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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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Speed Metal and Thrash Metal


The further development of rock music from the 1980s until the present time has led to various heavy metal modifications, such as hard core, speed metal, thrash metal, death metal, black metal and grind core. The characterizations of these styles are inconsistent in different literature sources. New terms are often introduced for music with the same characteristics but with different places of origins (for example the USA, the United Kingdom or the Scandinavian countries), with journalists and fans categorizing them differently. The whole problem is further complicated by the fact that groups switch from one style to another even on a single album, where they present as a poly-stylistic band with one song recorded in speed metal and another in the black metal style. As with the subtle nuances between the heavy metal modifications, so also are there minor differences in both musical and non-musical expressions: in image, costumes, scene and lighting. In order to accurately characterise the heavy metal subcategories it is essential to analyse not only the melody, rhythm, riffs, interpretative technique and heavy metal lyrics, but also the accompanying ideas and views - for example, presence of the occult, animal primitivism or medieval conquest - and any scenic renderings and symbolism.

Research in this field cannot yet claim to be deep and thorough. The reason stems from the fact that only a short time span has passed since the emergence of heavy metal subcultures and modifications. This is also the reason why the distinction and...

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