Rock Con

The Evolution of Rock

For something like music, one cannot cover a cut dry story spread out with all dates and figures. It is an art form that has originated from within and continues to live on. There are several different genres of music but rock music is one that makes people rock, pun intended. With changing times and trends one can see the sea change it has undergone.

So, what is rock music?

Rock music is a blend from various other genres. In the United States it originated as the Rock and Roll as early as the 1950s. It evolved into a wide varied styles in the next few decades. One can count country music, blues and rhythm to be the highly influencing pillars of rock music. One can even find classical music as well as jazz in it. The latter half of 1960s is considered to be the golden age or period for rock music. From then on several hybrid genres of rock music have evolved including blues rock, fusion of rock and jazz, country rock as well as pop rock.

A rock group consists of vocalists and players playing electric guitar supported by electric bass guitar, drums and other such instruments.

The first rock record

Well, there is a start for everything. Alan Freed is credited to have used the phrase ‘Rock and Roll’ when he played blues and rhythm music for an audience of mixed race in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio. It is said that the very roots of rock music lies in Black music, gospel music, country and western, all melded.

Now, as for the first record, the result is still debated for, as to which one can claim the spot. There are several contenders for the spot including Jackie Brenston’s Rocket 88, Rock Awhile by Goree Carter. Of course, Elvis Presley’s ‘That’s all right’ first single track for Memphis record is also considered to be the first of the rock and roll kind. Other names that figure with rock and roll singles in the early period include Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and many more.

A brief hiatus

After the initial period of rise from innovation and flourish, there was brief period which could be considered as the hiatus period which ends at the period of British invasion as known in the United States. In the initial period it was the period of dominance on the scene for the male performers and white. During the hiatus period female artists as well as the blacks dominated the scene. The energy from rock and roll frizzled into influencing the twist dance that happened to be the craze in the 1960s period.

As rock music faded in the United States it was played with more intensity unseen and unheard in the American acts. With pioneers like Alexis Korner one could hear at British local pubs such kind of heavy rock.

The British Invasion

The entry of Beatles, the Searchers, the Manchester based Hollies, Gerry & the pacemakers forayed into the rock scene as beats groups. This led to the prominence of the British scenario into the rock world. The works of these groups had very strong American influences. These groups created indigenous works that were inspired from American masterpieces with high level of energy infused into them. The hit of the Beatles’ number ‘I want to hold your hand’ captured the top spot on Billboard 100. Following several hit numbers they became the numero uno among beat groups and achieved nation wide success which led to world level success.

It is considered that this ‘British Invasion’ paved the way and set a path for British performers to achieve international recognition as well as success. Well, some American groups like surf rock groups, female vocal groups lost out to British Invasion, yet it set the platform for singers to become songwriters and create original material that appealed.

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Rock And It’s Cross-Genre Influence


Another form of rock that was practiced in the garage of the family, particularly suburban ones, was named garage rock, for obvious reasons. This turned rock music into crude music which involved growling, snarling and producing other sounds which would eventually become music that was totally incoherent. Its nature was more aggressive in emotion, be it the beats, or the lyrics.

The aftermath of the British Invasion saw the birth of pop rock. This has been around since the mid of 1950s. Paul McCartney, Perter Frampton, Elton John and few others created this genre of upbeat music that was racy.

The wave of the British Invasion was washed over slowly by American bands that had strong influence of blues music in their rock music. The revival of American folk music led to infusion of rock to it, thus giving birth to folk rock.

The Psychedelic rock comes from LSD music infused into the folk music. The 13th floor elevators are reported to be the first of this kind of rock group. The Beatles are credited to have introduced several elements of this genre of rock music.

The roots rock tends to go back to the more conventional form of rock music. This can be seen as the withdrawal of the wave to go backwards to the origin. Progressive rock involved going off track. This genre of rock involves experimenting with instruments that hadn’t been used before, changing the type of song, modifying the emotion as well as the forms of the songs. These variations tended to shine particularly in live concerts, where ticket prices reached an all time high to watch performers practice their newly-invented craft. The instruments played a major role. Lyrics tended to be kept abstract or crisp.

Rock has gone digital

With the advent and advancement of computer technology in every field, rock music has its fair share too. With the help of music software it has become possible to create very high quality music right from any place which has led to several home based rock music growth.

Some people tend to associate rock music with way of expression of severe emotions or those that tend to blow you off the top. With its constant evolution there is undisputed following all through the ages and time.

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