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On the History of Rock Music

Yvetta Kajanová

On the History of Rock Music follows the development of rock music from its origins up to the present time. It focuses on the relationship between the sound, improvisations and rhythms in particular styles, and gives specific attention to the development of rhythm. The beat-offbeat principle, polyrhythms and polymetrics are fundamental to rock rhythm patterns, which serve as archetypes for specific rhythms. An archetype is a prototype, a model, or an innate experience of a species. Using more than 250 score examples, the author identifies the characteristic rhythmic patterns in rock styles, ranging from rock and roll, hard rock and punk rock to alternative rock, indie rock and grind core.
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Rock and Roll

← 14 | 15 → Rock and Roll


is an adaptation of 12-bar blues. The typical feature of rock and roll is the change from the relaxing rhythm of blues into a strong 4-beat pattern.

rhythm of blues

rhythm of rock and roll

Initially, this new genre was called rock and roll, beat, or rock. The term “rock” conveyed new symbolism for sex, noisy entertainment, or preference for a certain genre. The word appeared in the late 1940s in the songs “Rock Me All Night Long” (The Ravens, 1952), “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (Roy Brown, 1947), “All She Wants To Do Is Rock” (Wynonie Harris, 1949), and “Rockin’ with Red” (Piano Red, 1950).

Rock and roll was the first dance adaptation of rock, its elements being musically rendered by rhythm and blues groups and vocal ensembles in the USA. They usually blended rhythm and blues with country and western and the popular music of the time. Beat, or the beat generation, was the name applied to the British scene in the early 1960s. “Ye-ye groups” was a derisive French name for the lighter polyphonic tunes in the Beatles songs and those of other British groups. In Czechoslovakia, the term “guitar groups” was used. Later “bigbít” came into use as a specific terminology in Central Europe. In the second half of the 1960s, the term “rock” prevailed. Theoreticians originally assumed that the general direction of rock music lead either to hard rock, or melodic, soft rock as...

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