The History of Rock and Roll Music
Rock and Roll music originated from the United States in the mid 1950’s and was mainly popularized by Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry . The phrase consisting the name of this music genre was originally used to describe ship movements in the ocean. This genre of music also referred to as rock ’n’ roll, was essentially a hybrid of the elements from other white and black American music styles . Rock and roll borrowed a lot from jazz, the blues, gospel and country music. The music was extremely transformative and prompted the shift from the traditional musical norms. Due to various influences, rock and roll music has undergone some changes since its emergence. In the mid-1960s, it was simply referred to as rock music. The continuity of this genre was marked by a break from the previous period. This paper traces the origin and development of the rock and roll music.Rock and roll music is perhaps the most transformative in the world since its emergence although it was not the only music. This genre of music led to the creation of a new movement where people ceased fearing to be different. Rock and roll music was specifically a stepping stone for the Americans; it features the changes in America after the war. Being different became a cool idea among the teens as the music was popular among the youths . Rock and roll music was the most accepted and despised in the 1950s. Despite the controversies surrounding the music, it became universal and helped in breaking down the existing racial barriers. Different races had the chance to dance together on the dance floor.
The combination of the sounds from country music, jazz, gospel and the blues created a fast, loud and liberating sound which majorly appealed to the teens. Most of the elements of the Rock and Roll music are evident in the blues recorded in the 1920s and country music in 1930s. An older version of Rock and Roll music known as Rockabilly was a merger of jazz and country music.
The birth of the rock and roll music was greatly influenced by race, social changes, economy, teen culture and technology. It presented a major liberation from the existing dullness of the life of the Americans. The black population resulting from the decades of slavery acted in shaping the social life although the two races had long existed in separation. The birth of the rock and roll music was therefore self-directed . The fact that America during the emergence of the rock and roll was totally racist cannot be overlooked in the discussion of the influences leading to the musical change. In the 1950s, the record stores and local radio stations were revealing the tastes of the black music. There was an integration of the two cultures which introduced the whites to the emotional life led by the blacks.
The end of the Second World War brought forth economic developments which in turn led to technological improvements. This led to the multiplication of producing industries and hence expansion of the music industry. Rock and roll was gradually commercialized by the youths leading to huge participation profits . During this period, the youths took charge of the media industry and were the key determinants of the music to be played. They listened to the black music and popularized it. All these factors played a vital role in the rise of the rock and roll music.
Rock and roll features the most prominent use of simple phrase structures and the 12-bar blues . This music genre exhibits a strong sense of rhythm and heavily accented beats which were made popular by Earl Palmer in the “THE FAT MAN”. To create more effect, the genre draws a lot from an electrically amplified instrumentation. A combination of all these elements gives rise to energetic performance characterized by an outstanding rhythm and a catchy danceable sound. The noteworthy stylistic difference between Rockabilly and rock and roll is that the former featured lighter drum sections which were occasionally fully dropped and more acoustic instrumentation .
James Brown is a notable rock and roll singer who earned names such as the Godfather of soul due to his exceptional performances. He was a major figure in the 20th and influenced the development of various music genres majorly the popular music. His hit “PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG,” got much public approval. This song is still a hit despite the fact that the singer is no more. Ideally, listening to his music for the first time might not find it much appealing but it becomes fun when one gains the habit. The song is deep-rooted in the American culture and thoroughly in African. The integration of the two gives the track a unique characteristic necessitating quick shuffles, stage spins, splits and consistent knee-drops. These styles are often imitated by many musicians and admired by those who cannot do them. This music is very much compelling particularly to me. It is universal and could be listened by all groups of people in all events. It does not expose any offensive characteristics. One can easily identify with the singer emotionally due to the lyrics used. This genre in most cases is grounded on nostalgia.The rock and roll music has proved more worth than any other music genre. Its emergence created a platform for the supposedly ‘Silent Generation’ to express their interests. It is a genre that unites all the races and social groups. Despite the changes that the genre has undergone over the centuries, it is still a great source of leisure and lessons. This genre has also changed to incorporate the new social developments. It is the only genre that has survived all the transitions and maintained its historical worth.