The 10 Different Types of Rock Music

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Singing, we will, we will rock you, we will, we will rock you! Everybody, we will, we will rock you! If you are not hearing those lyrics in your head, I don’t know what to say! I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the word “rock”, I start singing the legendary song of the Queen.

That song is an ideal way of whipping up Queen fans into excitement, such as myself, and back at the time, in 1990, if I’m not mistaken, it was also the ideal way of kicking off their new album.

Man, take me back in time, everything used to be so much fun and meaningful, and now is like we are living in a world of people that all they know how to do is TikToks. I mean, how can I forget the rock gems, such as Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Sympathy for the Devil by Rolling Stones, or Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple.

The nowadays generation will never understand the pleasure and the happiness that one can fill while listening to those legendary artists and their songs.

The History of Rock Music

Like everything else, Rock has also evolved through the years. It was and is a very popular music genre that began as “rock and roll” in the United States in the 1940s and early 1950s, and after it evolved into several different styles in the mid-1960s and later, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Beatles were at the forefront of this evolution, pushing the album ahead of the single as the main form of recorded music expression and consumption in the mid-1960s. Their contributions gave the genre mainstream cultural credibility, ushering in a rock-informed album period in the music industry that would last several decades.

Rock music has also embodied and acted as a vehicle for cultural and social movements, spawning major subcultures such as the mods and rockers in the United Kingdom, as well as the hippie counterculture in the United States in the 1960s.

Rock music has been associated with political action as well as shifts in social attitudes toward race, sex, and drug use, and is frequently considered as an expression of young revolt against adult consumerism and conformity, inheriting the folk heritage of the protest song. At the same time, it has been a commercial success, prompting accusations of selling out.

Characteristics of Rock Music 

Before getting into all the types of rock music, let’s understand a bit about how rock music functions and how that powerful beat is created.

So, the sound of rock music is heavily influenced by blues, rhythm and blues, and country music styles. Rock is built on the electric guitar as an instrument, usually in a rock band with electric bass, percussion, and one or more singers.

In rock music, an electric guitar is usually accompanied by an electric bass guitar, which made its debut in jazz music at the same time, and percussion is provided by a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. Other instruments, notable keyboards such as the piano, Hammond organ, and synthesizer, have frequently been added to this triad of instruments.

The fundamental rock instrumentation was derived from the instrumentation of a blues band (prominent lead guitar, second chordal instrument, bass, and drums).

Rock Music Genres

 Below you will find a bunch of rock genres, I tried to include the most known one possibile.

Alternative Rock

Alternative rock made its debut in the 1980s as, well, an alternative to rock as it was known at the time. Many of the qualities of classic rock are present, as well as elements from various rock subgenres and even completely unrelated genres such as hip-hop.

Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sonic Youth. Do they ring a bell for you? Well, if you are a fan of alternative rock. those groups will sound familiar to you.

Rock ‘n’ Roll

Rock ‘n’ roll is one of the earliest subgenres of rock music, originating in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones are just a few of the rock ‘n’ roll legends who helped shape it.

Progressive Rock

Progressive rock is a rock subgenre defined by musical virtuosity, crazy compositions, and intellectual lyrics. With the formation of bands like Pink Floyd, Rush, and Dream Theatre in the late 1960s, the style gained popularity.

Odd time signatures and extended songs are hallmarks of this style of rock music. Complex compositions and instruments are also common among progressive rock bands.

Blues Rock

The early to mid-1960s saw the emergence of blues rock, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, and ZZ Top were among the first bands to adopt this type of rock music.

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic culture has had a significant influence on psychedelic rock. To give the subgenre a distinct nature, bands that play this style of rock music use hallucinogenic studio effects including reverb, distortion, reversed sound, and phasing.

Indie Rock

Simple instruments and a clear melody are key to indie music. This style of rock music evolved in the United Kingdom and the United States during the 1970s and 1980s. The fundamental idea of indie rock was to counteract rock music’s excessive commercialism.

Acid Rock

The garage punk movement of the mid-1960s influenced acid rock. Many people lump acid and psychedelic rock together, while others consider psychedelic rock to be a subset of acid rock.

Punk Rock

Punk rock has long been regarded as a hybrid of garage rock and traditional rock ‘n’ roll. It offered a brand-new alternative to 1970s rock ‘n’ roll music.

Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Green Day are a the most famous bands of Punk Rock.

Folk Rock

It combines folk music with rock music’s powerful guitar riffs and percussion. The origins of this subgenre can be traced back to the early to mid-1960s in the United States.

The Byrds and Bob Dylan are acknowledged with being the first performers to attempt to combine the two genres. Despite the fact that the new hybrid folk-rock music genre did not appeal to the folk community at the time, it swiftly became widespread.

Soft Rock

Rock music is known for its harsh and strong sounds, therefore the phrases “soft” and “rock” don’t usually go together. Nonetheless, this type of rock music was well-received by a large number of people.

Soft rock first debuted in the rock music scene in the United States and the United Kingdom in the mid to late 1960s. To create a gentler tone, the subgenre borrows elements from folk-rock, baroque pop, and brill building.

Final Words

You will be thinking that these are the only types of Rock music, but that’s not the case here. There are other types of rock music, such as Arena Rock, Funk Rock, Garage Rock, Space Rock, Electronic Rock, Experimental Rock, Art Rock, Stoner Rock, Instrumental Rock, Jazz Rock, and a few other types of rock, but I have listed only the types of rock that by my estimation had a greater impact through the years and are more known for the fans of rock music. So, rock star, keep on rocking this life, and don’t stop listening to the gems of rock music! 

Further Reading

Rock music is a type of music, but you guys should have in mind that there are a lot of music types, especially I would like to add six music genres and types for studying that you can check out. Another thing that I would like to mention is the different types of house music, as there are many of them that should be known.

Now, being more specific, I would like to add the reasons why autistic people wear headphones!

Josh Harper

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