Rock is a topic not often touched on because of its complexity and its evasion by conservative adults. Often viewed by them as "a bunch of noise", Rock music is very complex. In fact "It's stylistic scope is too broad to be encompassed by any single definition" (Groliers Encyclopaedia). The nearest definition suggests a kind of music that represents and speaks for the teenage society. This music is characterised by using a heavy beat. In this musicology, I intend to describe the technical aspects that make Rock Music what it is. I'm also going to divide Rock music into four sections: Rock of the 50's, of the 60's, of the 70's and of the 80's. Within these sections I'm going to discuss several sub-topics such as famous composers and groups, and characteristics of the music.
Rock music shares many technical aspects. Most rock music is based on the same harmonies as Western music, especially the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords. The series of chords known as the 12-bar blues is based on these three chords and has figured prominently in certain styles, especially Rock & Roll, Soul Music, and Southern Rock. Other common harmonic devices include the use of a drone, and the parallel movement of chords, originating from a technique on the electric guitar known as bar-chording. Many elements of African American music have been a continuing source of influence on rock music. These characteristics include riffs, emphasising the second and fourth beats of each measure, and dense buzzy-sounding tone colours.
The 1950's marked the birth of Rock n" roll. Alan Freed was the first disc jockey and concert producer of rock and roll. Freed was the man responsible for with coming up with the name of Rock & Roll in 1951. This opened the door to white acceptance of black music, replacing white cover versions of songs written by Blacks in favour of the R&B originals. It was ironic that the term Freed was using to make rhythm and blues more acceptable to a white audience, was slang for sex in the black community.