When Did Rock Music Become Popular?Posted by Mike Schumacher
As we know, music has always been important to people. Since the beginning of time, songs have influenced culture and style. There are many theories as to why this is so, but one theory that gets popular attention is that rock music was what made other genres possible.
Prior to the 1950s, there were not very many options for music. Most people listened to classical or folk pieces, both of which emphasize harmony and structure. Then, in the early 50’s, music became more upbeat and experimental. This is where things like jazz and blues come from!
But it was not until the mid-50s when another genre really took off; rock music. To understand how significant this genre is, you need to recognize some key points about it.
First, most of today’s major artists were directly inspired by classic rock bands. The musicians who played in these earlier groups left legacies that helped launch their careers.
Second, almost every famous musician loves rock music at least partly because of its influence. Many use references to rock music in their own musical styles, even if they don’t consider themselves “rock singers.”
Third, while not all rock is related to each other, any given piece usually fits into one of several categories: punk, alternative, hip hop, etc.
This article will discuss some of the ways that rock music influenced society, from fashion trends to politics.
The rise of radio
As we know, music has always been popular, but it was not until the 1920s that rock music became mainstream. Radio played an important part in this transition as people learned how to use their stations as advertisements for new songs or artists they wanted to play.
In the early years of radio, most DJs would pick a song by chance, then try to convince listeners to like the song or the artist behind the song. This did not work very well as most people were listening to different songs at each station. It took an entrepreneur with money to invest in radio equipment who realized that instead of trying to get people to listen to his/her music, he/she could make more money playing other songs first.
He/She created what is now known as “radio programming” where s/he makes money every time someone listens to his/her show. This way, not only do they learn about new music from him/her, but also gain knowledge of advertising strategies.
The rise of television
With the development of radio, music began to spread beyond just people who listened to it. As technology advanced, we were able to create televisions that could display pictures as well as audio. This is what made music become popularized.
Televisions now have screens the size of walls or even ceilings, so they can be used for not only watching shows, but also listening to music!
Many believe that MTV was the main reason that music became more widespread than ever before. Not only did they show you how to enjoy songs, but some actually gave you examples by creating special events like Dance Parties or Artists’ Tributes.
These parties feature an artist telling their story while they sing some of their most famous songs.
The rise of movies
Before there were radio stations, music was mostly listened to directly through instruments or by singing along to songs you heard in church or at home. It wasn’t until someone figured out how to record sound that people started recording their own versions of what they liked!
Music recording is kind of complicated so let’s look at it from basics. Whenever we make an audio recording (e.g. phone call, conversation, song), two things happen: one is our voice comes together with the other person’s voice, and the second thing is what equipment we use to take those sounds and put them onto a physical medium like tape or disk.
The technology needed for this to work isn’t expensive, but producing and distributing recordings took a lot of money which is why most early musicians worked for big companies instead of creating their own material.
It’s important to note though, that although large corporations owned the vast majority of recorded music, every individual had access to whatever piece of media theirs was assigned because everything was distributed via vinyl, cassette, or CD. Albums could be listened to many times so individuals didn’t need to keep buying new copies, making it more accessible than ever before.
With the internet now, however, anyone can upload anything anywhere at any time meaning it no longer holds true that only major label artists have exposure. People share YouTube videos all the time and smaller groups create their own materials easily as well.
The rise of advertising
With the advent of mass media, advertisers began to target specific demographics or groups of people. They would create products that appeal to these audiences so that they will purchase them!
Music was a powerful tool for advertisements in the past. Advertisers would use music to connect with audience members who shared similar musical tastes.
Rock songs have always been popular, but it is not until the 1980s when rock music starts becoming more mainstream and being used as an advertisement for things such as cars, clothes, and gadgets.
Some may consider this shift towards using music for advertisements as too marketing-focused, but I believe it is just natural evolution.
As societies become more connected through technology, we see ads popping up everywhere you look. It is unavoidable at this stage.
