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How to Distinguish Styles of Rock Music

Rock music is a genre in music and anyone familiar with the “rock and roll” style of music in the United States will comfortably tell you where rock emanated from. This is especially those born in the mid-1950s. The genre traces its origin from the African electric blues and folks. It also incorporated influence from country, classics, rhymes and the electric jazz. However, with time, rock music evolved and different styles emerged, specifically in the UK and US. In the early 1970s, different subgenres of classic rock music had come up. For example, the Adult Alternative Rock, American Trad Rock and the British invasion among others. Additionally, other hybrids like country, jazz, raga, and folk rock continued the pedigree. In this article you will find out how to recognize some of the styles of rock music.

  • Acid Rock Music

These are the ‘A’ class rock music that defies the original traditions of the song formulae. They are characterized by improvisation, solo instrumentals and their lyrics are less in comparison to the ancient genres. The sound emanates its name from the 1960s acid trips and they include the Adult Alternative Rock, the America Trade Rock and the Arena Rock. The pioneer for this class of music included Iron Butterfly, Jimmy Hendrix, and Crème.


  • British Invasion

Also known as the Britpop. The British invasion is an ancient rock tracing its origin from the United Kingdom. The genre was seen as more of a movement rather than a music genre and is believed to be influenced by scenes in the 1960s like the Suede, the Verve, and the Placebo. Some of the great performances were done by the Blur and Oasis band and up to date, debate still continues on who was the best between them. With emerging trends such as the American grudge witnessed in the 1990s, the Britpop changed their tone to mix the cultural experience of the working Britons with a straightforward yet kind of poignant lyrics.


  • Comedy rock

Unlike the other sister genres, comedy rock has been known to apply satire in its work. The style fuses satire and parody into music. This helps escape the usual emotional tune that the other genres have been characterized with. Quite often radio presenters, actors and voice comedian present a caricature of world stars like Elvis or even act on certain themes by famous actors. Many careers have spawned as a result of comic rock. For example the cult classic bands, the Tenacious D, the fight of Concords, etc.

  • Dark Cabaret

This style is characterized by vaudeville tones and uses pianos to invite a charming mood. The style was performed mostly by the Tiger Lilies and it was set to bring out the glamour of the Berlin pre-war mixed with the savage side of the punk. Dresden Dolls are however the pioneers of the cabaret rock sound.



  • Electronic Rock

Just like the other rock music genre, electronic rock traces its sounds the Nine Inch Nails to the floatier leaps of synthpop. The sound was first experienced in the 60s and 70s and was influenced by the Moog synthesizer. The 80s experience acts like The Human League, and Gary Human that produced the Pet Sound album recorded using the tannerin. Electronic rock continues to undergo development in attempts to blend with new sounds. The transformation from nu gauze to electroclash is a classic example of this shift.



  • Funk rock

Little Richards and James Brown are believed to be pioneers of funk rock music. In the 1950s soul and blues were mixed with rock sparks and noise and the experience was a revelation. With time, musical complementary have been added to the sounds to mimic the moods. The guitar and the drum, however, remain core in the sound of funk rock.

  • Hard rock

This is one of the rock genres that are always undergoing change over time. Originally, all the heavy metal sounds like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were grouped under a hard rock. With diversification, critics argued the phrase was general and saw the need for distinction. The name was therefore dropped in the 80s. Fast forward to 2000, bands like Autoslave that used rock and metals describe their songs as hard rock once again. Even though seen by many as a general descriptive phrase, hard rock importance in telling the development of rock music cannot be understated.



In Conclusion

The various genres of rock music helped shape the face of socio-cultural movements around the globe. Mods and rockers are examples of subcultures that have been nurtured by rock music.