Top 10 Rock Features

He rock Is a musical genre that emerged from the combination of other preexisting musical types, mainly rhythm and blues and country.

However, it is also influenced by jazz, blues and classical music.

Characteristics of the rock.  Rocker on stage with guitar

Its origins date back to the 1950s and its appearance took place on the music scene with songs based on three fundamental chords and melodies that have endured in the collective imagination.

In this sense, rock can be defined as a style with simple structures, similar to those used by blues musicians but with a faster pace.

According to music experts, the songs Fat Man , By Fats Domino in 1949, and Rocket 88 Of Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner, in 1951 they were first of the rock. You may be interested in this article on Interesting phrases of rock .

However, according to the specialized magazine Rolling Stone , The first rock and roll song was That's all right mama , Recorded in 1954 by Elvis Presley, one of the founding fathers of the style. Also notable are The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

The lyrics talked about sex, drugs and political issues to revolutionize established canons and the music scene. The main instrument was the electric guitar above others.

Due to the preponderant role of rock in the musical history, I leave you some of the characteristics that define it but with variation in its different subgenera. F

The main characteristics of rock

Top 10 Rock Features

1- The structure

In its beginning, and throughout its history with modifications, the structure of the rock has certain characteristics that marked its style.

Thus this musical genre is based on a type of short verses, on a base of few chords, that are distributed between the verses and the refrain with a constant rhythm.

2- The solos

It emphasizes the incorporation of instrumental solos in the songs, replacing in certain stanzas the sung phrases.

3- Thematic

One of the characteristics of rock is to reflect explicitly other realities such as sex, war, vices and death, among others.

In turn, rock also brought a great autoreferential meaning to its lyrics, with many artists sharing their intimacies within the scene.

Social criticism was also the order of the day. Thus, rock collected many of the facts and concerns of contemporary societies.

4- Amplification

One of the central features in the emergence of rock was the electronic evolution allowed by the amplification systems that marked the beginning of the genre.

Also, the presence of microphones for voices and other instruments, indicated a new way in the way of making and listening to music.

5- Conformation of the bands

The conformation of rock bands is characterized by the presence of three central instruments, in addition to the voices: guitar, bass and drums.

However, other instruments, mainly the piano or the wind can be added. With this musical conception led to a melodic simplification and the concept of big band was left aside.


One of the central features that characterizes the rock from its beginnings is the musical dirt.

With effects that can alter the sound waves of the instruments and the more emotional intonations of the vocalists, this genre was characterized by being more dirty than the preexisting ones.

This sensation was accentuated by the constant syncopation, in which the accents appear in unexpected moments of the compass.

7- The irregular pulse

The pulse in music is used to measure time. Through a repeated and constant succession of pulsations, regular temporal divisions are achieved that order the song.

Rock broke in some way with this dominant logic in music. With deviations and the incorporation of variable impulses and intensities, this genre revolutionized musical history.

In addition, the time becomes irregular, with the possibility of varying from song to song, being slow, medium or accelerated, according to the tastes and needs of each composition.

9- Instrumental Polyphony

While maintaining the rhythmic base of jazz or blues, rock brought to the music the idea of ​​polyphony with instruments that interact in improvisation on the melody.

10- Improvisation

Related to instrumental polyphony and jazz improvisation, rock implemented a novel mode of musical interpretation with its appearance on the scene.

The scores served as a guide and each musician could add within the tonal spectrum the arrangements that best work with the melody in question.

In jazz, improvisation occurs on the rhythmic basis with alternating moments of prominence, whereas in rock can be given with small contributions of each instrument in any part of the song.


  1. Magazine Rolling Stone, 50 Years of Rock and Roll, 2004.
  2. This Is America - Rock and Roll History, Part 2.
  3. Rock (music), Simon Frith Jr. and Ed Ward, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.

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