Archive for the Concepts Category

What the heck is progressive rock???

Posted in Concepts on July 24, 2010 by Mr. Roboto

Have you listened to rock songs that are thirty minutes long with three drummers and you need to listen to it fifty times before you get it? That’s progressive rock!!!

Jokes aside, progressive rock or “prog” rock is basically just a complex form of rock. That’s it! Getting familiar with the ingredients that make rock more complex or “progressive” is the best way to understand the genre. Here are some of the most important ones:

Timbre – The instrumentation goes beyond the basic guitar, bass and drums. You’ll find flutes, violins, saxophone, synthesizers, etc…

Form – The structure is more complex than the simple verse-chorus format. You may find classical forms and extended instrumental passages. Songs can be pretty lengthy.

Rhythm – Time signatures other than common 4/4 and tempo changes.

Melody/Harmony – Unusual scales and chord progressions.

Lyrics – You’ll be hard pressed to find a common topic like love. You’ll find a lot of fantasy, folklore or social themes.

Concept – The music, lyrics and album art are unified by a common theme or story.

Technology – Production of this kind of music is usually pushes recording technology to its limits with synthesizers, computers and other inventive tools.

The more you find these elements in the music, the more progressive it is.

With prog rock is best to classify the material and not the artist. Some bands were only progressive for a while like Rush in the 70’s. And then there were bands that  released only one or two progressive rock albums like The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers (considered the first prog rock album) or The Who’s Tommy and Quadrophenia.

The best examples of classic progressive rock of the 70’s are known as The Big Six: Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and ELP.

There are also other notable bands that were progressive without the excesses like Kansas, Supertramp, Marillion, Styx and ELO.


O que diabos é rock clássico?

Posted in Concepts on July 13, 2010 by Ogro

Se você leu o post anterior do Sr. Roboto talvez já tenha alguma resposta na ponta da língua para o título desse post.
Ou talvez você ache que rock clássico é um conceito tão óbvio, tão presente, que nem precisa ser definido – rock clássico é rock clássico, oras!
Qualquer que seja sua escolha das opções acima, ou uma outra que você está louco para compartilhar com o mundo, saiba que você está ERRADO… e certo ao mesmo tempo.

Alguns puristas dirão que “clássico” refere-se a um certo período da história somente, que não se pode usar esse termo para músicas de épocas diferentes.
Não importa a sua definição, alguns artistas do rock serão considerados clássicos por todos, não é?
O que você acha do Led Zeppelin? Rock clássico, claro. Alguns desavisados classificariam ainda como “heavy metal” porque além de Stairway To Heaven escutaram Rock And Roll e acharam muito “pesado”.
Esses mesmos ouvintes esporádicos do rock não sabem quem é Chuck Berry ou ouviram Help dos Beatles e acharam o máximo.
Bem, estão certos quanto aos Beatles, mas sabe quantos anos separam os Beatles do Led Zeppelin? Poucos.
Como definir um período para um gênero musical que tem pouco mais de 50 anos de vida?
Quando considerar um rock como “clássico”? Cinco anos depois, dez anos, vinte?

Esse blog vai colocar seus conceitos à prova.
Você acha que é um ‘rocker’? Então levanta da cadeira e aumenta o volume!


Putting the “Classic” in rock

Posted in Concepts on July 9, 2010 by Mr. Roboto

So what the heck is Classic Rock???

I want to start out by asking this basic question because all my music selection for this blog will be based on what I think classic rock is.

There are no hard and fast rules to define the genre so a lot of people out there have their own interpretation. Despite some different opinions, there are a few ideas out there that everybody seem to agree upon. I think all you have to do is to look at the name itself: Classic Rock. The definition of the word “classic” explains a lot: a work of highest quality with enduring value. Now the word “rock” simply narrows down to the kind of artwork we’re talking about here.

So with this information in mind. I ask myself three questions when defining a work as classic rock:

How old? To earn enduring timeless value you just have to be around for a while to prove it! I think a recording has to be at least 20 years old to qualify as classic rock. That also seems to be the norm out there.

How popular? I have my own personal taste of quality and value but common recognition is the key here. If I was the only person in the world who appreciated Mozart, it would not have been the classic (and classical!) it is today.

Who? Well, it has to be a rock recording coming from a rock artist at heart. This classification can be a challenge in itself. There are other types of artists occasionally recording rock music but I don’t take those into account.

So in response to the original question, this is my definition of Classic Rock…

Mr. Roboto