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View Full Version : I was thinking about rock and roll the other day.


Rain Man
11-30-2004, 02:21 PM
While I visit Funkytown as often as anybody, I find rock and roll to be an odd phenomenon for two reasons.


1. Music has been around for 15,000 years, ever since the first caveman pounded on a rock while another blew the last marrow out of an alto mammoth bone. How does an entirely new genre evolve in the 1950s? You can argue about roots, but it's hard to argue that rock music existed in previous centuries. Why did minstrels not come up with the few notes that define "Sweet Home Alabama?" Why did ancient Egyptians not bob and weave to "Satisfaction?" Or did they?

2. While many instruments are used, I think we can all agree that the instrumental foundations of rock and roll are the guitar, the drum, and the piano. Why? Was this random happenstance, or is there a reason for it? In parallel universes, is rock music built upon the drum, the trumpet, and the violin? The guitar, the tympani, and the clarinet? It's not like drum sets and pianos are easily portable, so why? Why, I ask?

Perhaps some musical historians can settle these burning questions for me.

stevieray
11-30-2004, 02:23 PM
Les Paul

Donger
11-30-2004, 02:23 PM
While I visit Funkytown as often as anybody, I find rock and roll to be an odd phenomenon for two reasons.


1. Music has been around for 15,000 years, ever since the first caveman pounded on a rock while another blew the last marrow out of an alto mammoth bone. How does an entirely new genre evolve in the 1950s? You can argue about roots, but it's hard to argue that rock music existed in previous centuries. Why did minstrels not come up with the few notes that define "Sweet Home Alabama?" Why did ancient Egyptians not bob and weave to "Satisfaction?" Or did they?

2. While many instruments are used, I think we can all agree that the instrumental foundations of rock and roll are the guitar, the drum, and the piano. Why? Was this random happenstance, or is there a reason for it? In parallel universes, is rock music built upon the drum, the trumpet, and the violin? The guitar, the tympani, and the clarinet? It's not like drum sets and pianos are easily portable, so why? Why, I ask?

Perhaps some musical historians can settle these burning questions for me.

Great. Now I have that song from Caveman in my head. Thanks a lot.

Dr. Facebook Fever
11-30-2004, 02:23 PM
Because clarinets and violins don't rock.


Duh.

go bowe
11-30-2004, 02:23 PM
musical historians?

we have musical historians?

BigRedChief
11-30-2004, 02:24 PM
While I visit Funkytown as often as anybody, I find rock and roll to be an odd phenomenon for two reasons.


1. Music has been around for 15,000 years, ever since the first caveman pounded on a rock while another blew the last marrow out of an alto mammoth bone. How does an entirely new genre evolve in the 1950s? You can argue about roots, but it's hard to argue that rock music existed in previous centuries. Why did minstrels not come up with the few notes that define "Sweet Home Alabama?" Why did ancient Egyptians not bob and weave to "Satisfaction?" Or did they?

2. While many instruments are used, I think we can all agree that the instrumental foundations of rock and roll are the guitar, the drum, and the piano. Why? Was this random happenstance, or is there a reason for it? In parallel universes, is rock music built upon the drum, the trumpet, and the violin? The guitar, the tympani, and the clarinet? It's not like drum sets and pianos are easily portable, so why? Why, I ask?

Perhaps some musical historians can settle these burning questions for me.

You have entirely too much time on your hands. The thin air of Denver has made you kooky.:p

Dr. Facebook Fever
11-30-2004, 02:26 PM
At least rock and roll wasn't built around the spoons, cow bell, or glockenschpiel....(sp?)... even if Springsteen does use one once in a while.

BigRedChief
11-30-2004, 02:27 PM
At least rock and roll wasn't built around the spoons, cow bell, or glockenschpiel....(sp?)... even if Springsteen does use one once in a while.

I love the "more cow bell" skil on SNL.....AHHHHH what memories.:thumb:

SPchief
11-30-2004, 02:28 PM
Rainman, Are you bored today?

Skip Towne
11-30-2004, 02:31 PM
You have entirely too much time on your hands. The thin air of Denver has made you kooky.:p
I think you're right. He claims he was normal when he was in Rolla.

Rain Man
11-30-2004, 02:31 PM
How could you tell?

Brock
11-30-2004, 02:31 PM
Druids invented it, at the behest of their Dark Master.

