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Seth Lampel

The Derivation of Current Rock from Musical Influence

I. Introduction

My name is Seth Lampel and I am a 10th grade student enrolled in my county's gifted
and talented program at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, MD. In this program,
each student gets the opportunity to research a topic of his/her choice. I chose to
undertake the year-long research of musical influence, in particular the influence of
multiple types of music on rock. So, where did current rock and alternative music derive
from? There exist so many variations in music that sometimes the musical origin itself
becomes lost. Different music comes from different places, and some components of one
type of music can have connections drawn from another type of. Some of these
connections are commonly argued about or have not been discovered yet. Rock,
according to researchers, has had multiple influences. Rhythm and Blues influences can
be seen in rock. The Vietnam War brought about rebellion, in which rock stemmed from.
Research also indicates that African tribal music may have also had influence on rock due
to its relation to Rhythm and Blues. Current rock and alternative music derived from
music from the Vietnam War, Jazz and Rhythm and Blues (R&B).

II. Background

A. Basic Influence

1. The music we listen to now is a lot different than it was 20 years ago, and Im
analyzing this transition in relation to rock. It had to start somewhere.

B. Operational Definitions

1. Jazz Improvisation: Jazz music played without sheet music.

2. Classic Rock: More melodic form of punk formed in 1970s.

3. Punk: Hard, rebellious type of music formed in late 1960s.

4. Alternative Rock: Genre of rock that emerged from the independent music of
the 1990s and early 2000s that is still widely popularized today.

5. Rhythm and Blues (R&B): Form of popular music of African-American origin

that arose during the 1940s from blues, with the addition of driving rhythms taken
from jazz. It was an immediate precursor of rock and roll.

6. Vietnam War: Cold War conflict pitting the U.S. and the remnants of the
French colonial government in South Vietnam against the indigenous but
communist Vietnamese independence movement, the Viet Minh, following the
latter's expulsion of the French in 1954 that had massive influence on late 60s

C. Descriptors Used for Literal Speech

1. Musical Influence

2. Rock Origins and Influences

3. Rock History

4. Jazz Improvisation

5. Rhythm and Blues (R&B)

6. African Music

7. The Vietnam War

III. Jazz

A. Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Jazz-rock"

1. This article is about a type of music called fusion, which is a modern jazz
improvisation...accompanied by the bass lines, drumming styles, and
instrumentation of rock music. Ever since the 1920s, jazz has had a hot swing
beat with a staccato rhythm, that contrasts with popular music characteristics. As
the jazz tunes progressed, more rock-esque rhythms were included in the music.
The swing era ended in the 1940s. A later development of jazz-rock appeared in
the 1980s and 90s. It abandoned jazz elements almost completely and
frequently used a minimum of improvisation.

B. "Big Band Setup

1. Current rock bands are small compared to big bands. It is an idea to take away
from visual influence and change over time and not just to look at the sound that
is being produced. This demonstrates that performing bands have become smaller
over time.

C. "How to Make a Stage Plot/Input List for Your Band

1. The image shows how a large performing band would set up on stage. It
provides information on how a big band, such as some sort of jazz composition,
would set up. It contrasts in comparison to the setup of current rock bands,
helping me come to the conclusion that jazz bands are large in comparison to
current rock bands, having been made up of more instruments like horns. Rock
bands traditionally do not involve a sort of wind instrument.

IV. Vietnam War

A. Marc Spitz, Nobody likes you: inside the turbulent life, times, and music of
Green Day

1. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist, Mike Dirnt, have been playing
together since childhood and have taken great influence from the 70s punk band,
The Ramones. The Ramones brought a new type of music to the table, following
extremely popular bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones work. Green
Days most recent album, Revolution Radio, truly shows their new, iconic look
that has been evolving throughout their career. This is a great example of a band
that has been around long enough to have experienced the progression of rock.

B. Ramones, "Blitzkrieg Bop

1. The Ramones were one of the first punk bands that emerged in the early
1970s. Their melodic tunes and basic beats appealed to the public and sold
quickly. The Ramones are a great example of what original punk music sounded
like. They also gave great influence to other, more current rock bands such as
Green Day.

C. Led Zeppelin, "Black Dog"

1. The song Black Dog from Led Zeppelin is a classic hard rock song from the
minds of early rockers, Led Zeppelin. With a dirty, unprocessed sound, Black
Dog is unlike many current feats of music. With hardcore guitar riffs and hard yet
simple drum beats, Black Dog is a classic in itself.

