Weekly Review: Mardi Gras all over the world
Rock places a higher degree of emphasis on musicianship, live performance, and an ideology of authenticity than pop music. As a genre, pop music is extremely eclectic, often borrowing elements from other styles including urban, dance, rock, Latin and country; nonetheless, there are core elements which define pop. Unlike many earlier styles of popular music, rock lyrics have dealt with a wide range of themes in addition to romantic love: including sex, rebellion against "The Establishment", social concerns and life styles. These themes were inherited from a variety of sources, including the Tin Pan Alley pop tradition, folk music and rhythm and blues. Music journalist Robert Christgau characterizes rock lyrics as a "cool medium" with simple diction and repeated refrains, and asserts that rock's primary "function" "pertains to music, or, more generally, noise." The predominance of white, male and often middle class musicians in rock music has often been noted and rock has been seen as an appropriation of black musical forms for a young, white and largely male audience. As a result, it has been seen as articulating the concerns of this group in both style and lyrics. The term "pop song" is first recorded as being used in 1926, in the sense of a piece of music "having popular appeal". Hatch and Millward indicate that many events in the history of recording in the 1920s can be seen as the birth of the modern pop music industry, including in country, blues and hillbilly music. Rock musicians combined an emphasis on skill and technique with the romantic concept of art as artistic expression, original and sincere". In the new millennium the term rock has sometimes been used as a blanket term including forms such as pop music, reggae music, soul music, and even hip hop, with which it has been influenced but often contrasted through much of its history..
Such elements include generally short to medium-length songs, written in a basic format (often the verse-chorus structure), as well as the common employment of repeated choruses, melodic tunes, and hooks. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four. Melodies are often derived from older musical modes, including the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, rap rock, and rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and synthpop revivals at the beginning of the new millennium.
Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass guitar and drums. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break through into the mainstream in the form of grunge, Britpop, and indie rock. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political in emphasis. since the late 1950s, however, pop has had the special meaning of non-classical mus[ic], usually in the form of songs, performed by such artists as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, ABBA, etc". Grove Music Online also states that "… Punk was an influence into the 1980s on the subsequent development of other subgenres, including new wave, post-punk and eventually the alternative rock movement. in the early 1960s [the term] 'pop music' competed terminologically with Beat music [in England], while in the USA its coverage overlapped (as it still does) with that of 'rock and roll'". In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted against the perceived overblown, inauthentic and overly mainstream aspects of these genres to produce a stripped-down, energetic form of music valuing raw expression and often lyrically characterised by social and political critiques. Classically, a rock band takes the form of a quartet whose members cover one or more roles, including vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist, drummer and often that of keyboard player or other instrumentalist. The sound of rock is traditionally centered on the electric guitar, which emerged in its modern form in the 1950s with the popularization of rock and roll, and was influenced by the sounds of electric blues guitarists. The sound of an electric guitar in rock music is typically supported by an electric bass guitar pioneered in jazz music in the same era, and percussion produced from a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. This trio of instruments has often been complemented by the inclusion of others, particularly keyboards such as the piano, Hammond organ and synthesizers. The basic rock instrumentation was adapted from the basic blues band instrumentation (prominent lead guitar, second chord instrument, bass, and drums). A group of musicians performing rock music is termed a rock band or rock group and typically consists of between two and five members.