Progressive rock is a genre of music that originated in the 1960s. But what is it? There are many different opinions as to what constitutes progressive rock. Some may feel that this genre is a thing of the past, while others applaud new progressive rock bands. It really depends on how you define the character of the music. Discussion on what progressive rock is will usually include the following characteristics.
While all songwriting could be called 'creative', some songs stick to a general mold: Verse A, Verse B, Bridge, Verse C. The composition of a progressive rock song varies greatly. They usually include complex compositions that may be difficult to dance to. Multiple instruments are often used, including orchestral and band instruments. Synthesizers are also commonly used. While a song that does not fit the general mold may be as catchy as mainstream pop songs, progressive rock is concerned more with the integrity of the music than how much it sells.
Highly Skilled Musicians
Progressive rock musicians have been referred to as 'virtuosos' on many occasions. In order to push the boundaries, a musician must be highly skilled. Progressive rock bands usually push the envelope for what sounds their instruments can make, though they may not always be the most pleasing to the ear. Some songs may sound chaotic to their listeners, though this was the desired effect. Dichotomies are often explored in progressive rock, such as chaos and order. Not just any musician is capable of pushing themselves and their instruments to the breaking point.
A Different Sound
As previously mentioned, many times, progressive rock songs do not have a solid beat to dance to, which gives them a drastically different sound. For listeners who are seeking depth in their music, they will find great joy in this genre. The superficial music lover will be challenged by the difference.
Not all progressive rock songs have lyrics, but those that do often push the boundaries with lyrics. Instead of repeating the same line repeatedly, many progressive rock songs contain ballads or more abstract lyrics, requiring listeners to really focus on them and delve in to find meaning.
In conclusion, as the name suggests, progressive rock takes all that is good in classic rock and pushes the boundaries a little further, asking more of its musicians along with its listeners. If you are seeking new progressive rock, a simple internet search will yield thousands of results.