Authenticity, empathy, and the creative imagination

Negus, Keith and Astor, Pete. 2022. Authenticity, empathy, and the creative imagination. Rock Music Studies, 9(2), pp. 157-173. ISSN 1940-1159 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article reviews the changing beliefs about artistic integrity and aesthetic value that feed into judgements of rock authenticity, taking issue with scholarship that reduces authenticity to acts of misguided judgement, myths, conceits, and fakery. It argues that there is no consensus about the meaning of authenticity in rock music, as understandings change according to the varied experiences, perceptions, circumstances, and vocabularies of participants. Authenticity in rock should not be approached cynically as if based on deception, gullibility, and ideological illusions, but for the insights it can provide into the circumstances that afford imaginative acts of creative connection and experiential empathy.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


authenticity, aesthetics of rock, musicians, empathy, audience, popular music

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Popular Music Research Unit


1 October 2021Accepted
22 October 2021Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Oct 2021 09:29

Last Modified:

30 Sep 2022 11:15

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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