You are on page 1of 3

rock music Rock music emerged during the mid-1950s to become the major popular musical form

of young audiences in the United States and Western urope! "ts stylistic scope is too broad to be encompassed by any single definition# the only feature common to all rock music is a hea$y emphasis on the beat! R%&' ()( R%**+ 1950-,.he primary source of rock (n( roll /as R01.02 3)4 5*U S+ an idiom popular among black audiences that combined elements of urban 5*U S 6in the structure+ $ocal style+ and use of amplified guitar7+ 8%S9 * 2US"& 6in the piano accompaniments and $ocal harmoni:ing7+ and ;3<< 6in the sa=ophone solos7! Rhythm and blues began to gain a /ider audience during the late 19>0s+ and in 1951 the disc jockey 3lan ?reed+ /ho played an important role in attracting /hite teenagers to the music+ substituted the term @rock (n( roll+@ pre$iously used as a se=ual reference in lyrics!2ajor record producers+ obser$ing the success of rhythm and blues and rock (n( roll songs distributed on @race records@ 6i!e!+ record labels marketed to black audiences7+ issued @co$ers@--competing+ @saniti:ed@ $ersions of the same songs+ but recorded by /hite artists! &o$ers--/hate$er their artistic Auality--brought ne/ stylistic influences to rock (n( roll 6/hite &%U).R1 3)4 W S. R) and popular music7 and eased the transition for /hite audiences! .his audience+ still hesitant at accepting black music+ made 5ill 0aley(s @Rock 3round the &lock@ 619557 the first important breakthrough for /hite rock (n( roll! What appealed to this ne/ audience+ accustomed to the relati$ely bland .") 93) 3** 1 brand of popular music+ /as rock (n( roll(s dri$ing dance rhythms+ its direct+ adolescent-le$el message+ and its suggestion of youthful rebellion! Rock (n( roll(s first superstar /as l$is 9R S* 1!With his country-and-/estern background+ 9resley led the /ay for other @rockabilly@ 6rock plus hillbilly7 artists# /ith his spasmodic hip gyrations+ he introduced a se=ual suggesti$eness that outraged conser$ati$e adults# /ith his legions of teenage fans+ he brought to rock (n( roll the cult of personality and became the archetype of the rock star as cultural hero! %ther popular figures+ /hile commanding a smaller audience+ also made significant contributions to the style# among them+ &huck 5 RR1 nourished the music(s basic roots+ ;erry *ee *e/is e=panded its country branch+ and *ittle Richard pro$ided frantic sho/manship! 4espite the dynamism of such figures+ by the late 1950s a malaise had set in# the music had become formula ridden+ sentimental+ and often--as in lo$e-death ballads like @.een 3ngel@--distinctly maudlin! Seeking a more honest e=pression+ a significant segment of the adolescent and young adult audiences transferred their allegiance to ?%*' 2US"&+ as sung by such groups as 9eter+ 9aul+ and 2ary+ a folk trio# to traditional balladeers like the 'ingston .rio# and to the prophets of modern folkBsocial commentary+ ;oan 53 < and 5ob 41*3)! R%&'+ 19,C-,9 .he rene/al of rock (n( roll came from the unlikely locale of *i$erpool+ ngland!.he 5 3.* S made their start in 19,0+ at first imitating 3merican styles and then /ea$ing from the $arious strands of 3merican rock (n( roll an indi$idual style marked--in both music and lyrics--by /it and a sense of fun! .heir successes came Auickly during 19,C and (,>+ and their domination of the record market /as complete and unprecedented! Rather than repeat the formulas of their initial triumphs+ they chose the more precarious route of e=perimentation and gro/th! ?rom 19,5 to 19,9 they introduced ne/ sonorities+ te=tures+ forms+ rhythms+ melodic designs+ and lyric conceptions and /ere at the forefront of a re$olutionary epoch in popular music! Rock (n( roll had e$ol$ed into an e=pression of greater sophistication+ comple=ity+ and breadth! "t had become a ne/ idiomD rock! %ther nglish groups also came into prominence around 19,>+ taking their places as eAuals /ith 3merican artists in the de$elopment of rock! .he R%**")8 S.%) S+ the most prominent and durable of these groups+ presented yet another image of rock--one of anger+ alienation+ and sensuality! %ther trends of the 19,0s included the girl groups+ prominent in the early part of the decade# the merging of rhythm and blues /ith black gospel styles to create the 2%.%W) sound of groups like the Supremes and the .emptations+ and later the harder sound of S%U* 2US"&# the beginnings of ja::-rock+ as