Baby Lee
11-30-2004, 02:34 PM
Umm, electricity. Leading to amplification, tweaking, feedback, digitization.

go bowe
11-30-2004, 02:40 PM
Umm, electricity. Leading to amplification, tweaking, feedback, digitization.well that would certainly explain the emergence of electric guitars... :) :) :)

Mr. Kotter
11-30-2004, 02:43 PM
You have entirely too much time on your hands. The thin air of Denver has made you kooky.:p

You've only just now realized this...?

Nzoner
11-30-2004, 02:45 PM
Once again the question is asked,"Who put the bop in the bop shoo wop shoo wop?"

Demonpenz
11-30-2004, 02:46 PM
I was just thinking the other day, you know what? Rock and roll ain't noise pollution

Mr. Kotter
11-30-2004, 02:47 PM
I was just thinking the other day, you know what? Rock and roll ain't noise pollution

Rock and roll....it'll never die. :thumb:

stevieray
11-30-2004, 02:48 PM
well that would certainly explain the emergence of electric guitars... :) :) :)

see post #1.

Raiderhader
11-30-2004, 02:49 PM
Once again the question is asked,"Who put the bop in the bop shoo wop shoo wop?"


"Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?"


Er, sorry.

Dr. Facebook Fever
11-30-2004, 02:49 PM
I was just thinking the other day, you know what? Rock and roll ain't noise pollution
nope.......and rock and roll ain't gonna die.

Baby Lee
11-30-2004, 02:51 PM
2. While many instruments are used, I think we can all agree that the instrumental foundations of rock and roll are the guitar, the drum, and the piano. Why? Was this random happenstance, or is there a reason for it? In parallel universes, is rock music built upon the drum, the trumpet, and the violin? The guitar, the tympani, and the clarinet? It's not like drum sets and pianos are easily portable, so why? Why, I ask?
Technically, I'd say electric guitar, electic bass, drums and keyboard.

And all are rhythmic instruments.

Electric guitar because it provides that signature RnR sound, along with the ability to customize reverb, decay, etc.

Drums because you have to have a rhythm keeper. Drum sets can be basic snare, kickbass, tomms, or a setup like Neil Pert employs with wood blocks, tympani, like dozens of tomms, windchimes and lord knows what else.

Bass bridges the gap from drum to guitar, more of a time keeper than a guitar, more musical, or at least more tonal, than drums.

Keyboards give you the ability to fill in the gaps. Simulate piano, horns, clarinets, saxophones, space noises, whatever you can conjure. It obviates the need for all the other potential instruments.

MichaelH
11-30-2004, 02:51 PM
Umm, electricity. Leading to amplification, tweaking, feedback, digitization.


That's most of it. Another reason is the scales and the time. Different types of music have different scales and different beats per measure. Try dancing to Indian music. If you're used to a 4/4 rock beat, there's no way you can even figure out Mideastern music. The rock scale progression evolved mostly from blues music. And as far as we know, there wasn't any Blues 15,000 years ago either.

BigRedChief
11-30-2004, 02:53 PM
see post #1.
Has Elvis's legacy been reclassified from the 50's Rock and Roll to modern day country?

Baby Lee
11-30-2004, 02:53 PM
see post #1.
I was gonna credit your observation, but I think the electrification of music goes beyond just the guitar. The keyboard puts the world of music at your fingertips.

Nzoner
11-30-2004, 02:55 PM
And as far as we know, there wasn't any Blues 15,000 years ago either.

Only because there was no Chiefs football

stevieray
11-30-2004, 02:56 PM
Has Elvis's legacy been reclassified from the 50's Rock and Roll to modern day country?

Elvis just is, man.

thankya very much.

grandllama
11-30-2004, 03:01 PM
"Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?"

I thought it was Black Betty?

Baby Lee
11-30-2004, 03:02 PM
I thought it was Black Betty?
that's shamalam.

Rain Man
11-30-2004, 03:03 PM
The electricity thing is a good point, but can you have rock and roll without it? The piano and drum don't need it, so can you do "More than a Feeling" or "Help" with acoustic guitars? If they were first recorded acoustically, would they still be rock and roll? Are they rock and roll now if they're recorded acoustically?

Nzoner
11-30-2004, 03:07 PM
that's shamalam.

and Ram Jam

stevieray
11-30-2004, 03:08 PM
and Ram Jam

you know that's no lie.

KCWolfman
11-30-2004, 03:12 PM
Rock and Roll is derived from the music of po' folks. The banjo/guitar and harmonica are easily transported and used in any circumstance. And the cost of a box guitar or slap banjo is substantially less than a trumpet or a harp.

