Modern music genres have become somewhat of an curious phenomenon, much of what people were listening to say 30 or 40 years ago, had a far broader yet clearer genre classification and representation, with genres such as Rock, Jazz or Classical. Contemporary music culture has shifted since then and the line between these staple genres has blurred, categorizing music into an exact defining style is no longer our society’s way.

Much of today’s music combines influences from a variety of styles and genres, expanding into subgenres and creating new musical culture. This blog reveals 3 different genres, each with a recent respective release and a brief breakdown of its traits and origins, as well as its characteristics such as tones, instruments and overall vibe signifies its genre(s).

Song 1: Periphery – Make Total Destroy – 129 Bpm

Genre – Progressive Metal

Progressive Metal draws heavily on both the aggression and tone of metal, and the rhythmic and melodic complexities and theory of jazz and classical music, the combination of these factors created a very musically and emotionally complex style that left a great deal of the listeners experience open to interpretation. It was firstly introduced in the mid 80’s by bands such as Watchtower and Queensryche, who incorporated more progressive song writing with in the already popularised era of 80’s glam metal. Prog Metal is a genre where the electric guitar reigns supreme, using excessive amounts of gain and attack from the musicians, who are often utilising an extended amount of dynamic range with 7 or 8 stringed guitars or by drop tuning, also to achieve deeper and ballsier tone. Drums possess a very tight and brutal sound, using polyrhythmic patterns and syncopation to make sound more complex. Unclean vocals are also a main feature adding to the aggression of the sound. Since its birth has grown and created subgenres of its own such as Djent, popularised originally by the scandinavian band Meshuggah.

Song 2: Foo Fighters – No Way Back – 187 Bpm

Genre – Hard(heavy) Rock

Hard Rock in its simplest description is a beefed up more aggressive approach to a normal rock sound. Pioneered by US and UK rock and blues band of the 1960’s, who began experiment with heavier guitar riffs, more powerful drum sound with stronger and more intense vocals. Early staple artist of the genre include The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. The instrument layout is based around electric guitars and bass, acoustic drums and vocals (backing vocals and harmonies aren’t very common), keyboards and pianos feature occasionally with some artists. The main defining character of hard rock that separates it from rock, is the intensity and aggression behind each element. Being how hard the drummer is hitting his/her kit, or how aggressively the guitarists and bassists are playing their instruments and how loud and raspy/gritty the vocalist is singing. Player dynamics have a major influence on the physical and emotional expression of the genre.

Song 3: Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait – 132 Bpm

Genres – Folk Rock

Folk until the 1960’s was more often than not, just a regular acoustic style of music that was fairly traditional and evolved throughout generations of existence. Folk Rock is simple fusion between rock and folk music, with the instrumentation playing a very specific role in determining genre. One of the very first folk rock bands, the Byrds, began playing folk songs by written by Bob Dylan, using rock theme and instruments. Other artists such as Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens and Gordon Lightfoot became the musicians that would popularise the genre. The instrumentation could range from more rock styles of Electric Guitars and acoustic drum kits to the more traditional folk sounds of acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins, pianos, organs, harmonica’s and double basses.

Bibliography:

Explore: Progressive Metal | AllMusic. (2016). Web.archive.org. Retrieved 15 June 2016, from http://web.archive.org/web/20110605102918/http://www.allmusic.com/explore/style/progressive-metal-d2952

Folk | Music Highlights | AllMusic. (2016). AllMusic. Retrieved 15 June 2016, from http://www.allmusic.com/genre/folk-ma0000002592

Mulligan, M. (2014). How The Role of Genres Has Changed In Music Culture. Music Industry Blog. Retrieved 15 June 2016, from https://musicindustryblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/how-the-role-of-genres-has-changed-in-music-culture/

The first prog-metal album in time. (2016). Progressive Rock Music Forum. Retrieved 15 June 2016, from http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=61738

What is Progressive Metal? GET LEARNT! | Mike The Music Snob Ep 1. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 15 June 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHSywtulJ3A

 

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