How Would You Describe Rock Music?Posted by Mike Schumacher
What is rock music? Is it an instrument, a genre, or a type of song? Some people may describe it as artists that sound like they have one style who covers other genres and styles, but we will go with its defining element: songs!
Songs are usually between three to eight minutes long and typically use rhythm, melody, and lyrics to communicate something about the artist and/or the listener. When musicians create their own songs, they typically start with either the bass line, the drum beat, or both and then add melodies, riffs, and vocals.
Some say that heavy metal bands take influence from power chords while hard rock bands feature more complex chord progressions. But what really sets these types of songs apart is the drums!
The drummer plays at a steady pace with strong beats that keep time for the rest of the instruments. This creates a sense of unity among all of the parts coming together in sync.
During the 1980s, music dominated the radio waves and store shelves.
The 1990s was an incredible time for music! New artists emerged that are now famous, such as Adele, Taylor Swift, Twenty One Pilots, Ariana Grande, and many more! Artists from this era include catchy songs with lyrics you can understand.
Music videos were also very entertaining to watch. They feature dramatic scenes and lots of flashy effects. Videos like “I’m On A Boat” by Nickelback or “Closer” by Ne-Yo show how professional musicians work hard while performing their favorite song.
The term “rock” has always been tricky to define, but for your purposes here, we will stick with the classic version. If you were asked what kind of music people listened to during the decade that ended in 2009, then you would describe it as having elements of rhythm, bass, melody, and lyrics. All four of these parts are important!
The element of rhythm usually includes songs with steady rhythms and instrumental tracks such as jazz or blues pieces. Important note: this doesn’t mean every song needs to have a steady beat like something out of the bar scene! Some songs may feature syncopation (where one part is paced slightly faster than another) which adds some variety to be enjoyed.
For example, if a listener was looking for an album to listen to while working, they could choose a track with soft melodies and vocals set against a fast tempo. This would make the music feel more motivating!
The second element is bass, which is typically the tone or pitch of the instruments when played alone. Many musicians use bass guitars, pianos, or other types of keyboards to add this low-frequency sound.
Thirdly, there should be enough melody to recognize each line of the lyrics and/or instrumentals to remember who all the members of the band are. More importantly, the lyrics must contain at least some sense of theme or content to identify them properly.
Recent trends in music have been categorized as “modern rock” or sometimes just referred to as “rock and roll.” This genre is characterized by its use of energy, lyrics that relate to daily life, and emphasis on individuality.
Many consider modern rock to be your average run-of-the-mill song with an ordinary chorus and catchy melody. What sets this style apart is what comes after!
What follows the main theme and/or verse is called an outro. An outro typically features some sort of expression or conclusion to the song. For example, at the end of a song about love, you might hear someone say things like “I will always love you” or “Don’t let go”. A similar concept applies here; most modern rock songs feature something interesting to say about self-love or personal growth.
This effect was popularized by artists such as The Beatles, Coldplay, and Nickelback. Many other bands fit into this category, including ones of our own generation! (Keep reading for more examples.
What is popular rock? This term can be tricky, because what people consider “rock” changes with time. Some would describe anything with a heavy bass line as having “Rock music influence.” Others may only recognize a few specific genres as being truly rock like Punk or Heavy Metal. A third group might include any song with an acoustic guitar in it as “soft rock.” All of these types of songs are influenced by rock, but none take place in completely within the genre boundaries of rock.
Some say that classic rock is just about everything before 1990 that fit into the definition of rock we give above. To them, all those things are part of the cannon of rock music.
However, other experts disagree and feel that some of the most well known artists from the past did not fit this description at all. For example, many argue that Elvis Presley was never really considered to be a true artist until later in his career when he started producing more complicated songs. They also question whether The Beatles were ever called hard-hitting musicians since much of their success came from catchy tunes.
To make matters even more confusing, some use the terms soft and hard rock interchangeably.
Metal is often described as being about power, strength, and glory of music, but what does that really mean? Power can be defined as having strong emotions, so yes, heavy metal definitely fits into that category.
Strength refers to how well the song lyrics work together and emphasize important themes or concepts. Many people describe heavy metals as being straightforward and simple, which makes sense because most songs are just one or two main ideas with some riffs and vocals to back them up.
Music writers have a hard time describing this genre due it not matching their idea of what rock sounds like. Since many people consider rap to be more of a style than a genre, there’s no clear-cut definition for heavy metal.
However, we can agree that heavy metal artists use instruments such as bass, guitar, drums, and sometimes keyboards to create sound effects and textures that contribute to the overall theme of the song.
What is dance music? That is, what type of songs make up this genre? Technically speaking, any song with a frequent chord progression that uses drums as its main component is considered to be part of the dance music category. A bass line or groove also contributes to the definition. Songs with such components can be fully instrumental (no vocals) or have very little content beyond the rhythm of the track.
Dance music typically includes strong beats, catchy melodies, and lyrics that seem to go away only for short amounts of time. Lyrics usually tell you how to enjoy the night or give motivating messages that appeal to people in different moods.
Hip hop music
When hip-hop first exploded into mainstream popularity, there were not very many of us listening to it. Now it is one of the most popular styles of music in the world. It is hard to describe what makes this genre unique though.
What sets hip hop music apart from other genres are its lyrics. More than half of all songs contain at least some sort of lyric – that is just how musical artists write their songs. Lyrics can be funny or serious, but they always convey a message and usually tell a story as well.
Another defining feature of hip hop music is its production. The way each song sounds depends heavily on who produced it and what equipment they used. A producer who has solid skills in recording technology will leave their touch on the songs they work on.
Overall, musicians in the hip hop genre have strong writing and producing skills which help them create great songs. They also understand the value of having a large fan base so they spend time making sure their audience likes what they make before moving onto the next thing.
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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