Art rock

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Art rock is a term describing a subgenre of rock music that tends to have "experimental or avant-garde influences" and emphasizes "novel sonic texture."[1] Art rock is an "intrinsically album-based" form, which takes "advantage of the format's capacity for longer, more complex compositions and extended instrumental explorations."[1] The Golden Age of Rock lectures define art rock as "a piece of music in the rock idiom that appeals more intellectually or musically; that is, not formulated along pop lines for mass consumption." The lectures note that it is "...usually somewhat experimental", using a long structure with several themes like classical music" or "a suite of individual songs." Art rock "almost always features keyboards more than guitar." As well, art rock is "not so much for dancing as for listening and it often tells a story or there is a philosophical theme to the lyrics."[2]


Relationship with progressive rock

The concept of "art rock" has also sometimes been used to refer to the "progressive rock" bands which became popular in the 1970s. Allmusic states that "Progressive rock and art rock are two almost interchangeable terms describing a mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility."[1] Progressive rock eventually stuck as a label for a specific genre of rock music, while "art rock" was used to refer to a wider, more subjective and harder-to-categorize collection of bands.[citation needed]

Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman's American Popular Music defines it as a "Form of rock music that blended elements of rock and European classical music. It included bands such as King Crimson; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; and Pink Floyd."[3] Bruce Eder's essay The Early History of Art-Rock/Prog Rock states that "'progressive rock,' also sometimes known as 'art rock,' or 'classical rock'" is music in which the "bands [are] playing suites, not songs; borrowing riffs from Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner instead of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley; and using language closer to William Blake or T. S. Eliot than to Carl Perkins or Willie Dixon."[4]

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