Where Did Rock Music Originate?

Posted by Mike Schumacher

Many people are not aware of where rock music originated. Some say it came from England, some say America, but none can agree on anything beyond that. What we do know is that there were many genres of music before rock. Folk songs, country songs, rhythmical melodies, you name it!

Most consider jazz to be the first true form of rock. Jazz was characterized by long extended improvisations with catchy themes or motifs. A classic example of this would be Miles Davis’ “My Favorite Things.” This song consists of two main parts, each lasting over five minutes.

In the early years of rock, bands mostly stuck to these rules. They would play an instrumental piece for several minutes, then repeat part of the lyrics, and so forth. These pieces were linked together by a melody or theme which became known as a hook.

This wasn’t always the case, though. Early rock musicians did not necessarily link their separate sections into one large composition. Rather, they would start playing a riff (a short repeated phrase) and see what kind of music emerged.

We may never fully understand how individual elements in rock music gel into something greater, but there’s a good chance that everything you’ve listened to up until now has used at least one element originating here.

Oceanic cultures

where did rock music originated

As we know, music has been around for a very long time- even before humans! There are many theories about where early music came from, but no one is sure with certainty. Some say that it was invented by prehistoric musicians who used rhythm to communicate or celebrate important events.

Other experts believe that early music originated in ancient Africa and Asia as rhythmic chants and songs. These melodies were eventually mixed together and elaborated upon, leading to what we call rock music today.

Some hypotheses state that early cave men sang simple tunes to each other using sounds such as groans, growls, and cries. It is thought that these singers inspired later generations to do the same, creating the foundation of music theory.

What we can be certain of is that early human beings made sound together, and they still do to this day. Singing is a universal language which allows people all over the world to connect.

Mix of all of the above

where did rock music originated

There are many theories about where rock music originated, but none is completely correct. Some say that it was born in England with British musicians incorporating blues, jazz, and folk into their songs. Others believe that it was founded in America with bands creating their own style by mixing together various musical genres such as punk, heavy metal, and new wave. Still others contend that it was inspired by African drums and melodies which were incorporated into Western music.

There you have it! All three types of roots exist within the genre today. Certain artists blend one or more components into their sound to create what we recognize as rock music.

Generalizations cannot be used when talking about music. No two songs written at around the same time will ever truly sound alike. What makes one song become popularly recognized as rock is not only the lyrics and melody, but also how well the artist integrates different styles into his or her music.

Popularity of the internet

where did rock music originated

As technology advanced, so did our music listening experiences. The rise of the mp3 player made it possible to listen to songs anywhere, anytime. Technology also allowed for people to create their own music via software or apps that use algorithms to put together pieces of music or lyrics into an album or track.

You can now upload your own music onto websites like Spotify or Apple Music, which give you access to a library of mostly new music. Or you can make your own by buying music either individually song or albums from Amazon or iTunes!

Music has always been around since humans first started making sounds, but there was never really an outlet to share those sounds with other people until more structured ways of recording and sharing these tunes came about.

Popularity of live concerts

where did rock music originated

Another significant factor in music evolution is the popularity of concert listening. Artists like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, or Beyoncé could not survive without their dedicated fan bases that attend many of their performances.

Rock bands such as The Beatles or Led Zeppelin needed large venues to be financially stable. They needed to earn enough money for tickets, concessions, merchandise, etc., so they could pay the bills and keep performing.

Music artists now can make even more money due to the availability and prevalence of music streaming services. Some of the most popular ones include Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio. These sites offer free trial accounts that you can test out to see if it works for you.

Note: As of this writing this article, there was no mention of whether or not Apple’s new service will allow users to create an account using a Facebook or Google login.

Popularity of listening parties

When music artists begin to share their songs with each other, or have listener-participation events like hangouts or listening sessions, it is called a listening party. Artists who enjoy each other’s music will often invite each other to join them for a song or few they recently listened to. This is where the concept of rock music as we know it was born!

Rock musicians would meet at local pubs, coffee shops, or anywhere there were people to listen and discuss the lyrics, the vocals, and how the instruments interacted together.

These informal get-togethers inspired more organized gatherings where bands would play for each other. These are usually done in nightclubs or large open spaces where people can watch the performance.

This is where most modern forms of popular music originated. The genres that exist today — such as pop, hip hop, country, and even jazz — all owe their roots to this setting.

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