ommy and .5 )e/port ?olk ?esti$al+ brought to folk music a hard beat and amplification+ and to rock a ne/ poetic sensibility and social consciousness! 3 deeper significance of the blending /as its demonstration of rock(s tendency to absorb all challenging idioms! .0s the distinctions bet/een rock (n( roll and rock /ere e$ident! .he @&alifornia sound+@ despite its name+ /as not a uniform style+ but a term that reflected the rise of &alifornia as a major center of rock acti$ity and e=perimentation! "n the early 19.E7+ a spectacularly successful pageant celebrating youth+ lo$e+ and drugs! &losely follo/ing /ere such rock-opera successes as . ?? RS%) 3"R9*3) and the 8R3.esus &hrist Superstar! 5y the end of the 19.amaica around 19E-+ is an integration of rock+ soul+ calypso+ and other *atin rhythms! .efferson 3irplane+ 5ig 5rother and the 0olding &ompany7! ?inally+ the separation bet/een performer and composer seemed to $anish as the t/o merged in a single performer-composer! 3s demonstrated by the W%%4S.hus+ folk-rock and country-rock each retain the character of folk and country music! R 883 + /hich emerged from .he W0%+ .9+ rock music /as by this time an intrinsic element in the life of 3merican youth and a po/erful articulation of their moods+ hopes+ and fears! R%&'+ 19E0-E9 .he earlier instrumentation of sa=ophone+ piano+ amplified guitar+ and drums had been replaced by se$eral amplified guitars+ drums+ and an e$er-increasing reliance on electronic technology! .%&' ? S.he folk-rock style+ first suggested by 5ob 4ylan at the 19.originally synthesi:ed by the band 5lood+ S/eat and .he terms identifying these subdi$isions are not firm definitions+ but merely guides+ tenuous and fluid+ /ith much stylistic o$erlapping! Some styles are blendings of rock /ith other established idioms+ the rock contribution in$ariably being a hea$y beat and electronic technology! .ears# folk-rock+ a blending of folk /ith rock# and the emergence of the @&alifornia sound!@ ."F3* in 3ugust 19.o the standard patterns of 1--bar blues and C--bar song form /ere added e=tended+ uniAue forms+ sometimes encompassing the entire side of a record album# to the lyrics of teenage lo$e and adolescent concerns /ere added social commentary+ glorification of drugs+ and free-association poetry! 4escripti$e group names 6&re/ &uts+ $erly 5rothers+ 5each 5oys7 /ere replaced by nondescripti$e+ enigmatic names 6.0s+ &alifornia /as the scene of @surfing music@ 6populari:ed by the 5 3&0 5%1S7+ but o$er the course of the decade the music changed to parallel the trends of hippies 6the 2amas and the 9apas7+ student protest 6&ountry .oe and the ?ish7+ and a countercultural affair /ith drugs! Widespread popularity of hallucinogenic drugs 6particularly *S4+ or @acid@7 produced psychedelic 3cid Rock+ /hose apostles included .a::-rock fusion+ or simply fusion+ is a meeting bet/een rock instrumentalists+ attracted to the broad creati$e opportunities and demanding musicianship of ja::+ and ja:: musicians+ attracted to rock(s electronics and commercial potential! %ther styles are more clearly based on rock principles and precedents and range from the benign bubblegum rock of the %smond 5rothers+ directed to/ard the youngest popular music fans+ and the intentionally $ile 9U)' R%&'+ /hich punctuates its strident denunciations /ith $ulgarity! 0ea$y metal rock has continued the hallucinogenic approach of acid rock+ but /ithin a narro/er musical dimension+ relying upon the hypnotic po/er of repetiti$eness+ loud $olume+ and electronic distortion# among its leading e=ponents ha$e been "ron 5utterfly and * 4 < 99 *")! 8litter rock is more of a theatrical approach than a musical style# it offers glittering costumes as an alternati$e to the usual blue jeans+ and bi:arre--sometimes androgynous--e=hibitions 63lice &ooper+ 4a$id 5%W" + 'iss7! )e/ /a$e rock+ /hich made its debut as the 19E0s dre/ to a close+ appeared to be something of an old /a$e+ /ith its return to a more basic+ unadorned metric emphasis and a greater lyricism! . ?U* 4 34! Rock(s first major effort in musical theater /as the hippie re$ue 0air 619.his decade sa/ the fragmentation of rock into subdi$isions beyond the general categories of hard rock 6e=tremely loud and electronically amplified7 and mello/ rock 6softer+ sometimes /ith acoustic instruments7! .

