Rock Vs Pop


Rock Vs Pop Essay, Research Paper

Music is an outlet to all aspects of life and has a significant way of

forming people and the way they live. Although not always seen directly, culture

has an overbearing influence on the music that is produced and made popular. The

political climate of the early seventies was full of fire with issues such as

Vietnam and constant protest throughout the Unites States. Social issues also

played a major role in the developing culture of the seventies. Bands often used

their popularity to spread their feelings on such topics. They were, and still

are, the central of communication between all genres of all people across the

world. The music these bands produced, while broadcasting their opinion, also

helped shaped our culture. Through twenty years of constant criticism from

people who did not believe in rock music, the power of the band’s opinions still

affects how our country feels about many topics. Some of the things that affects

how the public feels include lyrics, image, and sound

Both classic rock music of the seventies and modern rock music of the

nineties use music to speak to the public. They always have used their

popularity to demonstrate their feelings on wars, depressions, and beliefs.

Almost all rock music groups have had at least one point in time where they

address war, and the feeling of fighting for what is right was often found in

lyrics. Many people believed that the classic rock groups were bad for the soul

or included the use of mind-altering substances and promiscuous sex. There was

more to rock music than this, much more.

In the musician’s lyrics, from the classic rock music era of the seventies to

the more modern forms of rock music of the nineties, many good things have been

extracted. Although there was the use of drugs and there were some bands that

were against authority, the musician’s from both eras found their lyrics to be a

useful source of output and to let the audience and the public know how they

stood on political or social issues.

Sadly enough, however, modern rock music has taken on a different type

lyrical content. Many of the lyrics found in modern rock music is extremely

vulgar, unlike most of the music from the seventies. Modern rock music has

earned a reputation for being high impact, loud, energetic, and intense. People

often associate the message of all modern rock music as containing nothing more

than violent anti-government statements and messages of alienation, once again

stirring up ideas in the public, and having an immense impact on our society,

young people, public views on music, and other rock music bands. Often, unlike

classic rock bands, which tried to pursue peace in a more relaxed type of

lyrical content, modern bands offer nothing more than a continued sentiment of

hostility towards the fans. As a result of the belligerence, many blame the

decline in morale in young people today on the messages, which are transmitted

through lyrics and vulgarity.

The image in which all rock groups convey, including both modern and classic,

is one of rebellion and anarchy. Both genres were for the most part, rebellious

of the typical traditional way of life. In each musician’s personalities, there

was a belief in which molded a band’s image. Some of the beliefs include

Christian and gothic type music. Although there were many bands that fell

outside of these two categories of musical and lyrical content, almost all rock

groups fell under one of the two stereotypes. Christianity is a more relaxed and

non-belligerent form of communication and gothic is hard core and denounces

organized government and religion. Whether or not the band actually pushed their

beliefs on others, the lyrics were written and did convey certain messages to

anyone that listened to the music, whether it be a song by Led Zeppelin or Limp


In our modern world, most people are not afraid to speak out and most people

do so. Our society is more open to new ideas and our music reflects this

thought. Lyrics in modern rock music are much more vulgar than those of the

seventies. Part of the reason may be that because our society is open to new

ideas and thoughts, musicians can get away with progressively more vulgarity in

lyrical content. The difference in the type of lyrical content used in the

seventies compared to that of the nineties goes without question. The musicians

today are much more liberal in what they say and what they present to the

public. Although both modern and classic rock music have been almost an outcast

of society for twenty years, modern rock is more open and expresses a more

gothic gesture than most classic rock music.

There has always been a unique sound each band has that attracts certain

fans. "From the beginning of time, mankind used it’s voice as well as

objects such as wood, rock, and sand in order to create harmonious

melodies" (Romeu 1). Throughout time, science progressed as well as

innovation, and with this came the dawn of new instruments such as drums,

pianos, flutes, and guitars (Romeu 1). Both eras of rock used these types of

musical instruments in one way or the other. They are the essentials of music.

Although there are modified forms of instruments and there are even new types of

instruments, music still manages to convey a message of one type or another to

all that listen. Music grows with time and as the people change, so does their

choice of sound. Music has evolved in so many ways in the past five decades,

that there are numerous genres of music, including disco, pop, classical, rap

and country. With the spread of ideas between bands, comes the combination of

all type of music. "Although music styles have changed throughout the

years, musicians remain the same, constantly adapting sounds to evolving

technologies" (Romeu 1). Whether or not we want music to change, a

musician’s preference in which manner he expresses himself will forever be in

change. Modern rock and classic rock both evolved in their time period. With the

innovation of technology, come new sounds and that is what makes a band unique.

Music has now evolved into a new sound known as Techno. Many of the

instruments are electronic and most bands compose the beat via keyboard.

Numerous people dislike the new sound and "Techno critics complain that the

computer-generated sounds have caused music to lose its soulful existence"

(Romeu 1). "Although there may be dissension within elctronica music

circles, the sound has united Europe and the U.S. with it’s popularity" (Romeu

2). Sure enough the new sound has started to spread rapidly throughout our once

guitar-based music culture and the speed and catchy beats amaze almost

everybody. Modern rock now utilizes electronics to do the job that a traditional

drum and bass guitar would do in a classic music based rock group. The concept

of our society accepting new ideas plays a major role in why our music changes

so much and techno is probably a direct result of this concept.

Lyrics, image and sounds of modern and classic rock music groups play a major

role in how our country feels on political and social issues. The lyrics, images

and sounds of both eras have evolved and have shaped our culture. Musicians use

their music to express their ideas, to celebrate, to mourn or to simply tell a

story (Romeu 1). People will always use music to find answers and the musicians

will use their popularity to spread message to the public. This took place in

the seventies, the nineties still has power of music and the future is sure to

have the power of music. How will the music evolve in the future? Nobody knows,

we have to leave that up to our society to figure out how our music’s lyrics,

image and sounds will change.

Romeu, Jeanette. 13 February. 2001: 2 pages. On-line. Internet. Available


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