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The Elements that make Rock Music Rock Music

Updated on June 25, 2011


Rock is a genre that has been integrated into society, and is considered the universal genre. Rock can be traced back as far as 1955, back when it was called rock ‘n’ roll. What made rock so popular was its appeal to white teenagers. They saw this music as something different compared to the music their parents and grandparents would listen to. However, the adults, particularly the white ones, considered rock 'n' roll to be dangerous because it would lead to juvenile delinquency, or even worse at the time, encouraging attitudes and behaviors associated with the black youth. Initially, rock was seen as something new, fresh, and exciting.

The music features four sounds that make up typical rock music. First, there's the voice. The singer that is associated with rock music would be amplified, thus making it loud and capable of capturing the audience. If that doesn't do it, there are always the sounds of any rock band, the guitar and bass. Both these stringed instruments are always (or almost always) electric and produce two different sounds. The electric guitar in a rock band can be clean or distorted. An electric guitar with a clean sound is usually featured in ska, alternative, and even some punk. A guitar with distortion is usually heard in metal and hard rock. The guitar is the best-known instrument when people think about rock music. The bass is like the foundation of any rock band. It provides the simple notes and usually follows the guitar. Finally, there are the drums. The drums provide a raw, percussion sound that support whatever the guitar and bass are playing. These are the sound elements that make up rock.

The vocal styles of rock have been influenced by the vocals of the blues. The vocals possess a loud, moaning sound that can be traced back to the blues and even gospel singing. The instruments, particularly the guitar and bass, have a strong influence on not only the music, but also the audience. When one sees a rock performance, they see and hear the guitarists moving to the music with a certain passion that encourages the audience to imitate them. Rock music produces a powerful and raw sound that energizes the audience in a unique way.


Personal Philosophy

I am someone that greatly enjoys rock music. It is hands down my favorite music to listen to and play. I play all the featured instruments in rock music (the guitar, bass, and drums). To me, this music has a certain energy that reflects the talent of the musicians and the mood of their surrounding environment. I believe that all music (not just rock) has a great influence on society and vice versa. I hope that in my later entries, I will break down the separate sounds of rock music because the sound has definitely changed and developed drastically over the last 60 years. I don't want people to think that rock music is something that can be sold out and be played by anyone. All though, as of late, rock (and other forms of music) have been sold out to make a fast buck. Playing music, especially rock, should be a great personal achievement that only pushes you to be better.

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    • Jason R. Manning profile image

      Jason R. Manning 

      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I remember hearing songs from "Moving Pictures" when I was of elementary school age, I was immediately drawn to Rush with their mathmatical rock. I had thought as a kid there must be 5 or 6 guys up on stage to make all that wild sound; just three Canadian dudes eh. WOW. They are still my favorites to this day. Nice hub.

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