Rock music originated in the United States in the 1950s. Early rock music drew heavily on the rhythm and blues and country music that had become so popular in the 1940s. Over the next 15 to 20 years the genre blossomed, expanding into the United Kingdom outward into a variety of styles and sounds.
The earliest form of rock was what we would now refer to as classic rock. Based on a couple of guitars – electric and bass – with a drumkit and maybe a keyboard. As the 50s drew to a close and the crazy era that was the 19060s rolled in, rock exploded. The Beatles held down the fort on the classic front, but soon the world was seeing a huge diversity within in the genre.
Some of the biggest, most notable developments were psychedelic rock, progressive rock, glam rock, heavy metal, punk rock, grunge and indie rock. While these developments were gradual and happened all over the world, the music scene would never be the same after rock emerged as a real force.
While it has been met with strenuous opposition – from moralists, politicians and alarmed parents – rock has always been an unstoppable force. Often used as a vehicle for political or social statement, it has transcended all the boundaries we humans are so good at putting up against each other.
It’s also become a symbol of counter-culture thinking, non-conformity and anti-consumerism for many people. Modern thinkers might consider the true art form of rock to have been diluted beyond point of being useful, but many of the freedoms they enjoy today are owed to the rockers who have gone before them.