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Old 03-29-2007, 05:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rock: In reality, just a generic term. Discuss.

I've been thinking more and more about this lately:

Taking into consideration the ENTIRE proliferation of styles and sub-genres that ultimately fall under the umbrella term "rock music", when all's said and done, there really is nothing at all that qualifies a popular music form as being "rock", other than that it doesn't fall under either Jazz, Urban, Country, Blues, Electronica, Avant-Garde, Folk, Gospel, Reggae, or any other type of well-defined World music.

To state the case a little clearer; while those other aforementioned, widely recognized popular music genres are pretty well-defined in terms of musical characteristics, it's much harder, impossible even, to define "rock" music based on purely musical grounds.

Ultimately I see rock as just a generic term.

Discuss.
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If this were true, then how would we recognize the fact that new sub-genres fall under the rock umbrella? Obviously there have to be some stylistic elements which define rock music.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If this were true, then how would we recognize the fact that new sub-genres fall under the rock umbrella? Obviously there have to be some stylistic elements which define rock music.
Well fair enough...but if they are, then what *are* they? The answer should really contain something pervasive throughout rock. If it's missing somewhere or other, then that doesn't account for that genre also being seen as rock.

I've tried to answer this. I can't do it. Who can?
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Guitar-driven music usually encompassing a bass, keys, or drum set somewhere within there. I win.
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Guitar-driven music usually encompassing a bass, keys, or drum set somewhere within there. I win.
That's exactly my point. It needn't necessarily be guitar-driven at all,if you look at the full range of types of music that fall under the term "rock" (piano rock for one!). In fact, there sometimes isn't even a guitar involved at all. And even if it "usually" has a bass guitar, keyboards and a drum set, what if it does not? Often these days, with many experimental rock bands, the entire set of sounds may be synthesized. Ok then, let's say instead "a bass sound and a drum sound somewhere within there". Well, that could describe jazz, hip-hop, and country. In fact, isn't country music typically guitar-driven, usually with a bass, keys and a drum set somewhere within? I guess then you could say that country music is a subset of rock. But hang on, it isn't. Country precedes "rock music". Maybe then, rock is a subset of country. I'm sure nobody's gunna go for that.

All "guitar driven with bass, keys and drums" describes, ultimately, is a classical rock set-up (and the set-ups of some other popular music genres outside of rock, too). But things moved on ages ago. There are now (and have for a while been) many, MANY exceptions to the rule within rock and its widely recognized subgenres.

Is rock as it is today then to be defined on purely musical and stylistic grounds, or on something else entirely?
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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the foo fighters pretty much define the term rock music
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the foo fighters pretty much define the term rock music
No The Beatles do.

The Foo Fighters perfectly define the term "crap."
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Old 03-31-2007, 02:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No The Beatles do.

The Foo Fighters perfectly define the term "crap."
I think, rather, that the Beatles, at least as far as goes their early material, perfectly define "rock'n'roll".

The Foo Fighters are pretty much the embodiment of post-grunge/alternative hard rock music. That's not to say they're good. But they give a good idea of what everything else in the genre sounds like :-/.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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beatles define pop
rolling stones are rock
chuck berry is rock n roll
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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All genres are generic terms.
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