Rock music is the general name for many directions of modern music that have existed since the 1950s. Rock is also considered as the original life style of some fans of rock music which developed into a subculture. The term is not entirely straightforward because the belonging of certain styles of rock music are declined. Rock music has a large number of directions: from dance rock and roll to metal. The content of the lyrics varies from easily and naturally to the dark, deep and philosophical songs.
The origins of rock music lie in the blues, in which also lie the origins of the first genres of music, such as rhythm and blues, rock and roll and rockabilly. The first sub-genre of rock music emerged in close connection with folk and pop music of the time, for instance, folk, country, or music hall. During its existence, there were attempts to combine rock music with almost all possible kinds of music – from classical music, jazz, Latin music, Indian music. In the 60-70s, there were practically all the major sub-genre of rock music, the biggest of which, in addition to these, were metal, punk rock, soul, funk, rock and avant-garde. In the 80s there were such genres of rock music as post-punk, new wave, alternative rock, hardcore and brutal metal subgenres, for example, death metal, black metal, and grind core. The main centers of rock music were located in the United States and the Western Europe, especially the United Kingdom. Consequently, most of the lyrics are written in English.
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At most rock bands, there is a vocalist. If, at the beginning of the development, rock music lay mostly in the blues tune, now some of its directions have little in common in musical terms. Rock is not just a style of music. It is a philosophy, lifestyle and subculture. Rock music has a relatively large exciting energy. It can give a person freedom from constant social principles and stereotypes of reality. On the other hand, one who captured rock culture may finally fence off from the outside world, reinforcing the position of taking alcohol and drugs, contributing to the destruction of personality. Often this phenomenon put the blame rock musicians.
The beginning of rock music is the appearance of the rock and roll genre which connected the features of blues, rhythm and blues, boogie-woogie, jazz and country. The development of early rock and roll is associated mainly with American artists, but it is almost impossible to determine what song or plate can be considered the first one in the genre. The first option is a single “Fat Man” by Fats Domino, released in 1950. According to other versions, the first rock and roll record is “Rocket 88” recorded by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats in 1951.
Among those who laid the foundation of rock and roll as a full-fledged genre, the most important are the names of Fats Domino, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. Chuck Berry began seriously studying music in 1953, and in 1955 recorded the first single. He laid the foundation rock style to the text, images and playing the guitar. Among other influential African-American musicians in the genre of rock and roll, should be mentioned Little Richard who influenced the further formation of garage rock and punk because his style of singing and playing the piano was much more aggressive and assertive than competitors’.
Firstly, rock and roll music was considered as s specific characteristic only of African-American audience. However, there appeared the first white artists performing rock and roll. The breakthrough rock and roll into the mainstream was the song by Bill Haley “Rock Around The Clock”. However, the title of “King of Rock and Roll” won the other white artist – Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley became the first person recorded rock and roll on the same level as his black colleagues. Another famous white rock and roll performer was Jerry Lee Lewis with the nickname “Killer” because of his harrowing manner of performance and playing the piano. Later, some softer forms of “white” rock and roll began to appear. It is primarily concerned with the names of Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers.
At that time, England could not make America any competition in rock music. However, the first rock records appeared here is in the 50s. The American rock and roll developed in close contact with the root genres of blues and country. At the same time, the English rock and roll had the greatest influence of skiffle, including one of the most famous artists Lonnie Donegan. The first performers of rock and roll that could compete with American artists in the British charts were Cliff Richard and The Shadows. The first British rock and roll hit was “Move It” by Cliff Richard. Among appeared at that time bands, was the first band of John Lennon – The Quarrymen. Based on the synthesis of rock and roll and country music was special subgenre of rock music – rockabilly. The most famous of his representatives in the 50s were Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and the famous country singer Johnny Cash.
American rock and roll of the 50s gave a great push to the development of rock music and became the inspiration for the bands that appeared in the early 60s, such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Troggs. The term “British invasion” is called the advent of the popular British musical culture in the United States. The beginning of this phenomenon is considered to be “landing” of The Beatles on the American coast in February 1964. Until then, their music has been very popular in early 1964. Five singles of the band took the first five positions of the U.S. charts.