A drum for the same reason, you can pound a beat on tons of cheap stuff to make sounds. Hell, you can hambone and slap your leg for percussion if necessary.

I don't believe keyboards are any more prevalent in rock than brass. It, IMO, is merely accompaniment to the main blood of strings and drums.

Raiderhader
11-30-2004, 03:15 PM
I thought it was Black Betty?

that's shamalam.

and Ram Jam


What ever, or who ever it is, I'd like to shake his hand, because he made my baby fall in love with me.

Baby Lee
11-30-2004, 03:15 PM
I don't believe keyboards are any more prevalent in rock than brass. It, IMO, is merely accompaniment to the main blood of strings and drums.
You've obviously never witnessed the metal masterpiece that is "The Final Countdown." ;)

Brock
11-30-2004, 03:17 PM
Play some Skynyrd!

stevieray
11-30-2004, 03:18 PM
[QUOTE=KCWolfman]

A drum for the same reason, you can pound a beat on tons of cheap stuff to make sounds. Hell, you can hambone and slap your leg for percussion if necessary.

QUOTE]


Stomp.

Baby Lee
11-30-2004, 03:19 PM
Play some Skynyrd!
Freebird!!!! ROFL

Demonpenz
11-30-2004, 03:21 PM
is black betty really sung by ram jam? I thought it was nazareth

grandllama
11-30-2004, 03:23 PM
is black betty really sung by ram jam? I thought it was nazareth

Nope, its The Ram Jam Band... (wtf they are...)

Got it right here...

grandllama
11-30-2004, 03:24 PM
You've obviously never witnessed the metal masterpiece that is "The Final Countdown." ;)

Which interestingly enough was on VH1 the other night as the number 1 'Most Amazingly Cheesy Heavy Metal Song' of all time...

Demonpenz
11-30-2004, 03:24 PM
that damn napster always confusing nazareth for ram jam, and bryan adams with john mellencamp

Nzoner
11-30-2004, 03:24 PM
is black betty really sung by ram jam? I thought it was nazareth

yep,a one hit wonder.

Nazareth's biggies were Hair Of The Dog,Love Hurts and Holiday

grandllama
11-30-2004, 03:25 PM
yep,a one hit wonder.

Nazareth's biggies were Hair Of The Dog,Love Hurts and Holiday

Now your messing with a son of a bitch....

Baby Lee
11-30-2004, 03:26 PM
Which interestingly enough was on VH1 the other night as the number 1 'Most Amazingly Cheesy Heavy Metal Song' of all time...
Funny that they rag on that song, yet give Eddy a pass for showing his 'gine and playing keyboards on 'Jump!.'

NewChief
11-30-2004, 03:26 PM
2. While many instruments are used, I think we can all agree that the instrumental foundations of rock and roll are the guitar, the drum, and the piano. Why? Was this random happenstance, or is there a reason for it? In parallel universes, is rock music built upon the drum, the trumpet, and the violin? The guitar, the tympani, and the clarinet? It's not like drum sets and pianos are easily portable, so why? Why, I ask?

Perhaps some musical historians can settle these burning questions for me.

Guitar and drums, as Russ said, are easily transportable. While defining the roots of rock and roll as a genre isn't cut and dry, you can at least say some of it comes from the Blues. The blues, in turn, came from the post slavery Delta whose music can trace its roots back to Africa. Non-coincidentally there are guitar-esque instruments and, of course, drums in Africa.

If you want to read more about how Rock and Roll came to be Rock and Roll, check out Greil Marcus's Mystery Train.

NewChief
11-30-2004, 03:27 PM
You've obviously never witnessed the metal masterpiece that is "The Final Countdown." ;)

Someone watched VH1s, "Most Awesome Bad Songs of All Time" over the weekend. I layed in my hotel in KC watching that on Saturday before bed.

Demonpenz
11-30-2004, 03:27 PM
the fact that everyone thinks that song is from one of the rocky movies is funny. I am just glad DIO made it on the cheesy rock songs list.

ps YOU GOT YOUR BALLS TO THE WALL!

Demonpenz
11-30-2004, 03:28 PM
Greil Marcus's Mystery Train strangely is what they play at arrowhead before kick off

NewChief
11-30-2004, 03:30 PM
Greil Marcus's Mystery Train strangely is what they play at arrowhead before kick off

I thought that was Stan Lee's Iron Man.

