Meyer's quote introduces two opposing methods of defining history; 'dialectic succession' and 'an objective ordering of recorded evidence'. Firstly, Meyer's quote is dissected, and the features which separate the two methods are discussed. The instrumental song 'Apache' and its numerous interpretations and adaptations are presented. By highlighting the issues of defining its history, and including relevant quotes, the two methods and their features are criticised. Finally, the incorporation of past sources in current works is explored.
Understanding the two methods
The first method is 'a dialectic succession of necessary stages' resulting in truth which is 'single and ultimate' [Meyer 1967, 190]. Dialectic reasoning is a dialogue between two people differing views, but both seek the truth through reasoning. In relation to history, this is the analysis of differing sources for bias' and falsities, to decide which is true.
The 'succession of necessary stages' supports the idea of a linear history, where a sequence of events lead to an event [Meyer 1967, 190]. Through the reasoning between sources only one is chosen, and there is therefore only one version. This leads to a history which is 'ultimate'.
The second is 'an objective ordering of recorded evidence' leading to a 'provisional and pluralistic' truth. Pluralism is the believe that there is not one correct interpretation but any number of possible interpretations [Goss 2010].
This pluralistic view is supported by Rochberg who talks about 'uncovering hidden connections and working them structurally … to gain not a permanent certainty (which is not possible anyhow) but a momentary insight' [Rochberg 1984, 241].
In relation to the organisation of history, this means that sources are 'ordered' in terms of plausibility, but no single source is considered completely true. The inclusion of any number of sources means that the accuracy of history is limited by the sources available, and there may be unknown sources. This leads to a history that is provisional, and only true in the moment.
The terms 'Pluralist method' and 'Dialectic method' will be used throughout this essay to refer to the opposite styles indicated in Meyer's quote.
'Apache' by Jerry Lordan
Lordan wrote 'Apache' after watching a Western film of the same name. He later showed it to The Shadows who recorded the song in 1960 at Abbey Road studios. The band was a four piece (lead and rhythm guitar, bass and drums), the songs melody being played by the lead guitar. The guitar used a clean sound with echo, a sound which later became synonymous with surf rock. The Shadows version, despite being instrumental was a hit throughout Europe, including 5 weeks as the UK's number 1 single [Matos 2005].
The song was re-recorded by a Danish guitarist, Jørgen Ingmann with a sparser arrangement; of a tom drum, acoustic and electric guitar. Ingmann's version, released in 1961 became a hit in the USA, reaching number 2...