After Beatlemania that swept America and the world, followed by the capture by the other British bands: major competitors of The Beatles The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Animals, and The Yardbirds. In the wave of popularity of these bands, musical life in Britain became rapidly activated: daily opened new musical clubs, and there were new bands. The most popular were the big beat bands Manfred Mann, Searchers, Hollies, Herman’s Hermits and mod-rock band The Who, The Kinks and The Troggs, who had shared a common manager, and The Small Faces.
The golden age of rock music was the second half of the 1960s. It was the period of “human warming”, which was marked with the creation of many bands, hippie movement in America and the youth revolution in Europe. The members of The Beatles, who first worn neat hairstyles and costumes, let the long hair, mustache and beard and began wearing freaky costumes and clothing style hippies. Music of rock bands went beyond previous limits and became a free development in the different directions.
The strong influence on the changes in the music gave psychedelics, especially LSD and mescaline, as well as marijuana, actively consumed by many rock musicians. In the mid 60s in California, appeared a new direction of rock music – psychedelic rock. This music took as its basis the blues-rock, North American folk-rock and brought with him a vivid expression, characteristic recognizable sound, extended solos leading tools and more. Soon psychedelic was not only an expression of drug experiences, but also began to achieve with musical effect. The liveliest of all, to the advent of psychedelic culture responded the hippies who made psychedelic an integral part of themselves. By the end of the 1960s, in America were their rock legends such as The Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, whose music sometimes fascinating hypnotic. The apogee of American psychedelic and rock music in general became a legendary Woodstock festival in 1969 – “Three Days of Peace and Music”.
By the end of the 1960s, on the basis of British bit and psychedelic was created a new direction of rock music – hard rock. The founders of the style are considered to be three British bands: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, but some features hard rock can be traced in the works of earlier formed teams such as The Who, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones. In addition to those bands, the most famous also are AC / DC, Grand Funk Railroad, Nazareth and Uriah Heep. The main tool for hard-rock remains electric guitar. From psychedelic, hard rock took over the long electric guitar solo, which received a lot of freedom in the melody and harmony. A characteristic feature of the style is the increased importance of the rhythm section. At the same time, widely used became riffs which became the hallmark of hard rock and later heavy metal. All this, together with the increased volume and drive led to a feeling of “heaviness” in music sounding. Melodically simple and easy for perception and mixed with other styles, hard rock became the starting point of such derictions as glam rock, heavy metal, grunge and hardcore. The main goal of the glam rock was a simple perception of music, colorful scenic image, as well as spectacular and colorful shows, accompanying music performance. Despite all that, musically glam rock on diverse, combining features of different areas of rock and pop music. In the 1970s, with the emergence of glam rock, became known one of the most influential rock musicians – David Bowie. The other well-known bands and artists of glam rock: T. Rex, Gary Glitter, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Queen, Slade, Sweet and Kiss.
In the late 1970s, became popular punk rock. Punk bands were often careless and primitive from a musical point of view, fully compensated sarcastic and critical texts and anarchic energy. The most famous bands are Sex Pistols, The Clash, Ramones, Dead Kennedys and others. In the U.S., the prototype of punk played Iggy and the Stooges in the late 1960s. Punk music was presented as an alternative to commercial pop music and opposition to public order and principles. Well, the hallmark of punk rock was “Sex Pistols”, who became famous as the most scandalous and provocative band. Based on punk, post punk direction appeared. The representatives were Joy Division and early The Cure.
At the beginning of the 1980s, around the world began to form bands that mixed punk rock and heavy metal, gothic rock with big beats. At this time, became known bands such as U2, A-ha, The Cure, INXS, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pixies. Relevance purchased and Gothic rock, which are outstanding representatives of Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Bauhaus. Parallel popularized electronic music and synth-pop, early had something to do with the new wave and rock music: Kraftwerk, Human League, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Jean-Michel Jarre.
At the same time becoming a popular metal in various forms: Metallica, Megadeth, Bon Jovi, Guns’ N Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, and many others.
Rock music is very interesting not only with its various performances and styles, but also with its philosophy of a lifestyle. The first rocker was God. He created a lightning and thunder. Later, it was Beethoven and Mozart. Now, there is a heavy rain, classic music and rock and roll.