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Rock Music As A Performing Art

2538 words - 10 pages

Rock Music as a Performing ArtIntroductionRock and Roll, Rock 'n' Roll, also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals, often with harmony, electric guitars, a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. It has been credited with ending wars and spreading peace and tolerance, as well as corrupting the innocent and spreading moral riots. Rock has become popular across the globe, far from its birthplace in the United States, and evolved into many varying styles.History or Rock and RollRock and roll emerged as a defined musical style in America in the 1950s, though elements of rock and roll can be seen in rhythm and blues records as far back as the 1920s. Early rock and roll combined elements of blues, boogie woogie, jazz and rhythm and blues, and is also influenced by traditional Appalachian folk music, gospel and country and western.Going back even further, rock and roll can be traced to the old Five Points district of mid-19th century New York City, the scene of the first fusion of heavily rhythmic African shuffles and sand dances with melody driven European genres, particularly the Irish jig.Rocking was a term first used by gospel singers in the American South to mean something similar to spiritual rapture. By the 1940s, however, the term was used as a double entendre, referring to dancing, but with the hidden meaning of sex. An example of this is Roy Brown's "Good Rocking Tonight," which was a song relegated to "race music" (the music industry code name for rhythm and blues) outlets and were barely known by mainstream white audiences.In 1951, in Cleveland, Ohio, a disc jockey named Alan Freed would begin playing this type of music for his white audience, and it is Freed who is credited with coining the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the rollicking R&B music that he brought to the airwaves. On March 21, 1952 in Cleveland, Freed (also known as Moondog) organized the first rock and roll concert, titled "The Moondog Coronation Ball".The audience and the performers were mixed in race and the evening ended after one song in a near-riot as thousands of fans tried to get into the sold-out venue. It is little wonder that in 1983, leaders of the music industry joined together to establish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame foundation, in Cleveland Ohio.There is much debate as to what should be considered the first rock and roll record. Candidates include the 1951 "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, or later and more widely-known hits like Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" "Johnny B. Goode" or Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock". Some historians go further back, pointing to musicians like Fats Domino, who were recording in the 40s in styles largely indistinguishable from rock and roll. These include Louis Jordan's "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby," Jack Guthrie's "The Oakie Bookie" (1947) and Benny Carter and Paul Vandervoort II's "Rock Me to Sleep"...

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