Rock music originated in the United States in the 1950s before branching off into a variety of different styles from the 1960s until today. This popular genre is deeply rooted in the African-American tradition of rhythm and blues (R&B) as well as country music. These genres blended together in the 40s and 50s to become “rock and roll,” which is where rock music was born.
Generally, rock music is built around the electric guitar – as part of a larger group with electric bass, drums, and at least one vocalist. Rock music is song-based, with lyrics that delve into stories of romantic love, but also include other themes like social or political issues.
Not only has this genre influenced musicians to develop styles like grunge, punk, new wave, indie, and emo music, it has inspired cultural and social revolutions – and even became a major influence for fashion designs. Rock music has also traditionally been associated with sexual freedom, drug use, and political activism.
Initially, rock music was seen as an appropriation of different types of African-American styles – for a broader young, white, male audience. However, the genre rapidly rose in popularity with listeners of all races, genders, and ages, and is now one of the most widely appreciated genres available.