he ine$itable reaction /as 4"S&%+ a music first and foremost for dancing! With its thumping regularity of accented beats di$ided into accented minibeats+ disco has been decried by hard-line rock fans as mechanical+ commercial+ and unlyrical! )e$ertheless+ its follo/ing increased and+ after the 5 8 S composed and recorded Saturday )ight ?e$er 619EE7+ disco became for a /hile a major sector of rock music! .3*'")8 0 34S7+ e=tensi$ely @borro/ed@ from styles outside rock music+ particularly from 3frican music! &oncurrently+ almost e$ery country in the /orld has begun to de$elop and support indigenous forms of rock music! ."& 19G0s Rock music+ by the mid-19G0s+ had presented no clear-cut ne/ musical direction! 5ands became more production oriented+ in part because of the sudden e=plosion of @$ideos@ on .619907# Sha/+ 3rnold+ 3 4ictionary of 3merican 9op-Rock 619G-7# Stambler+ "r/in+ ncyclopedia of 9op+ Rock+ and Soul+ re$! ed! 619G97# S:atmary+ 4a$id 9!+ Rockin( in .2ost rock music of the period /as intended almost solely for listening+ not for dancing! .! 3!+ 5ig 5eat 0eat 619917# 2ako/er+ .he 5ritish "n$asionD ?rom the ?irst Wa$e to the )e/ Wa$e 619G-7# Scheurer+ .he 0istory of Women in Rock H Roll 6199-7# 0ardy+ 9hil+ and *aing+ 4a$e+ ncyclopedia of Rock+ re$! ed! 619G97# .on+ and Romano/ski+ 9atricia+ .3&'S%)+ 9R")& + and 5oy 8eorge! 5ruce S9R")8S.!+ Rock ras 619GE7# ?rame+ 9ete+ et al!+ .he Rolling Stone "nter$ie/sD .0s+ and a decade later had become a dominant cultural force+ affecting and reflecting the mores and moods of 3merican youth and /ea$ing itself into the $ery fabric of society! d/ard 3! 5erlin 5ibliographyD &urtis+ .he Rolling Stone 0istory of Rock and Roll 619GE7# Wicke+ 9!+ Rock 2usic 619907! .imeD 3 Social 0istory of Rock-and-Roll+ -d ed! 619917# Ward+ d+ Stokes+ 8eoffrey+ and .! !+ ed!+ 3merican 9opular 2usic+ Fol! .th ed! 619GG7# 8aar+ 8illian 8!+ She(s a RebelD .heir music /as as eclectic as the /ork of their predecessors+ the 5eatles+ but it dre/ from a far narro/er rangeD punk+ disco+ pop-rock+ reggae! 3t the same time+ there /as a nostalgic return to older+ simpler rock and prerock idioms! 5ritish musician l$is &ostello(s songs harked back to rhythm-and-blues and country-/estern styles+ and *os 3ngeles-based *os *obos fused rock music /ith traditional 2e=ican music! Since the mid.ackson+ .he 0armony "llustrated ncyclopedia of Rock+ .oel+ Woodstock 619G97D 2arcus+ 8reil+ 2ystery .0 &* &.ucker+ 'en+ Rock of 3gesD .he "llustrated ncyclopedia of Rock 619G-7# Schaffner+ )icholas+ .he scope and significance of rock remains /ithout precedent in the history of popular music! 5eginning as a minority e=pression on the fringe of 3merican society+ it de$eloped into a distinct counterculture during the 19.rain+ Cd ed! 619907# )ite+ )orm )!+ Rock %n+ C $ols!+ re$! ed! 619G--G57# 9areles+ .to late-19G0s+ artists such as 9aul Simon 6formerly of S"2%) 3)4 83R?U)' *7 and 4a$id 5yrne 6of the . )+ /hose @populist@ e=plorations of the 3merican e=perience in the 19E0s earned him a /ide follo/ing+ achie$ed superstar status in the mid-19G0s! .!+ ed!+ Rock 2usic in 3merica 619GE7# Rogers+ 4a$e+ Rock (n( Roll 619G-7# Rolling Stone editors+ .he 19G0s--19G1-GG 619G97# Salamander 5ooks+ .he Rolling Stone ncyclopedia of Rock H Roll 619GC7# 9odell+ .he influence of 5ritish bands on the U! S! rock scene remained strong! .F screens! Ranging from tele$ised concerts to minutes-long acted-out $ersions of rock songs+ $ideos ha$e pro$ed to be a po/erful tool for introducing ne/ groups 6the 3ustralian 2en at Work+ for e=ample7! With their emphasis on the $isual+ though+ they encouraged the use of bi:arre+ grotesAue @stories@ and staging+ /hile the music remained secondary! 0ea$y metal bands recei$ed a boost from $ideos! 3lthough fading musically+ punk remained a strong $isual style! "t /as outshone+ ho/e$er+ by the glittery+ androgynous look of such immensely popular performers as 2ichael .