations which serves as an invaluable source material for the comprehensive study of the phenomenon of Czech rock music.

Keywords: rock; beat; bigbít; big beat; historiography; regionalistic studies; regions of the Czech Republic