An Essay on Rock Music

Sample essay on on Rock Music for school and college students.

Rock music is a group of related music styles that have dominated popular music in the West since 1955. Rock music began in the United States, but it has influenced and in turn been shaped by a broad field of cultures and musical traditions, including gospel music, “the blues”, country-and-western music. Classical music folk music, electronic music, and the popular music of Asia, Africa, and Latin America (often grouped together under the term “world music”). In addition to its use as a broad designation, the term “rock-music” is used to refer more specifically to music styles after 1959 predominantly influenced by white musicians.

Other major rock-music styles include rock and roll, the first genre of the music; and rhythm and the blues music (R&B), influenced mainly by black American musicians. Each of these major genres encompasses a variety of sub-styles, such as heavy metal, punk, alternative, and grunge. While innovations in rock music have often occurred in regional centers—such as New York, Kingston, and Liverpool—the influence if rock music is now felt worldwide.

The central musical instrument in most kinds of rock music is the electric guitar. Important figures in the history of this instrument include jazz musician Charlie Christian, who in the late 1930 was one of the first to perform the amplified guitar as a solo instrument; Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker, the first blues musician to record with an amplified guitar (1942); Leo Fender, who in 1948 introduced the first mass-produced solid—body electric guitar; and Les Paul, who popularized the instrument in the early 1950 with a series of technologically innovative recordings.

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Elvis Presley introduced a music that was sexual suggestive and outraged dull adults. In time he changed the style of the music by adopting a country and western style and became a national hero. By the end of this decade and the start of the next, Rock n.’ Roll started to decline because it was formula ridden and it was too sentimental. Teenage audiences transferred their allegiance to Folk music. In 1963 the renewal of Rock n.’ Roll came when The Beetles started to play. The Beetles, for some the best rock group ever, were from Liverpool, England.

Through the 60s, The Beetles dominated the record industries and with their dominant instrumentation, which included: electric leads, rhythm, and bass guitar, drums and sometimes an electric organ, changed the name of Rock n’ Roll to just Rock. During the 1960s many other styles of music arose from Rock like, Motown, Soul music, Jazz-rock, Folk-rock and others. Folk-Rock the most appreciated of this derivation and was first suggested by Bob Dylan. This kind of music brought to folk music a hard beat and amplification; and to Rock, a new poetic style.

At the start of this last decade, rock groups became more production oriented, mainly because of the sudden explosion of videos. This new sensation was a good way to sell music to the people. Heavy metal bands were greatly pushed by videos, but most helped were the popular performers like Michael Jackson, Prince and Boy George. The influence of British bands of punk, disco, reggae and pop-rock was still big in the U.S. Rock scene. At the same time, there of nostalgia to return to the older pre-rock music, likes rhythm and blues, which was suggested by Elvis Costello. By the middle of the 80s, almost every country had begun to support indigenous music, and at the end of this a vigorous talk-song style called rap became extremely popular among urban black teenagers.


Since its inception in the 1950s, rock music has moved from the margins of American popular music to become the centre of a multi-billion-dollar global industry. Closely connected with youth culture, rock music and musicians have helped to establish new fashions, forms of language, attitudes, and political views. However, rock music is no longer limited to an audience of teenagers, since many current listeners formed their musical tastes during previous decades.

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