Jazz and classical music fans don't normally think of Pete Townshend
when they make a list of influential contemporary composers, but
as time goes by, it becomes more evident that he belongs on such a list.
The debut of The Who's progressive rock opera Tommy in 1969 had
a wide-reaching impact on the music world, and established a bridge from
the emerging rock 'n' roll genre to Broadway and classical music that is
still developing today. Far from the simplistic structure generally
associated with rock music, Townshend's compositions are complex and difficult.
Scored for an orchestra, the music has a powerful, edgy quality that compliments
Townshend's gritty social themes. To find out more about this highly
acclaimed composer, song-writer and contributor to the contemporary music
world, select from the categories below:
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(last updated 1/8/99)
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