The paper discovers the history of rock music. It presents other styles of music and historical background that influenced rock music. The paper strives to explore and explain the rock music genres role as a dominant force of modern culture. Outline Introduction Body Rock music discussion Origins of rock music Influence of rhythm and blues Bob Dylan and Beatles Influence of rock n roll History of rock Social issues Conclusion History of Rock Music Rock music is neither a style nor a genre of music. While this claim flies in the face of some ordinary usage, the obvious differences among styles of rock music support it. Rocks most distinctive characteristic within popular music may lie in the realm of ontology, in what a musical work is in rock music as opposed to what it is, for instance, in jazz or country or folk. Rock is a tradition of popular music whose creation and dissemination centers on recording technology. This is not to deny that rock contributes to the long tradition of American popular song.
In rock the musical work is less typically a song than an arrangement of recorded sounds. Rock music is both composed and received in light of musical qualities that are subject to mechanical reproduction but not notational specification. This thesis informs my subsequent decisions about what’s central and whats peripheral in aesthetics of rock. In order to see that rock is not just a style of popular music, it can be useful to distinguish between rock and its direct progenitor, rock and roll. Although the commercial potency of rock and roll was responsible for the subsequent birth of rock, most recent rock music is not rock and roll. Discussions of popular music frequently blur the distinction. In his attack on rock music in The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom complains that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse and characterizes it as primitive and barbarous.
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Yet it is clear that Bloom equates rock music with its pervasive reliance on a syncopated 4/4. A similar move is made by Kathleen Higgins. Rightly criticizing Bloom for confusing rock ideology with rock music, she argues that popular music can be as positive an influence as classical music. In the 1950s, there were fewer categories for popular music. The phrase rock and roll was introduced to replace rhythm and blues, largely to indicate that whites as well as blacks performed the music. There is something to the charge, leveled by a number of African American writers and musicians, that the phrase rock and roll was adopted so that whites could mimic rhythm and blues for their own purposes and profit. During Elvis Presleys first interview, on a Memphis radio station, the disc jockey made sure to ask Presley where he went to high school so that the local audience would understand that he was white.
But the new phrase, dating back to the 1930s, served a function of indicating that a certain record was neither jazz nor classical nor standard pop music. Forty years later, the same phrase can function either as a generic label or to indicate a specific style of rock. Yelled by someone in the audience at a concert, it indicates a desire for up-tempo music, that is, as a specific mode of rock. At the time, with rock styles proliferating in every direction, it must have seemed that there was no unifying aesthetic. Within a short time critics recognized a plethora of rock styles, including soul, Memphis soul, the blues revival, Motown, the San Francisco sound, acid, heavy metal, and then country rock, art rock, jazz rock, southern rock, swamp rock, and a myriad of others which proliferated in the decades since. These were distinct styles of performing the music. Critics often united them under the umbrella of rock on cultural grounds, treating them as manifestations of youth and leisure culture but seldom as a movement with a distinct aesthetic. But a crucial step was Dylans melding of previously distinct categories through his return to rock and roll after mastering the craft of songwriting in other idioms. The result was not the rock and roll of his youth; the albums Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde are steeped in blues more than rock and roll, and while Like a Rolling Stone may be based on the changes to La Bamba, its six-minute length was itself a leap beyond earlier rock and roll.
... their products to teenagers. Rock music has played a key roll in helping to keep the American economy booming. Rock and roll has been the most ... launched a late night show that played only rhythm and blues. Popular records he spun featured performers such as the ... the essentially bland style of the 40s and early 50s, were outraged by rock and roll. Nevertheless, teens still rocked to the sounds ...
The Beatles were simultaneously erasing stylistic boundaries by moving in the opposite direction, from live rock and roll to studio craft. A disorderly group of rock and rollers, the Beatles bashed out dance music in Liverpool and then Hamburg. Although 1965 was the crucial year for both Dylan and the Beatles, the rock aesthetic of creativity through recording was born that year. If we are to choose a year and place, the best candidate is 1954, with Elvis Presley at Sun studios in Memphis. But these recordings are so strongly identified with rock and roll that it is only in hindsight that the style, rock and roll (actually rockabilly), can be distinguished from the recording aesthetic which characterizes rock music generally. The popularity of electric blues, rhythm and blues, and rock n roll in the 1950s spread beyond the shores of the United States into many countries, but the music found a particularly receptive audience in Great Britain.
British musicians had previously been influenced by American music styles, among them a New Orleans jazz style named trad, and had created a hybrid folk music known as skiffle. The latter was adapted and played by many groups, perhaps most famously by members of the Beatles. In the later 1950s, the styles of popular performers such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly influenced many British musicians in the direction of rock n roll. Unlike the majority of their white American counterparts, however, musicians and audiences in Britain became intensely interested in black American performers and sought out not only rock n roll but the antecedent blues and rhythm-and-blues styles. The success of the Beatles and the Mersey Beat groups — the label given to Liverpool-based British invasion bands — started a wave of popularity for British rock bands in the United States in 1964. The London-based groups that played Chicago blues songs in rock settings, most notably the Rolling Stones, also became well known and, in effect, introduced Americans to their own music in an altered form. The original blues singers, relatively unknown to American audiences, suddenly became popular in revivals of the 1960s; they were sought out, some not having performed for years, for concerts and recordings, in some cases to open for the British acts that covered their music. Many of the original black artists had renewed careers — ironically, with almost exclusively white audiences — because of the immense popularity of the white British rock musicians. The development of rock music, from its African American blues, rhythm and blues, and rock n roll basis through its English restyling and back to the United States and the rest of the world, encompasses many social, historical, cultural, and musical factors.