Demonpenz
11-30-2004, 03:31 PM
I thought that was Stan Lee's Iron Man.


No your thinking of Iron maiden

grandllama
11-30-2004, 03:42 PM
Funny that they rag on that song, yet give Eddy a pass for showing his 'gine and playing keyboards on 'Jump!.'

Yeah, I was suprised that the only VH song that made it was the one with Gary Cherone...

ZepSinger
11-30-2004, 03:47 PM
My opinion-

The fifties ushered in a period of rebellion in youth. The musical part of that, in order to really p*ss off/frighten the parents, was to play "jungle music"... lots of drums and heavy beats, in an era of racial upheaval. Then followed the emergence of the electric guitar, with its' ability to be AMPLIFIED- further increasing the parents' ire. Then followed the guitars' FX, like distortion, reverb, chorusing, etc. All the instrument needed to explode on the culture was a visionary to play it- enter one Jimi Hendrix. The guitar then became one of the most expressive instruments on the planet(my unbiased opinion, of course :rolleyes: ).

The rest is history.

http://www.scaretactics.com/pics/smileys/guitar.gif

patteeu
11-30-2004, 08:48 PM
I think you're right. He claims he was normal when he was in Rolla.

I knew him in Rolla and he seemed pretty normal to me. I don't even think he played Dungeons and Dragons.

gblowfish
11-30-2004, 10:27 PM
"Music has been around for 15,000 years, ever since the first caveman pounded on a rock while another blew the last marrow out of an alto mammoth bone. How does an entirely new genre evolve in the 1950s? You can argue about roots, but it's hard to argue that rock music existed in previous centuries. Why did minstrels not come up with the few notes that define "Sweet Home Alabama?" Why did ancient Egyptians not bob and weave to "Satisfaction?" Or did they?"

I keep thinkin' about that old SNL skit where John Belushi is dressed up as Beethoven...he's noodling around on the piano...experimenting with chords...strikes upon a fascinating combination...puts on his Ray Bans and start doin' "What I Say" by Ray Charles. Too funny!!

SNR
11-30-2004, 11:52 PM
Music begins as tribal chants... the Greeks and Romans further develop using the voice, not yet making musical notation.

Around 800 or so, Gregorian chant is used in the church.

Ancient instruments developed and used around 1000. Recorders and such.

1400 signals the beginning of polyphonic music. The birth of music as we know it.

Bunch of development.... leads to Baroque music. Bach and his sons steer Baroque into the Classical era. Guys like Haydn and Mozart come along. Then there's Beethoven. He goes deaf, and thinks outside of basic counterpoint in music and is one of the giants in the development of Romanticism in music.

Romanticism starts from guys like Schubert and late Beethoven and ends when we get to Elgar, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Mahler.

We get some weirdos like Stravinksy, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev. They pave the way for "modern" classical music, which still exists.

A branch off from Romanticism starts in the United States as at first country, ragtime, which further develop into jazz. Bunch of other guys, Elvis combines country and jazz, and we have a winner, the birth of rock.

The rest most of you know. So there you are, a brief history of music.

Baby Lee
12-01-2004, 08:06 AM
We get some weirdos like Stravinksy, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev. They pave the way for "modern" classical music, which still exists.
Which reminds me. The 1812 Overture is the template for Stairway to Heaven, which was the template for Sweet Child O' Mine.

And sex was the template for them all.

CosmicPal
12-01-2004, 08:37 AM
A branch off from Romanticism starts in the United States as at first country, ragtime, which further develop into jazz. Bunch of other guys, Elvis combines country and jazz, and we have a winner, the birth of rock.



Blues. Ragtime and Blues and Jazz were all in the same period. Elvis combined country and blues with a little rockabilly and developed his form of popular music.

Blues and Jazz are the earliest influences to rock and roll....

NewChief
12-01-2004, 08:38 AM
Blues. Ragtime and Blues and Jazz were all in the same period. Elvis combined country and blues with a little rockabilly and developed his form of popular music.

Blues and Jazz are the earliest influences to rock and roll....

SNR's version is the DWEM version.

Mr. Kotter
12-01-2004, 08:41 AM
Actually, I once read somewhere that Rock 'n Roll began....around a campfire of an eclectic group of cowboys, flatulating in rhythm

....not unlike the scene in Blazing Saddles. :hmmm:

KCWolfman
12-01-2004, 09:11 AM
yep,a one hit wonder.

Nazareth's biggies were Hair Of The Dog,Love Hurts and Holiday
Roy Orbison's version of Love Hurts is much better, IMO.

