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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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Death Metal, Black Metal and Grind Core


subcultures or “styles”. At the same time, the chapter refers to journalists’ frequent use of different terms for the same music style where a single common term would facilitate a better appreciation of new styles. The terminological inconsistency stems from the fact that heavy metal subcultures are distinguished by their associations with particular communities and community behaviour, and by musicians having a particular world outlook and attitudes towards society.

The social and cultural backgrounds of heavy metal subcultures’ fans are most evident in the lyrics, musicians’ behaviour, stage visualizations and in music videos. Hence, in heavy metal subcultures musical and societal aspects are intertwined. Research into heavy metal variations, therefore, gains from sociological analysis as an extension of the studies of the musical phenomena and its stylistic features.

Death Metal originated in the USA in the mid-1980s as a continuum of thrash metal’s development. The emergence of death metal was a consequence of the world socio-political situation with conflicting moral values between East and West. Death metal is tied to satanism, occultism, nihilism, and the idea of “death as the only justice in the world”. Death metal music characteristics are: dark-toned metal guitar riffs in the melodic line; work with tone reverberation and colour using tone and sound distortion (e.g. through electric sound, by using a booster, sound modifier, or echoing in precise frequencies); tremolo picking; blast beat drumming (the “ripping blow”); the palm mute technique (a guitar technique executed by placing the palm of the...

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