Christophe PIRENNE, Between historicist analysis and interdisciplinarity: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys

The recent publication of musicological analyses of "classics" of rock music was followed by a controversy concerning, among others, the inadaptation of "traditional" analytical methods to these works. In examining the songs of Pet Sounds, one of the most emblematic albums of the Beach Boys, my aim is to show that these methods remain both valid and fruitful when applied to rock styles composed according to the forms and the language of Occidental music. It is true that the importance of parameters such as harmony or form lessens, in favor of a higher level of attention to timbre, of which the specificities remain hardly verbalizable; however, complementing such analyses with a description of the conditions and the context of the recordings, it is possible to unveil the compositional processes and to redraw some stylistic evolutions.