Rock 'N Roll Music Term Paper

Pages: 14 (3491 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music


Punk-rock was fast, loud rock and roll music, but it quickly became the angry music of the time. (Riznar)

In the 1980's, punk-rock evolved into hardcore music and fans became even more experimental with fashion, makeup and hair color. In addition, a mixture of pop and folk-rock was introduced, and wild children everywhere listened to bands such REM and the B-52's. The street phenomenon of the ghettos, hip hop, revolutionized the music scene and bands such as Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy crossed over to the rock audience. (Allen)

The 1990's saw the expansion of alternative rock, both artistically and commercially. The general trend of the era was towards more and more abstract music and rock music had lost its original label of dance music.

Generation Gaps

The first generation that listened to rock 'n roll was the Baby Boomer generation, who were born from 1943-1960. They have been criticized by older and younger generations as a generation that values themselves over all. During the boomer generation, teen unemployment, death rates and youth crime rose significantly. In addition, a rise in illicit sexuality took place among this generation. Draft dodging is a well-known characteristic of the boomers, uniting many of them during the Vietnam war. This generation was driven by revolution and change. (Allen, Curtis)

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Baby Boomers did not value money in their youth but grew to love it as they became adults. They were indifferent to education because it was easily attained as the result of many grants and scholarships given to them. The lifestyle of the boomers went against family values. They focused on the day-to-day activities, and showed little desire to start a family until later in their lives.

Generation X, born between 1961 and 1981, was the next group of rock fans. This generation is known for persistence and its continuous questioning of authority. Its youth have also shown stronger familial bonds, and strong technical abilities. They value self-sufficiency and strive to get ahead.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Rock 'N Roll Music - Assignment

Generation X's youth values money as a mean of survival. This generation was the first one faced with survival, as many of their Baby Boomer parents were divorced and working long hours. Generation X resisted traditional education because they had little faith in the traditions of their parents and other authority figures. They did not value families and they had a negative connotation with families. They were more concerned with surviving within their own communities, rather than establishing a family.

During this generation, teenagers saw the gay revolution, the completion of the World Trade Center, a global energy crisis, the rise of AIDS, and the first test-tube baby.

Generation Y is the group born between 1982 and 2003, who are known as latch-key kids. They are the fastest maturing generation to this date, growing up with political scandals, sports, and controversies. With the emergence of the Internet, this generation has the ability to find the truth more easily than previous generations, and thus have become more cynical of the media and authority figures. They value their goals and ambition.

Generation Y values income the most of these generations due to their upbringing. Their childhood has been filled with parents that understand the value of money and the means of attaining it. They also value education the most of all the generations and see it as a way of attaining power and material goods. They are lacking in traditional family values and relate more to their peers.

This generation's youth has seen many acts of terrorism, including the loss of the World Trade Center, a tremendous rise in technology and bioscience, and the increased danger of schools.

It is easy to see how the music and values has changed from generation to generation, and even to see how some of the music and values have stayed the same. As times change and the next generation's youth grows up, the music must change in order to relate.

In the 1950's, sex was taboo and old-fashioned traditions told the youth to wait until marriage. Rock 'n roll was slang for sexual intercourse in the fifties. At the time, it was shocking for parents to watch Presley gyrate his hips. Today, parents must endure bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing in the nude. (Booth)

In the 1980's, Madonna revolutionized sex as an expression of self. The leader of a new "porn rock" subculture, her videos featured strippers and sexual perversions.

Differences in Generations

One major difference between rock music of the boomer generation and rock music of Generations X and Y is the massive increase of media influence on generations. It appears that the values of the youth of the 1950's and 1960's greatly influenced the rock stars, while today's youth are the ones being influenced by them.

The introduction of MTV in the 1980's is greatly responsible for the values of teens. It promotes an idealized teen lifestyle, reflecting the images of these famous artists, that contrasts with the realities of the Generation X lifestyle. (Daspin) While some view the station as an entertainment network for viewers' pleasure, others more accurately assess it as an advertising enterprise that endorses products and promotes attitudes. The advertisements that are both hidden in videos and placed in regular slots, influence viewers.

The MTV generations are far more influenced by the media behind rock music than their parents were, obviously because of the increase in the accessibility and popularity of television.

In 1981, no one expected MTV to be such a powerful franchise fourteen years later. It developed a new style of entertainment that competitors can only wish to copy. Becoming an MTV star was a dream to many people. Advertisers were more than happy with the network's stations that satisfied so many viewers and had distinct personalities. Music videos changed the image of music. Essence columnist Bonnie Allen says, "MTV made us look at the sound of music." (Allen)

Rock music in the 1980's was altered by composers, such as Tori Amos and Beck, who were on the forefront of the decade of singer songwriters who played more abstract compositions. Industrial and gothic music were popular during the early nineties and grunge music was the new disco. Techno was the new trend in dance music. The Nineties were the age of electronic music, whether in dance, ambient or noise format. (Hamerlinck)

The 1990s were also the decade of heavy metal, with Metallica, Jane's Addiction, Guns And Roses. It soon split into subgenres (doom metal, grind-core, death metal, etc.) and funk-metal (Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine in Los Angeles, Primus and Faith No More in San Francisco). Marilyn Manson was the late phenomenon that recharged the genre.

Rock 'n roll has influenced and helped begin a number of revolutions throughout the years; it has made noticeable effects on certain generations in time, each in a separate way depending on the music of that period.

Rock 'n roll has been a revolutionary cultural and social phenomenon for more than half a century. Since its emergence, it has dominated American culture. While the styles of the music have changed greatly since the 1950's, the topics have remained the same. Rock 'n roll or rock music addresses and forms the opinions and values of each generation on topics such as sex, drugs, politics, rebellion and love.

Effects of Music

It is well-known that music has the power to affect the mind, emotions, and even the physical body of its listeners. Music penetrates the minds and culture of society like no other art form has. Rock music was created as an act of rebellion. Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis represented the subversion, overthrow, and revolutionary change of a generation who was tired of polite civil disagreement. These musicians told the youth to just let go and express themselves, which was an act of rebellion against the traditional values of that time.

Today, MTV, or Music Television, prominently purveys rock 'n' roll sleaze. From the smutty dialogues of the enormously popular animated series Beavis and Butthead, to the annual coverage of Spring Break bacchanalia on the beaches of the Caribbean, to the endless stream of pornographic rock videos, MTV uses the power of visual images catering to man's baser instincts in order to strengthen rock music's appeal. (Hamerlinck)

In the 1960's, a major topic of rock music was drugs. The Beatles' song "Hey Jude" was one of the first tunes to address the popularity of drugs during the generation. It seems like a hidden message today as musicians sing openly about crack and marijuana.

The rock music of the 1970's and 1980's was greatly inspired by violence. Punk rockers and heavy metal bands turned musical mayhem into an art form during this period. Today, rappers like P-Diddy and Snoop Doggy Dog have taken violence a step further with gangsta rap.

One of the most popular and influential forms of rock music… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Rock 'N Roll Music" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Rock 'N Roll Music.  (2002, May 14).  Retrieved September 21, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Rock 'N Roll Music."  14 May 2002.  Web.  21 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Rock 'N Roll Music."  May 14, 2002.  Accessed September 21, 2021.