KCWolfman
12-01-2004, 09:12 AM
Funny that they rag on that song, yet give Eddy a pass for showing his 'gine and playing keyboards on 'Jump!.'
Watch the video, most times when Eddie is playing boards you hear his guitar and vice versa when he is shown playing the guitar.

KCWolfman
12-01-2004, 09:16 AM
Blues. Ragtime and Blues and Jazz were all in the same period. Elvis combined country and blues with a little rockabilly and developed his form of popular music.

Blues and Jazz are the earliest influences to rock and roll....
CP - Ragtime came much later than "the Blues". The Blues were developed pre-civil war. Ragtime was developed in the oughts and teens of the 20th century.

KCWolfman
12-01-2004, 09:17 AM
Guitar and drums, as Russ said, are easily transportable. While defining the roots of rock and roll as a genre isn't cut and dry, you can at least say some of it comes from the Blues. The blues, in turn, came from the post slavery Delta whose music can trace its roots back to Africa. Non-coincidentally there are guitar-esque instruments and, of course, drums in Africa.

If you want to read more about how Rock and Roll came to be Rock and Roll, check out Greil Marcus's Mystery Train.
Great Book. NewChief is my literary hero but my political antithesis - what a quandry.

NewChief
12-01-2004, 09:37 AM
Great Book. NewChief is my literary hero but my political antithesis - what a quandry.

I actually took a Folk and Popular Music course in undergrad that used Mystery Train as one of its primary texts. I wrote my term paper on how the Grateful Dead could replace The Band as Marcus's culmination of the diverse roots of Rock and Roll. Good times. :bong:

And back atcha on the qaundry.;)

Baby Lee
12-01-2004, 09:47 AM
I actually took a Folk and Popular Music course in undergrad that used Mystery Train as one of its primary texts. I wrote my term paper on how the Grateful Dead could replace The Band as Marcus's culmination of the diverse roots of Rock and Roll. Good times. :bong:

And back atcha on the qaundry.;)
And you are back to FOS. ;)

NewChief
12-01-2004, 09:54 AM
And you are back to FOS. ;)

Well, they covered a lot of Blues, Country, Folk, and Traditional tunes as well as wrote quite a few songs of their own within those veins. In addition, they combined that with the freeform experimentalism of improvisational jazz (something that the Band didn't do nearly as much). As such, they're an amalgamation (not so much as a culmination) of the American musical tradition. Besides that, they're actually freaking AMERICAN unlike them damned Canucks in The Band.

Baby Lee
12-01-2004, 09:56 AM
Well, they covered a lot of Blues, Country, Folk, and Traditional tunes as well as wrote quite a few songs of their own within those veins. In addition, they combined that with the freeform experimentalism of improvisational jazz (something that the Band didn't do nearly as much). As such, they're an amalgamation (not so much as a culmination) of the American musical tradition. Besides that, they're actually freaking AMERICAN unlike them damned Canucks in The Band.
I'll give you 'more diverse/eclectic,' but you'll get 'more essential' and 'higher quality' when you pry it from my cold, dead, Band lovin' hands.

CosmicPal
12-01-2004, 09:58 AM
Well, they covered a lot of Blues, Country, Folk, and Traditional tunes as well as wrote quite a few songs of their own within those veins. In addition, they combined that with the freeform experimentalism of improvisational jazz (something that the Band didn't do nearly as much). As such, they're an amalgamation (not so much as a culmination) of the American musical tradition. Besides that, they're actually freaking AMERICAN unlike them damned Canucks in The Band.

"I knowww you rider, gonna miss me when I'm goneeeee, gonee, gone."

NewChief
12-01-2004, 10:04 AM
I'll give you 'more diverse/eclectic,' but you'll get 'more essential' and 'higher quality' when you pry it from my cold, dead, Band lovin' hands.

My prof gave me an A+ on the paper. Of course, the probably had more to do with the mix tape and appendix I included than the quality of my writing.

The Appendix is really cool. It's from Deadbase (which is like a print database of all things grateful dead). Basically it takes any song that the Dead covered and gives a recorded history of it. So, to use CP's example, you could take "I Know You Rider" and it would tell you every time that IKYR has been recorded, by who, when, what label, and what the name of the album was. My prof (who is a well known folklorist and musicologist) said he'd never seen anything quite like it and that it would be invaluable to him. Not too bad, considering the authors were a bunch of deadhead hippy fans.