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Rock is a genre of music that has its roots in 1940s and 1950s Rock n Roll and Rockabilly, it also evolved from Blues and Country, as well as owing a large amount of credit to the work of Robert Johnson.

The All Music Guide tells us;
“In its purest form, Rock n Roll has three chords, a strong, insistent back beat, and a catchy melody. Early Rock n Roll drew from a variety of sources, primarily Blues, R&B, and Country, but also Gospel, traditional Pop, Jazz, and Folk. All of these influences combined in a simple, blues-based song structure that was fast, danceable, and catchy.”

Generally speaking, Rock would make use of a prominent vocal line, with backing by guitar, drums, and bass, there are, of course, styles of rock that also use keyboards including; organ, piano, mellotron, and synthesizers.
Other instruments that can be heard in rock include saxophone, harmonica, violin, flute, banjo, and timpani. Also, on rare occasions stringed instruments work their way into the Rock genre

In the 1960s and 1970s, rock combined forces with other genres, including Blues, Jazz and Folk, there was also the creation of sub genres, some of the most distinctive were Progressive Rock, Garage Rock, Pub Rock and Psychedelic Rock, there was also soft rock (which is obvious what that is), Heavy Metal, hard rock (which should also be obvious what that is, and Punk.

Rock generated sub genres in the 1980s as well, including, Hardcore, variations on Punk, Indie, and Industrial Rock.

On to the 1990s and Rock generated Grunge, Britpop, and Nu Metal.

We at Altopedia are convinced that Rock is, without a doubt, here to stay!!

Some Bands to Check Out

Listed below is some artists that have caused Rock music to evolve, linked to their own pages within Altopedia, and a few personal Altopedia opinions in brackets.


AC/DC (wonderful band, very much ahead of their time)

Aerosmith (highly underrated, in spite of their huge reputation)

Alice Cooper (an artist that everyone needs to see live, at least once)

The Allman Brothers Band (genius of their day)

The Animals (one of the first bands to be what they were)


Bad Company (The perfect combination of Blues, Rhythm and Blues and "Stadium Rock")

The Band (an artist that has managed to achieve everything, before most artists did anything)

Billy Joel (one of the greatest songwriters of this generation)

Black Sabbath (another band that managed to achieve everything in Rock and Heavy Metal, before most bands did anything)

Blue Oyster Cult (incredible and immense sound)

Bon Jovi (maybe a little towards the Pop world, but they did bring this sound to a bigger market)

Boston (a classic part of their own generation)

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (if you were to look up "big sound" in the dictionary, there should be a picture of these people)

Buddy Holly (we're sure everyone knows, this guy changed the world of music)


The Cars (true classic)

Chicago (another true classic)

Chuck Berry (without this guy, Rock music would have taken a very different direction)

Cream (The ultimate combination of so many genres)

Creedence Clearwater Revival (combining Blues and Rock, in their own genius)


David Bowie (if you can't at least appreciate this man, then please give up listening to music)

Deep Purple (innovative, original)

Def Leppard (maybe another act that's a little towards Pop, but they bought this genre to a wide audience)

The Doors (The definition of originality, and individual)


Eagles (legendary, we're really not sure there's much more to say)

Electric Light Orchestra (genre defying and musically talented)

Elvis Presley (one of the originators, but fundamentally a covers artist)

Eric Clapton (possibly one of the most highly skilled guitarists of all time)


Fleetwood Mac (genre defying, combining musical styles from so many cultures)

Foo Fighters (modern day classics)

Foreigner (defining their own style)


Genesis (a large amount of their tunes were genius, although the more popular tunes, are a somewhat debatable)

Grateful Dead (a great band, well worth investigating)

Guns N' Roses (a great band, but probably more impressive with some of the things that happened after certain members left them)


Heart (fun, music needs fun)


Jane’s Addiction (incredibly innovative)

Janis Joplin (a true originator)

Jefferson Airplane (an important part of their time)

Jethro Tull (a great band, who made some important changes)

Jimi Hendrix (without this man, music could have been a little different)

Journey (a big sound)

Judas Priest (classics)


Kansas (a huge sound)

The Kinks (an influence on the influential)

Kiss (quite simply fun, something the world needs)


Led Zeppelin (a stunning blend of Rock, Heavy Metal and Blues)

Limp Bizkit (Nu Metal done well)

Linkin Park (possibly should be considered a Pop act)

Lynyrd Skynyrd (musically redefining legends)


Mötley Crüe (a band that defined the attitude that goes with Rock n Roll


Neil Young (another of the originators)


Pink Floyd (true genius)

Prince (the ultimate in genre crossover, part Funk, part Rock, part Soul, a bit of pretty much every style)


Queen (if you can imagine a genre of music, Queen probably fused it with Rock)


Rage Against the Machine (a band that made Nu Metal something astounding)

Red Hot Chili Peppers (Funk, Rock, fusion)

R.E.M. (maybe a band from the world of Indie, but such an innovative artist)

Robert Johnson (probably the ultimate originator, an influence on the influential)

Rolling Stones (essentially a Blues artist, but also a great Rock band)

Rush (some of the most talented musicians in the world of Rock)


Santana (a highly talented guitarist who successfully fused Latin-Jazz and Rock)

Scorpions (a German Rock band, founded in 1965, a lot earlier than people think)

The Smashing Pumpkins (a band from the Indie side of life, but also so much more)

Steely Dan (a fusion of Jazz, Rock, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, and Pop)

Steve Miller Band (a classic band, who date back a lot further than people think, formed in 1966)

Stevie Ray Vaughan (an American musician, singer, songwriter)


Talking Heads (Post Punk originators)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (a classic artist)


U2 (a band that grew out of the Christian music scene, and went through a number of genre changes, as well as some time with Brian Eno as their producer)


Van Halen (such a massive sound)

The Velvet Underground (where would music be without their contribution?)


The White Stripes (another band from the Indie side of life, but who deserve much more acclaim)

The Who (cited by countless other artists as an influence)


Yardbirds (ahead of their time influences on countless other artists)

Yes (Progressive Rock innovation)


ZZ Top (Blues Rock classic artist)