... potent combination of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Word Count: 2050Bibliography:Diggins, John P. The American Left in the Twentieth Century. New ... stage presence, combined with the group's mournfully textured, blues-rooted music, suggested the musical theater of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht ... a concho belt, leather pants, and dancing in a ritualistic style.But the role he played to the hilt was that ...
Cream and Clapton in particular are most strongly associated with the tendency of musicians to reach back beyond rock n roll to country and electric blues for inspiration and musical and textual material. Both the resiliency and adaptability of this music are apparent on Clapton recent release From the Cradle, which aligns his present superstardom with his roots: songs by familiar names such as Elmore James, Muddy Waters, and Willie Dixon in carefully reconstructed styles. Thirty years earlier, Claptons group Cream occupied a central place in the transformation of blues songs into rock. This transformation has many aspects, but primary for this study are those features I consider to be purely musical. These are the changes in instrumentation, harmony, timbre, and above all rhythm and tempo that yielded a music to which listeners — many of whom had never heard of the original songs or artists nor had any relation to their history or culture — responded in unprecedented numbers. Considering the challenge that the original progressive-rock musicians established for their music, one might well wonder how successful these groups really were at blending 1960s and 70s pop and rock with classical music — two general styles that were at the time considered to be very disparate.
... Woodstock Festival in August 1969, rock music was by this time an intrinsic element in life of American youth and a powerful articulation ... at each show, and soon, rock music would be in the ears of almost every American. Rock and roll contributes many things ... of rock remains without precedent in the history of popular music. Beginning as a minority expression on the fringe of American society, ...
In some instances it may seem as if progressive rock is simply rock music pasted over with a kind of art-music veneer, using classical-music instrumentation such as strings, pipe organ, or harpsichord to embellish musical structures that do not have much more in common with art music than does most other rock music of the time. Or inversely, progressive rock musicians sometimes souped up classical music with a rock treatment — Keith Emersons penchant for reinterpreting orchestral warhorses is perhaps the best known example of this approach. Both of these characterizations are, as it turns out, applicable to much progressive-rock music. Since the beginning of rock n roll, opponents of the music, and some fans too, would have us think so. The plaint of rock’s enemies is familiar: loud, raucous, drug ridden, and narcissistic, if not nihilistic, rock music causes degeneration in youth, transmitting social evils and subverting rational thought and responsibility; even worse, it is boring, annoying, bad music. The same, of course, was thought about earlier musical crazes that now seem tame and stodgy by comparison: swing, ragtime, the waltz, the minuet, the sarabande.
Each of these did in fact threaten some perceived element of social order, and rock has posed its own distinct threats: arising in a time of social upheaval, it has reflected, accompanied, enabled, and at times even constituted the rumblings of that upheaval. Rocks social influences remain, of course, but they are integrated into an increasingly complicated status quo. In a time of unprecedented social and cultural eclecticism, the enduring American preoccupation with distinctions of highbrow versus lowbrow is greeted with ambivalence by a society for which it has lost its clarity and, for many, its relevance. In that respect, the doomsayers are right. Each younger generation grows up into, and through, its popular music, in pursuit of its own maturity. That music is a part of the American environment, and the musics changes will continue to reflect broader social changes, as they always have in the past.
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As American culture drifts inevitably further from its traditional Western European slant, it cannot but redefine and reinvent itself; but this does not mean that its diverse roots will be lost. Instead, they take on a new, and newly specific, relevance. Rock, country, jazz, hiphop, classical, and other musics continue to influence each other and intertwine in smooth or rough combinations, just as their audiences do; and writers about music continue to absorb and reflect upon these developments. Conservatives doubt that rock music should be taught at schools at all, since the traditional focus of the humanities has been on canonical works in the European art tradition. Radicals doubt that analytical methods developed to describe such art music can appropriately be employed to address what is most meaningful in rock, since such analyses reinforce the musical work as an autonomous aesthetic object and produce interpretations foreign to the proper nature of the music. Such debates have their value and are, in any event, inevitable.
Rock music had crashed its way into the American music scene in 1954 via AM radio, which soon became ruled by tight-format programming. Most top-rated stations began devoting a majority of their airtime to hits–the Top 40, then eventually only the Top 30 or 20. WABC was their undisputed leader. Rock musics significant contribution in its initial stages was that it gave American youth a unified voice for the first time in the nations history. And, as the news influenced youth–from the election of President John F. Kennedy to the pull-out from Vietnam–one of the most powerful influences on the news of that period was youth itself. In the different categories shown year by year from 1954 through 1981, this book shows the striking parallels between that particular style of popular music and both the history and culture of a nation.
Rock music is far from dead. In twenty-eight years it was never threatened by replacement. Tomorrow an artist with the magnetism and stature of Presley or the Beatles could emerge and begin an entirely new Rock Era. By 1982, America was moving away from rock and into a new home video culture as the nation avidly embraced cable TV, videocassettes, videodiscs and video games. The sixteenyear-olds of 1954, who gravitated to rock at its beginning, are now in their early forties and had spent the better part of their life in a rock-oriented society. For them, rock is indeed not dead, for some radio stations still feature the rock of the 1950s and 1960s, and the records and tapes they accumulated are totally compatible with the stereo and hi-fi equipment of the 1980s.
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Bibliography: Belz Carl. The Story of Rock. 2d ed. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. Bloom, Allan (1987) The Closing of the American Mind, New York: Simon & Schuster. Frith Simon. Sound Effects: Youth, Leisure, and the Politics of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
New York: Pantheon, 1981. Higgins Kathleen Marie. The Music of Our Lives. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990. History-of-Rock-Music.com, http://www.history-of-rock-music.com History of Rock music : The beginning, http://www.history-of-rock-music.com/rock-age.php Rock and roll – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_and_roll.