We all know what rock music means. Rock, well, it ROCKS! But did you know the term rock and roll goes way, way back? In the 1700s, rock & roll described the front-to-back and side-to-side motion that made sailors sick at sea.
Roots of Rock Music
The roots of Rock grew in the fertile soil of African American jazz and rhythm and blues music. To “rock & roll” had a religious meaning in gospel music. Worshipers would “rock and roll” when moved upon by the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Hadyn Quartet first recorded the phrase on a phonograph track called The Camp Meeting Jubilee in 1904. Of course, the phrase also carried a double-entendre sexual undertone.
Rock & Roll
Today, Rock Music typically carries a 4/4 time and uses electric guitars, bass, drums, and at least one vocalist. Rock was the soundtrack of the counter culture movement. In 1986, Radio stations started a new format for Rock Music. They played Rock hits created between the late 1950s and early 1980s. They called it Classic Rock, and the radio format flew high with bands like The Byrds. The format was sometimes called Oldies. It crossed over to Gen X’ers in the 1990s and remains popular to this day.
Rock Music’s Influence
The sound of Rock has changed dramatically over time, spawning major music genres like Alternative, Punk, Heavy Metal, and New Wave. While defining Rock Music can be challenging, Rock always has an edge to it. Rock makes us feel pumped up and ready to face the day. It challenges and inspires us with its soaring instrumentals and personally relevant lyrics. The charisma of Rock’s greatest artists gave birth to the modern rock star image, combining killer music with on-stage presence and personality.