Progressive rock

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Progressive rock is a type of rock music with complicated musical technique and composition. This means that the tempo, time signature, and style can change many times in a single song.

Most normal rock songs follow a very simple pattern in the way they are arranged. This pattern is a verse followed by a chorus, then a different verse, and then the same chorus. Progressive rock is more complicated than this, and can require more skill to play.

Origins[change | edit source]

Progressive rock was first made in the late 1960's, but became most popular in the 1970's. It continues to be popular today, too. Progressive rock began in England and spread throughout Europe. It remains most popular in Europe, but there are several notable American and Canadian progressive rock bands, as well. This genre was influenced by classical music and jazz fusion. Over the years, different sub-genres of progressive rock have been created, such as symphonic rock, art rock, math rock, and progressive metal.

Progressive rock artists wished to create music that was not within the limitations of popular rock and pop music. They wished to "progress" rock to the complexity of jazz and classical music and create a more serious, complex, and sophisticated type of rock music. Some progressive rock bands include influences from folk music, world music, and jazz or jazz fusion.

Progressive rock bands write and play songs that change very much during each song. Regular rock songs have verses and a chorus, but progressive songs can have many different sections. For example, instead of having verses and choruses, progressive rock songs may have many different musical themes, solos, and musical moods. A typical progressive song might have a form such as: Introduction-Verse-Chorus-instrumental section-New verse-New chorus-Instrumental section-Ending. That is why many progressive rock songs are not played on the radio very often.

Bands[change | edit source]

Important progressive rock bands from the 1970s were Jethro Tull; Yes; Genesis; Pink Floyd; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; Rush; Gentle Giant; Van der Graaf Generator, and King Crimson.

Characteristics of progressive rock[change | edit source]

Progressive rock is difficult to define, because progressive rock bands are often play different types of progressive rock music that sound different. There are some common elements that are in most progressive rock band music, such as long, complex songs, unusual time signatures, unusual instruments or ways of using them, and use of improvisation, which means making up or inventing music while playing on stage.