Rock Music


In this essay, I\'m going to introduce to the reader a
topic not touched a lot because of its complexity and its
avoidance by conservative adults. This topic is, of course, Rock
Music. During one week, I looked for information in the library
and at my house, and from the information I gathered and my one
knowledge about the topic, I\'m going to lead the reader to a
better understanding of Rock n\' Roll. I chose to do Rock music
because I can identify myself with it. Rock music is very
complex. In fact "It\'s stylistic scope is to broad to be
encompassed by any single definition" ("Rock Music", Groliers,
p.1). The nearest definition suggests a kind of music that
represents and speaks for the teenage society. This music is
characterized by using a heavy beat. In this essay, I\'m going to
divide Rock music into four sections: Rock of the 50\'s, of the
60\'s, of the 70\'s and of the 80\'s. Within these sections I\'m also
going to discuss several sub-topics such as famous composers and
groups, and characteristics of the music.

The first section of this essay is Rock n\' Roll of the 1950\'s,
when Rock n\' Roll was born. It emerged from rhythm and blues, a
music similar to jazz played by blacks. This kind of music
started to attract white teenagers. Disc jockey Alan Freed was
the one who introduced this music and later gave it the name of
Rock n\' Roll. Record companies distributed records played by
whites but composed by blacks. Whites were frustrated because
there weren\'t any white artists and they didn\'t want the blacks
to be the stars until Bill Haley appeared with his "Rock Around
the Clock". In this decade, Elvis Presley introduced a music
that was sexual suggestive and outraged dull adults. In time he
changed the style of the music by adopting a country and western
style and became a national hero. By the end of this decade and
the start of the next, Rock n\' Roll started to decline because it
was formula ridden and it was too sentimental. Teenage audiences
transferred their allegiance to Folk music.

In 1963 the renewal of Rock n\' Roll came when The Beatles
started to play. The Beatles, for some the best rock group ever,
were from Liverpool, England. Through the 60\'s, The Beatles
dominated the record industries and with their dominant
instrumentation, which included: electric leads, rhythm, and bass
guitar, drums and sometimes an electric organ, changed the name
of Rock n\' Roll to just Rock. During the 1960\'s many other styles
of music arose from Rock like, Motown, Soul music, Jazz-rock ,
Folk-rock and others.

Folk-Rock the most appreciated of this derivations and was
first suggested by Bob Dylan. This kind of music brought to folk
music a hard beat and amplification; and to Rock, a new poetic
style. California was one of the major centers of rock activity
and experimentation during the decade. First it was characterize
for its surfing music, a very joyful music that reflected the fun
people had while surfing. The Beach Boys were the ones who
introduced this kind of music.

At the end of the century this happy kind of music changed
to a more rebellious style that was designated the name of
"hippie music". Groups that played this music were Country Joe
and The Mamas and The Papas. Along with this hippie ideas
popularity of hallucinogenic drugs produced a psychedelic style
of music called Acid Rock. By the end of the 60\'s the
distinctions between Rock n\' Roll and Rock were evident.
The early instruments- saxophone, piano, amplified guitar, and
drums- had been changed to electric guitar and bass, amplified
drums and other electronic devices. Not only did the instruments
change but so did the ideas behind the music. For example, "to
the lyrics of teenage love and adolescent concerns were added
social commentary, glorification of drugs and free-association
poetry"("Rock Music", Groliers, p.1). Groups like The Beach Boys,
Crew Cuts and The Everly Brothers were replaced by more
imaginative, non-descriptive names groups like The Who, Jefferson
Airplane, Big Brother and Holding Company. The Who, the most
famous of these groups, were originally from England and were
reknowned because of their bizarre stage performances, they would
destroy their instruments after their performance finished. The
Who was one of the first rock groups.

In the 70\'s, the common barriers of rock broke into more
divisions, like hard rock and mellow rock. Hard Rock was
extremely loud and electronically amplified and Mellow Rock was
softer and with acoustic instruments. In 1972, in Jamaica, a new
style of music was created called Reggae. Reggae is a mixture of
rock, soul, calypso and Latin music. The