How Old Is Rock Music?Posted by Mike Schuck
As we discussed in our article about what era an album is from, music does not only contain lyrics and melodies, it is also made up of sounds. There are several different types of sounds used in music, including vocals, instruments, and whatever type of noise or clapping you choose to add onto songs.
The type of sound included in this article will be bass tones, treble notes, and mid-range frequencies. These are usually referred to as your song’s base, middle, and top notes.
Bass typically includes materials that feel heavy like drops of water, balls dropping down, or weights being dropped into place. Mid range can be anything form drums to flutes playing certain parts of a song. Treble is high pitched music with lots of sparkles.
This article will discuss how old various artists and bands are by adding and subtracting one year from their most recent studio album release date. Some may include information such as when they began recording or performing for the first time which will be left out of the numbers.
There is no formal way to determine if an artist has reached retirement age or if they are still very popular so we will have to make assumptions. We will use their debut album as their official cutoff point and assume they are no longer actively creating new material if they have gone at least three years without releasing one.
Origins of rock music
When people say that rock is too old to die, they mean it! There are many theories about where rock music comes from, but none have been completely proven. Many think that rock evolved out of blues music or R&B music, which both use lyrics and musical themes that grow increasingly complex as songs progress.
Some believe that hard rock got its start with heavy metal, an offspring of early punk music. Others say that classic rock was born in the 1960s when musicians returned to using more melodic compositions and less emphasis on extended guitar riffs.
Whatever theory you choose, remember that even if one seems farfetched at first, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be true! In fact, some believe that what we call “classic rock” isn’t actually classical music at all, but rather popular music inspired by the classics.
The 1960s rock music revolution
During the 1960s, there was an explosion of new music styles that we refer to as ʻrock music.’ These new genres included surf, power, folk, soul, funk, jazz, blues, classical, and others. This is because most of these songs consisted of lyrics with musical accompaniments and rhythms that people could relate to.
Many consider the 1970s to be the golden era of rock due to the emergence and success of artists such as David Bowie, Queen, Pink Floyd, and Frank Sinatra. However, during this decade, musicians were experimenting more with different sounds than they had in previous years. Artists like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles continued to inspire newer generations of musicians while also proving to be successful sellers.
The sixties didn't really end until the early 1980s when MTV started playing mostly new wave music for its channel. Artists such as New Wave Dance, Hair Metal, And I Love Hitting Things! grew in popularity quickly. Even though it wasn't considered mainstream music at the time, these bands have now left legacies within the genre.
As technology has advanced over the past few decades, some have attributed the influence of the iPod to why older artists are still popular today. Since the iPod allowed for easy listening to various artists and albums, many people have learned how to appreciate other types of music beyond just what radio stations offer.
The 1970s rock music revolution
During this era, there was an explosion of new music styles that incorporated rich lyrics, complex instrumentation, and experimentation with sound. This is referred to as progressive or radical music. Some examples include punk, heavy metal, grunge, alternative, indie, and electro-music.
Many musicians and listeners of these genres cite the decade as having a significant impact on their lives. They say it gave them inspiration and motivation for life.
This is because many songs contain powerful messages about issues such as love, death, politics, and social justice. Others mention personal experiences like struggles with depression or addiction.
Some even make references to things we all can relate to such as money, fame, and self-image. All of these concepts can be difficult to deal with, but they are also helpful in understanding ourselves and our world.
The 1980s rock music revolution
During the eighties, there was an explosion of new genres and styles that have influenced today’s music. These include synth-pop, grunge, hip hop, alternative, indie, and more!
Many consider the era to be defined by two specific events: (1) the rise of popularized synth music like Kraftwerk and Duran Duran, and (2) the emergence of heavy metal as an influence.
Metal had already been around for years, but in the early 80’s it experienced a major resurgence in popularity. Artists such as Judas Priest, Metallica, and Iron Maiden were just what people needed to learn how to listen to heavy music.
Overall, the decade saw many different types of music emerge and take over the world.
The 1990s rock music revolution
In the early to mid-1990s, there was a huge explosion of new music that came along and completely took over the genre. Artists like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many more left their mark by making it big during this time frame.
Many people credit these artists with changing how other bands sound and inspire other musicians. By listening to the songs and studying what they do, you can learn a lot about songwriting and recording techniques as well as bass playing, guitar riffs, and voice styles.
These bands also made an impact outside of music. Many of their songs have lyrics about issues such as death, depression, love, and life. Some even feature strong political messages or statements!
Music from the 2000s is much different than music from the 1990s. There are no albums that contain clear examples of anything beyond bubblegum pop, party tunes, and easily memorized lyrics. This makes the 2000s very difficult for aspiring writers to come across material to study.
The 2000s rock music revolution
In the early to mid-2000s, there was a dramatic shift in how people listened to music. Artists like Jay Z, Drake, and Kanye West ushered in an era of listener engagement through lyrics that actually mean something, storytelling albums with messages, and musicians who actively participate in their fan base’s growth.
The latter two have even been referred to as “artist-ownership models,” which is what the media has given this term because they believe that artists develop relationships with their followers that feel more like business partners than just consumers.
These artist-owner models are not only effective, but also motivating for the artists who struggle at first due to the nature of the relationship, but eventually grow close with their fans.
For example, musician Tyler Carter mentioned how his success took years and he still struggles sometimes when he feels that his hard work hasn’t paid off yet. But his audience always reminds him that it will!
And back in the day, musicians didn’t have much online presence beyond very few social accounts and no website or forum posts. Nowadays, many artists maintain large followings on all major social media platforms as well as frequent blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels.
Overall, the availability of technology makes it easy (and incentivized) for artists to interact with their audience and promote themselves. This interaction can be done virtually any time, anywhere, and almost without cost.
The future of rock music
As we enter what is considered to be the golden era for music, people are starting to wonder how long this state of affairs can last. With technology advancing at an incredible speed, it seems like there’s always something new that can be done with music.
Music producers have been innovating their craft by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into songs and musical styles for some time now. Even human-machine collaborations such as songwriting services have become increasingly popular.
In fact, many believe that AI will eventually take over all aspects of recording and producing music. Technology companies are investing heavily in voice recognition software and natural language processing, two important components used in these services.
Voice recognition allows computers to listen to audio recordings and independently determine what each word means. This technology has already seen widespread use in things like automated phone calls and online chat conversations.
Natural language processing does the same thing but instead determines the tone, emotion, and context of spoken or written material. For example, advanced NLP programs could one day produce a complete summary of a book you read, or identify key parts of a speech you listened to.
There are still some kinks to work out when it comes to both technologies, but they seem inevitable at this stage. Over the next few years, we should begin to see more and more examples of them being integrated into the music production process.
Popular rock bands
Most people know what kind of music popular bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, or Jay Z are. These artists are typically categorized as either “alternative” or “pop-rock.” However, there is a very fine line between alternative and pop-rock.
Alternative musicians may use guitar melodies and riffs that have been used before in songs written by other artists, but they are usually done so to make them sound new.
Pop-rock bands, however, will take tunes with well known lyrics and add drums, bass, and guitars for an overall more palatable experience. Artists such as Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Ariana Grande fit into this category.
But what about all those other bands that seem totally out of place? Why not call them just old then? That would definitely be easier!
Scientifically speaking, we cannot say how old most popular rock music is. It seems, though, that most consider anything after 1975 to be considered old music.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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