Technology also makes it easier to produce content, which means there are newer ways to advertise every minute. This is what made it possible for brands to hone their craft.
Image courtesy of unsplash.com.
There are several types of advertisements, some are quite blatant while others can be much sneakier. A classic example of the first type is putting out a movie or show that is entirely filled with product placement.
This is where companies pay to have their name or image included in the production to promote themselves. Product placement can sometimes feel exploitative though, especially if the viewer does not know what company is being advertised otherwise.
The rise of teenagers
As we know, music has always been popular, but it was never as mainstream or widespread as it is today. It took mass media for that to happen!
Television, magazines, radio, and now, the internet all contribute to making sure that not only most people can listen to music, but almost every person can get some sort of exposure to new songs or artists. This is what made rock music become popular-it could be enjoyed by anyone!
Not just anyone though, it was accessible to both older and younger generations. Kids grew up listening to rock music and parents let their kids enjoy it too!
There are many reasons why this happened, but one of the biggest factors is the shift in demographics.
As more and more young people began to spend time in public spaces like schools, malls, and restaurants, they needed something to entertain them.
Music became the solution.
It does not matter if you like hard, heavy metal, soft acoustic music, or anything in between, there will be an album or song for you. (Seriously, there’s even an Album of the Year award for it!)
Finding newer music isn’t very difficult anymore either since companies have technology that scans the web for newly released songs or albums.
The rise of older generations
As we mentioned earlier, rock music was never really popular among people over the age of twenty-five. It is mostly made up of songs that feature lyrics about love and loss, and sometimes political statements.
The genre originated in the United States during the 1950s, when musicians such as Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison (of The Doors), and Eddie Vedder incorporated rhythm and blues and folk into more complex musical pieces.
These artists were considered pioneers of what would later be called “rock” or “hard rock.” Since then, many other bands have emerged with their own style, including genres like grunge, alternative, heavy metal, and hip hop influenced rock.
However, it was not until the early to mid 2000s when most people started listening to rock music again. That is when artists like Adele, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and One Direction entered the scene and took over America’s music charts.
Not only did these artists manage to make top-charting singles, but they are still recording music five years later! This proves how successful and long lasting their music has been.
Overall, this article showed us that even though rock music may seem very old, there are always new ways to listen to it and learn from its lyrics.
The rise of social media
It is impossible to talk about rock music without talking about artists, songs, and albums that shaped our culture. Artists like Adele, Taylor Swift, Drake, and Rihanna have dominated the Billboard charts for years with their incredible tracks!
Many people credit these musicians’ success to having a large fan base online. By sharing song lyrics, videos, and pictures of them, they are able to connect with their followers and get feedback.
Their fans can comment, share, and praise or criticize their work which helps promote an artist group or individual.
This influence is very powerful as we know from psychology how important communication is.
Psychologists also describe it as “influence” because it is similar to what teachers do when they try to motivate students in school. Your thoughts and actions affect your emotions and behavior, and people around you watch those changes and respond to them.
So even if someone does not agree with your favorite band or singer, they may respect you more because of it.
The rise of famous musicians
As we know, music has always been popular, but it was not until the 19th century that people began to recognize individual artists and get inspired by their songs and musical styles. Before this era, there were no major song stars, just singers who performed for large crowds in concert or groups with similar songs and melodies.
It is from the Industrial Era that we get our first real sense of an artist as someone worth listening to! Between the years 1750-1820, several important rock genres had their origins, which include Folk, Classical, and Rap. Some even consider these genres to be part of what makes up Hip Hop today!
These three can all be described as “telling stories through lyrics and music”, so they are related at least superfically. They also feature repetition and rhythm, both of which are integral parts of most songs. These elements combine to create something close to unity where one piece fits seamlessly into the next.
This article will discuss when and how each of these genres became popular and well known. However, before we dive in, let us take a quick look back at some milestones in history.
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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