Why is rock music called rock?

8773 why is rock music called rock

The term “rock music” is widely acknowledged to have originated from the phrase “rock and roll,” which was first used to describe a genre of music in the 1950s. The term “rock and roll” was originally a slang term used to describe the sexual act, and it is believed that this usage of the term was adopted by musicians and music industry professionals to describe a new style of music that was developing at the time.

The origins of rock music can be traced back to various musical genres, including blues, country, and rhythm and blues. These musical styles were popular among African American communities in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, and they formed the foundation for the development of rock music.

In the 1950s, a new style of music began to emerge that combined elements of these various musical genres with a strong beat and simple, catchy melodies. This new style of music was characterized by its use of electric guitars, bass guitars, and drums, and it was played in a distinctive, high-energy style that was well-suited to dancing.

The first use of the term “rock and roll” to describe this new style of music is typically attributed to Cleveland DJ Alan Freed, who used the term to describe the music he played on his radio show in the 1950s. The term quickly became popular among musicians and music fans, and it was soon adopted as a way to describe the new style of music that was emerging.

As rock music continued to evolve and develop in the 1960s and 1970s, it became associated with a wide range of cultural and social movements, including the counterculture movement, the civil rights movement, and the anti-war movement. Rock music became a symbol of rebellion and anti-establishment sentiment, and it was embraced by young people as a way to express their opinions and ideas.

Today, rock music remains one of the most popular and influential musical genres in the world, and it continues to inspire and influence new generations of musicians and music fans. The term “rock music” is widely recognized as a genre of music that is characterized by its use of electric instruments, strong beats, and simple, memorable melodies, and it remains a powerful symbol of youth, rebellion, and cultural change.


  • “Rock and Roll.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2023.
  • “The History of Rock and Roll.” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2023.