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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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This book follows the work that commenced in its counterpart, On the History of Jazz Music. Both books are the result of a major resarch study in which 403 jazz rhythm patterns and 420 rock patterns were analysed in order to identify rhythm archetypes in both music genres.

Using musical and theoretical analyses, On the History of Rock Music follows the development of rock music from its origins up to the present time. It focuses on the relationships between the sound, improvisations and rhythms in particular styles, and gives specific attention to the development of rhythm as one of the characteristic elements of rock music. The beat-offbeat principle, polyrhythms and poly-metrics are fundamental to rock rhythm patterns. Patterns behave as archetypes for specific rhythms. An archetype is a prototype, a model, or an innate experience of a species.

When a particular music style establishes specific rhythm patterns, they become its typical features and appear in new forms in the style’s subsequent development. In comparison with jazz, rock music more frequently uses the principle of pattern repetitions.

By the means of rhythm analyses, it is possible to not only identify the characteristic rhythm patterns used in particular rock style eras, but also to determine the basic rhythm pattern – the archetype – which characterises rock music in general. However, the complexity of archetype analysis is compounded by the patterns’ tendency to engender new variations.

The research findings show that of a total of 420 analysed...

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