rock and roll

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Rock and Roll Music : 

Rock music emerged during the mid-1950s to become the major popular musical form of young audience in the United States and Western Europe. Its stylistic scope is too broad to be encompassed by any single definition; the only feature common to all rock music is a heavy emphasis on the beat. Rock and Roll Music

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It evolved from jazz and the blues. Rock’s first superstar was Elvis Presley. With his country-and-western background, Presley led the way for other “rockabilly” (rock plus hillbilly) artists; with his spasmodic hip gyrations, he introduced a suggestiveness that outraged conservative adults; with his regions of teenage fans, he brought to rock the cult of personality and became the archetype of the rock star as cultural hero.

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Since the 1950s rock music has come all the way through the renewal of rock in the 1960s, the Beatles, from England, the rock music of the 1970s with much more subdivisions: hard rock, mellow rock, folk-rock, country-rock, heavy metal rock, glitter rock, new wave rock, etc., and then the eclectic 1980s when bands became production oriented partly because of the sudden explosion of “videos” on TV screens.

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The scope and significance of rock remains without precedent in the history of popular music. Beginning as a minority expression on the fringe of American society, it developed into a distinct counterculture during the 1960s, and a decade later had become a dominant cultural force, affecting and reflecting the moods of American youth and weaving itself into the very fabric of society.

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It is difficult to say exactly how the music we call “rock” and “roll” began. Its roots go back to many different countries and many different kinds of music and musicians. Rock music developed mainly from the interaction of black African and white European music. The Europeans and African slaves who came to America during the seventeenth century each had their own different kinds of music. Black Africans

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used heavy drumbeats, a rough singing voice, and the calling of a melody and answer of a chorus. The white Europeans, mostly English and Scots, used a stronger melody, a less heavy beat, and instruments such as guitars, horns, and fiddles. The history of rock and roll is the history of how rock developed from these two traditions. From the seventeenth to the twentieth century, musicians in the southern United States developed two new forms of music: the the blues, usually played by blacks, and country music, played by whites. Black musicians sang the blues accompanied by a

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guitar. This music was similar to work songs: stories of troubles and pain, with lines that were repeated several times. The words “ rock and roll” probably came from the black churches in the South, where people sang spiritual music and danced to the strong rhythms, which they called “rocking and reeling”. At the same time, whites were playing country music, which was mostly traditional dancing music and slow songs that told sad stories. The singers were accompanied by string instruments such as fiddles and guitars.

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During this time blues and country musicians had some influence on each other, but the influence grew stronger after phonograph records became popular in the late nineteenth century. The birth of the electric guitar changed country and blue music in the 1940’s. The sound of the electric guitar would become the sound of rock and roll. No one thinks of early rock and roll without thinking of Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock and Roll”. Elvis was an ordinary boy. He grew up poor, learned to sing in church, and became a truck driver when he graduated from high school.

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No one thought that this young man with the guitar would change popular culture. But after he recorded two blues songs in Memphis, everything changed. He sang throughout the South, and teenagers went crazy over his amazing voice and his attractive performances. His music was an exiting mixture of white country and black blues. With his long hair and tight pants, he became a teenage idol. In two years, he was a national phenomenon.

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Elvis’s career then went downhill. He went into the army, then stopped performing and made a series of bad movies. He continued to record, but his music rarely had the life of his early songs. He remained the symbol of rock and roll, however, not only in the United States but also around the world. He died in 1977, at the age of 42, but his music did not die with him. Rock music continues to develop and change, but the heart and soul of rock is the same heart and soul that Elvis expressed.

Summary : 

Rock and Roll developed from various kinds of music of many countries. But it was largely the interaction of black African and white European music during the seventeenth century that influenced the development of Rock and Roll. From the 17th to the 20th century these two types of music shaped the music of the world bringing about two new forms of music, the blues and country music. Rock and Roll formed from the blues of the black and the country music of the white in the Southern United States. It reached its height with the birth of the electric guitar and the appearance of Elvis Presley, who though he died young remains today a symbol of Rock and Roll. Summary

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