D. Alexander E. Hopkins, "Protest and Rock n' Roll During the Vietnam War"

1. Protest music emerged during the 1960s and the Vietnam War. Folk songs by
artists such as Bob Dylan were made with a more peaceful outlook on the war.
They represented a hope for change, but with an aggressive tone. This led into
more rebellious music from bands such as Jefferson Airplane, Mystery Trend, and
The Beatles. The August 1969 Woodstock Music festival was an influential
musical event that spread the message of peace towards the close of the decade.
The performance included Hendrix manipulating his guitars sound by using
distortion and whammy-bar techniques. He imitated several war sounds, including
machine gunfire and explosions. Edwin Starrs Motown also sang his anthem,
War, which demonstrated the many complex horrors of the Vietnam War. This
article demonstrates when rock music came into the spotlight in the late 1960s.

V. Rhythm and Blues

A. Steve McQueen, "Kanye West" Interview

1. Kanye West is the first artist to bring the most bold experimentation and
cathartic emotional energy of rock to rap. In this interview, Kanye Mentioned his
creative process. I try to get as close to a childlike level as possible because we
were all artists back then. So you just close your eyes and think back to when you
were as young as you can remember and had the least barriers to your creativity.
Kanye expressed that much of his musical ideas are influenced from his family
and his and their life experiences, hence the statement that maybe the creative
process has a stronger connection to personal things than we know.

B. Larry Rohter, "Indie Rock Embraces an African Invasion

1. Sub Pop, a record company which first earned its reputation as a tastemaker
in the late 1980s, signed and recorded bands such as Nirvana and Soundgarden
and other exponents of what came to be known as grunge. More African groups
are making their way into America and as proof for crossroads for nomadic
peoples resulting in an unusual blend of cultures and musical styles. This shows
an example of R&B coming back out of alternative record labels.The fact that
African culture is making its way back into rock music is proof of the relation of
early African music and Rhythm and Blues making its way into rock music in the
late 60s with bands such as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrixs powerful
guitar-driven style marketed as desert blues. Recently French label Buda
Musique began reissuing what has become known the Ethiopian Series, which
now consists of more than 20 CDs of music from Ethiopia and Eritrea, originally
recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. Ethiopiques was huge, very influential,
transformational even, said Jonathan Poneman, a founder of Sub Pop. Not only
was it great stuff, but it was put out in a way that was high quality, that looked
good and was engaging. This engaging nature was shown in the August 1969
Woodstock Music festival. Another current band called Vampire Weekend has
built a bigger interest in the music and some indie music observers compare the
impact of Vampire Weekend to a similar phenomenon in the late 1960s, when the
popularity of blues-inspired bands like Cream, the Rolling Stones and Led

VI. Conclusion

I originally focused my hypothesis directly on jazzs relation to current rock, but I

decided to expand it due to other origins being found in such as African tribal drumming,
R&B, and the Vietnam War. Ive collected evidence evidence in the form of books,
online databases, and personal analyses of albums/other entertainment sources to put the
connections into context. A few human sources were also used to examine personal
experience. Current rock and alternative music derived from music from the Vietnam
War, Jazz and Rhythm and Blues (R&B).
Bibliography: MLA

"Big Band Setup." Bandskool Online, Bandskool,

Accessed 2 Nov. 2016.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Editors of, editor. "Jazz-rock." Encyclopaedia

Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2016,
jazz-rock. Accessed 22 Sept. 2016.

Hopkins, Alexander E. "Protest and Rock n' Roll During the Vietnam War."
Inquiries Journal - The International Student Journal, Inquiries Journal/
Student Pulse LLC., 2012,
protest-and-rock-n-roll-during-the-vietnam-war. Accessed 17 Jan. 2017.

"How to Make a Stage Plot/Input List for Your Band." DIY Musician Blog, CD Baby,
18 July 2011,
how-to-make-a-stage-plotinput-list-for-your-band/. Accessed 2 Nov. 2016.

McQueen, Steve. "Kanye West." Interview Magazine, 19 Jan. 2014, Accessed 21 Sept. 2016.

Ramones. "Blitzkrieg Bop." Ramones, CD-ROM, Sire Records, Philips Records, 1976.

Rohter, Larry. "Indie Rock Embraces an African Invasion." New York Times, New
York Times Company, 28 Jan. 2011,
30indieafrica.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&. Accessed 17 Jan. 2017.

Spitz, Marc. Nobody likes you: inside the turbulent life, times, and music of
Green Day. Hyperion Books, 2006.

Zeppelin, Led. "Black Dog." Led Zeppelin, CD-ROM, vol. IV, Atlantic Records,