Hard rock is a form of rock and roll music which finds its closest
roots in early 1960s garage rock. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Queen, Led
Zeppelin, Van Halen, The Stooges, MC5, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Jimi Hendrix,
The Who, Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Cream are renowned examples
of hard rock. Hard rock achieved maximum popularity between 1969 and 1985.
Hard rock is often loosely defined, and is primarily of use in describing
radio station formats. There is often significant crossover with heavy metal
music, but a few distinctions are worth noting: hard rock typically features
major key song construction, as opposed to heavy metal, which is often minor
key oriented. There is a heavy reliance on the pentatonic scale for most
elements of song construction, and fifths (power chords) are often
substituted for traditional chords. Chord progressions are commonly
associated to 1-4-5 degrees of the scale, as in rock and roll.
Hard rock is typified by a bright, trebly overdrive distortion effect on
the guitars, lending to its overall sound. Drums can range from 100-150
Beats Per Minute, with 120 BPM being typical. Bass is usually warm sounding
and lyrics are usually not as dark as those found in heavy metal.
Songs are generally hook laden, and consist of:
although there is much room for variation, and repetition of verses and
The term "hard rock" is also used as an umbrella term
for genres such as punk, grunge,
industrial rock and heavy metal, in order to distinguish them from softer,
more radio friendly pop
rock music. Obviously, the double use of "hard rock" has led