Origins of Rock and Roll Rock and roll music originated in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but pinning down a specific place, time, or person who started rock is impossible. It developed in several places at the same time, and drew influences frommany different musical genres, including jazz, rhythm and blues (R&B), country and western, and gospel music. Rock and roll took American society by storm in the 1950s, and soon became the most popular music style in the country. Over the decades rock music has changed and branched out in many directions, yet the basic elements of the music remain the same. Rock songs are often played at a fast tempo. Many songs often follow a musical pattern of twelve measures, with four beats in each measure. A common three-chord pattern is known as the “twelve-bar blues.” Songs are usually played on amplified instruments, such as electric guitars. Usually, rock music is played by small groups of three to six musicians. A typical rock band might have two electric guitar players, a bass guitarist, and a drummer. The lead guitarist plays the song’s melody, and often performs an instrumental solo. The rhythm guitarist accompanies him by playing chords that compliment the melody. The bass guitarist and the drummer


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