This chapter explores the trajectories of musical styles across genre forms by engaging in what are called “parallel comparisons,” in order to show how several musical styles follow (or do not) the same patterns. It describes two primary trajectories taken by musical styles across the four genre types. The first trajectory is shared by the three styles explored in Chapter 2 (bluegrass, bebop, and rap). The second trajectory, abbreviated IST, describes the transit of nine musics that started as industry-based genres, then inspired a scene-based genre form, and acquired a traditionalist following. The chapter first identifies these two trajectories and illustrates them with examples from several musical styles. It then explores the three mechanisms of inertia that produced incomplete musical trajectories across genre forms.
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