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Rock Vs. Classical Music Essay Sample

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Rock Vs. Classical Music Essay Sample

Rock music of today has turned to shit because of MTV’s TRL, the billboards, and Brittney Spears’s record sales have something to do with the size of her breasts. Rock music from the 70’s through today will be remembered for years, but it lacks the true timelessness of classical music. Classical music has beautiful harmonies that be appreciated for thousands of years. Modern rock is a shallow reflection of the time, showing lack of development due to sell out bands making music for money and not to make music. Classical also has the advantage of being highly structured music. Having a distinct structure and showing development from beginning to end helps make a song timeless. Also the depth and complexity of writing for tens or even hundreds of instruments will make classical music appreciated by people for endless expanse time.

The harmonies in classical orchestral music are impossible to reproduce with a small band of rock instruments. Modern rock has harmonies just as all music does but the harmony between the lead guitar, bass guitar and the keyboard is no where near what can be produced with an entire orchestra. Listen to Beethoven’s famous “Fifth” to hear the distortion that a soli of violins produces and what that can do for the sound. Then listen to something like Green Day or Korn. There is still distortion with the string instruments but with only two or three guitars in a modern rock band the depth of the sound is lost.

Classical music is typically very structured and organized. Mozart wrote all of his music with a very distinct introduction, body, and conclusion. Listen to the introduction of his Requiem Mass and the distinct conclusion of “Eine kleine Nachtmusik.” Mozart’s music generally obeys the strictest rules of the time signature and the key. Then listen to the differences and general lack of structure in anything Bob Dylan wrote. Punk rock and hardcore death metal is even farther from strictly obeying the time signature. Pick up Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, Tool’s “Lateralus”, and Nine Inch Nails’ “The Fragile” and to how the beginning and ending of each song is ambiguous. They flow together so that the point at which one song ends and the next begins is only known by the CD player’s time and track display.

Modern rock is generally written for about four or five instruments and a lead voice that is consistent in every song. With an entire orchestra of instruments each section or even each instrument can operate equally with all of the others. Solos and solies add even more to the depth and complexity. Rock music does have its solos but not as often and usually it’s only for a short time in a song. Right after the solo the instruments return to their normal rank of lead guitar, keyboard, bass, then drums. Listen to a guitar solo in a Metallica song or a drum solo in a Korn song. Then listen to Rossini’s “William Tell Oveture” and how every instrument plays as the lead instrument at different points.

Classical orchestral music and modern rock music have fundamental differences that obviously separate the styles but because modern rock lacks the beautiful harmonics, structure, and complexity it cannot be as timeless as Mozart can. Both types of music hold a certain value and although classical music sales are a small percentage compared to rock music, Beethoven will be listened to just as much in 400 years as it is today. The same cannot be said for even the Beatles, Pink Floyd, or Metallica.

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