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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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The 1980s Synthesis and Polystylistic Rock Music

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The research on rock rhythm patterns has lead to the conclusion that the different terms used by journalists for the same rock music style are unnecessary because, owing to musical characteristics such as rhythm, musical forms, types of improvisation and cover versions, the new genres do not always introduce new elements. This particularly applies to black metal, death metal and grind core. However, despite not always having new musical structures, these styles differ from one another by their place of origin, and by the attitudes of the subculture, which are largely being expressed in the lyrics. The issue is also complicated by the fact that particular bands (for example the Cure, and Siouxsie and the Banshees) may, in their development, go through diverse style changes (from punk, neopunk, through to gothic rock and on to alternative rock); or the same projects (such as Peter Gabriel’s and Sting’s) may be termed soft rock, pop rock or adult pop. In addition, terms such as art rock or progressive rock, alternative rock or indie rock, electronic rock or industrial rock are used for an album with pieces composed in the same style.

The 1980s, in particular, seemed to bring only a reappearance of the previous hard rock, art rock (progressive rock), punk rock and heavy metal rhythm patterns. A similar revision had already occurred in the early 1980s with the emergence of new wave and other styles like hard core, speed metal, thrash metal, and alternative rock (which encompasses independent music,...

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