Origin, history and background information
Rock music is a form of popular music with a prominent vocal melody accompanied by guitar, drums, and bass. Many styles of rock music also use keyboard instruments such as organ, piano, mellotron, and synthesizers. Rock music usually has a strong back beat, and often revolves around the guitar, either solid electric, hollow electric, or acoustic.
Many rock bands consist of a guitarist, lead singer, bass guitarist, and drummer, forming a quartet. Some groups omit one or more of these roles and/or utilize a lead singer who plays an instrument while singing, forming a trio or duo; others include additional musicians such as one or two rhythm guitarists and/or a keyboardist. More rarely, groups also utilize stringed instruments such as violins or cellos, and/or horns like trumpets or trombones.
Rock music has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll and rockabilly, which evolved from blues, country music and other influences. According to the All Music Guide, "In its purest form, Rock & Roll has three chords, a strong, insistent back beat, and a catchy melody. Early rock & roll drew from a variety of sources, primarily blues, R&B, and country, but also gospel, traditional pop, jazz and folk. All of these influences combined in a simple, blues-based song structure that was fast, danceable, and catchy."
In the late 1960s, rock music was blended with folk music to create folk rock, blues to create blues-rock and with jazz, to create jazz-rock fusion, and without a time signature to create psychedelic rock. In the 1970s, rock incorporated influences from soul, funk, and latin music. Also in the 1970s, rock developed a number of subgenres, such as soft rock, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock. Rock subgenres that emerged in the 1980s included synth-rock, hardcore punk and alternative rock. In the 1990s, rock subgenres included grunge, Britpop, indie rock, and nu metal.
- Early British Pop (in the 1950s and 1960s): Lonnie Donegan, John Lennon, Cliff Richard
- Garage Rock (in the 1960s): The Sonics, Question Mark & the Mysterians, The Standells
- Surf Music (in the 1960s): The Shadows, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean
- Folk Rock (in the 1960s and 1970s): Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Neil Young
- Psychedelic Rock (in the 1960s and 1970s): Pink Floyd, Donovan, Jimi Hendrix
- Progressive Rock (in the 1960s and 1970s): The Who, Procol Harum, Deep Purple
- Soft Rock (in the 1960s and 1970s): The Partridge Family, Barry Manilow, Tina Turner
- Hard Rock & Heavy Metal (in the 1970s): Queen, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath
- Arena Rock (in the 1970s): The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Foreigner
- Punk Rock (in the 1970s): Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Heartbreakers
- New Wave (in the 1970s): The Police, The Pretenders, Duran Duran
- Post-Punk (in the 1970s): John Lydon, Joy Division, The Fall
- Glam Metal (in the 1980s): Kiss, Alice Cooper, Sweet
- Instrumental Rock (in the 1980s): Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert
- Alternative Rock (in the 1980s): R.E.M., Sonic Youth, The Smiths
- Grunge (in the 1990s): Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins
- Britpop (in the 1990s): Oasis, Pulp, Blur
- Indie Rock (in the 1990s): Superchunk, Pavement, Ani DiFranco
- Pop Punk (in the 1990s): Greenday, The Offspring, Blink 182
- Post-Grunge (in the 1990s): Silverchair, Foo Fighters, Alanis Morissette
- Nu Metal / Rapcore (in the 1990s): Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage against the Machine, Linkin Park
- Emo (in the early 2000s): Hawthorne Heights, Sunny Day Real Estate, My Chemical Romance
- Metalcore (in the early 2000s): Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Bullet for my Valentine