The fifties were the scene of a 'virtual revolution' in popular music. Around 1954 rock'n'roll surfaced and took America by surprise; the young were excited and the adults shocked. The paper deals with two questions. First, how could rock'n'roll develop into an autonomous popular music style? This means that the music became more than notes and sounds. Second , how did the signification as being rebellious come about? The answer is that music does not have meaning of its own but acquires meaning through interactions between artists, record producers, media, and audiences. The paper shows how America's postwar transformations shaped the conditions for rock'n'roll's emergence and how it was socially constructed into an autonomous music style which acquired the meaning of rebelliousness.

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Department of Sociology

d' Anjou, L. (2000). Rock'n'Roll: The Sounds of Rebellion?. Retrieved from