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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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Hard Rock – the Second Era 1967 – 1979


The second hard rock era was characterized by major changes in the use of rhythm, improvisational approaches, and by a new perception of music bands’ compact sound. This era is represented by such groups and musicians as The Doors (1965), Jimi Hendrix (1966), Janis Joplin (1966), Eric Clapton and Cream (1966 – 1969), Carlos Santana (1966), Led Zeppelin (1968), Deep Purple (1967) and Black Sabbath (1967) along with others.

The rhythmic pattern in this hard rock era not only has the role of basic rhythmic model in the rhythmic section, but it also serves as a melodic and rhythmic motif, called a riff31, which is the basis for the musical and structural development of the composition. Thus the rhythmic pattern and the riff are identical but, in hard rock more advanced forms, the rhythmic pattern and the riff can be different, as for example in “Sunshine of Your Love” by Jack Bruce, Peter Brown and Eric Clapton, (Cream, LP Disraeli Gears, 1968). The motif/riff is played by the bass guitar together with the guitar, while the rhythmic pattern is played by the drums only, even resulting, in some instances, in poly-rhythms. In the post-rock and roll era similar work with the bass guitar pattern was used but it was usually limited to one bar. Sometimes, in the second hard rock era, this pattern could even extend to four bars.

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John Bonham, John Paul Jones & Jimmy Page: “Communication Breakdown...

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