Hard rock music is a type of music that is characterized by heavy use of drums, bass and electric guitar. The music is observed to have its origin in the United States and United Kingdom in 1960’s. Susan (2001), and Andrew (2007), indicate that the music has borrowed its style from the other music such as rock music, rock and roll and blues rock music. The music is characterized to be so loud and aggressive. It was sometimes called ‘cock rock’ because historically, it has been played by the male species to emphasize masculinity. Its crowd is usually made of the adolescent whites who are of working class. In the late 1096’s, hard rock was also referred to as ‘heavy metal’ but the term did not last long as bands came up with distinctions between the two types of rock music. It was noted that heavy metal was played at higher volume, pitch and intensity than the hard rock music.
In the early 1970’s the heavy metal took the darker side and developed some minor genres such as hard core punk and extreme metal, and this characteristics differentiated the two types of music.
In the mid 1960’s, the American British Bands made the efforts to make some modifications in the rock and roll music. They introduced heavier guitar use, more loud and bombastic drumming and hard sounds on the standard music and this made it different from soft blues. Examples of the hard rock music that were developed include ‘(“I cant get no”) satisfaction’ which was sang by the Rolling Stones in 1965, “You really got me bad” sang by the Kinks in the year 1964 and “My who” sang by Who in the year 1965. From the above discoveries, it was now possible to differentiate the music as either hard or soft music. Soft music involved more emphasis on the harmony of the song and its melody but hard music had more emphasis put on the instruments that accompanied the music and melody (Mick and Gianni, 2003).
Some of the bands that emerged to sing this type of music includes; Blue Cheer, Iron Butterfly, Vanilla Fudge and MC5. As time passed on, more bands were developed and other even mixed the two types of music (mixed early rock bands music and hard blue rocks). Examples of such bands included the Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. In the year 1972, Alice Cooper received credit on producing top ten hard rock albums in the United States. In the year 1974 onwards to 1975, some bands from Canada came up with distinctively hard rock music and released albums (with songs such as fly by night, caress of steel and rush) that were played in Britain and United States.
Glen et al (2006) noted that the music continued to be modified by more bands that emerged afterwards until there was a differentiation between heavy metal music and hard rock music. In the 1990’s, the hard rock music became so dominant in the United States charts. In the year 2000’s, Peter (2003), observed that very few bands from 1970’s and 1990’s had managed to survive recording hard music. Some of the existing bands that survived into the 2000 era and onwards include; Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, The Who and The Black Sabbath. The era has also seen the emergence of more rock genres such as post punk, metal genres and the garage rock music and bands like Wolfmother.
Influence of hard rock music
According to Smith and Boyson (2002), music has been seen to be one of a factor that has consequential effects to the one listening. Majorly, it is assumed that those who listen to rock music are harsh, aggressive and arrogant in real life. Masling (2002) indicates that most parents and society norms warn their adolescents against listening to rock music. However, this is not always the case as is to be seen. Although hard rock music is observed to initiate violence in individuals, Masling (2002), noted that most of the rock music melodies contained a message that could change someone’s lifestyle. He noted that most of rock music feature on love and peace as its main themes. Rock musicians have been known to talk about social issues that affect a nation or its citizens. Some of inspiring songs were heard during the Vietnam War and the songs were sang musicians such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon. Susan (2001) noted that most of the songs had protests message against violence and encouraged people to kip the environment clean. Some of them have even undertaken the responsibility to perform charity services and at the same time preaching the message using their songs (Glen, 2006).
Glen (2006), has also noted that some rock music have been developed and they posses strong Christian values. However, a few Christians are still against the music claiming that the beats and styles used are immoral, satanic and are too sensual to be listened in the church. Thus, according to them, any song that is in the Rock, Reggae or Hip-hop genre is satanic regardless of the lyrics in the music.
It has been estimated that violence acts and aggression are can be found in almost 70% of rock music and raps (Barongan and Nagayama, 2005). There were also evidence that most people who listened to these types of music displayed violent behaviors to their spouses (women especially). According to Nicholas and Dibben (2001), a brief exposure to a violent music video or listening to the music for just 10 minutes would change the emotions of an individual. Most of the percentage have been said to change the person negatively. An archival research performed by Atkin et al (2002), indicated that listening and watching to rock music attributed to more violence, aggressiveness and use of explicit language. Emotionally, Nicholas and Dibben (2001), depicts that soft music invokes a positive thought in an individual while listening to a hard rock music invokes negative emotions.
According to Atkin et al (2002), some rock singers confuse its singers by the lyrics they compose. He noted that some famous musicians contradicted themselves when they released a song that illustrated non-existence of God, meaning they are atheist in nature. This can be influential to their fans that may end up believing in what they sing about. An example is John Lennon who sang the song “Imagin” (the song described that the world would be a better place without religion).
American Psychological Association (2002) observed that most rock musicians love being identified as ‘unique’ and standing out. Most of them isolate themselves and even use drugs to make their life different from a normal individual. Most of the musicians depict a lifestyle that is characterized by drugs and sex. They were known to attract attention of young girls ‘groupies’ who later developed to become prostitutes as a result. They were also characterized by a hard drinking habits and lack of order in what they do. Masling (2002) depicts that the bands were influential to the young youths who still were naÃ¯ve and they followed everything they saw and heard. Some bands used satanic imageries and this influenced the viewers too. As they appreciate their stars, they also appreciate the images they use in their music.
To conclude, music is defined by the type of message and comfort one derives after listening to it. Today’s society is not happy with the hard rock music and its effects. From above explanations, it is noted that hard rock music has more harm than good to our society. It is the responsibility of parents and the community to educate their children on the need to watch out on the type of music they listen to as it may have permanent effects in their lives.
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