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Piano Rock

Piano rock, sometimes referred to as piano pop, is a term for a style of music that is based around piano related instruments such as the keyboard and synthesiser, rather than the classic rock combination of lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals. This style requires an active role on the part of the pianist to carry the score. Traditionally, piano rock has not been as prevalent as classic rock. However, modern bands such as Ben Folds Five, Coldplay, and The Whitlams, and solo artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Rufus Wainwright, have heavily featured keyboard instruments in their songs.

The roots of piano rock can be traced to 1950s rock-and-roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis. A number of his performance techniques, such as kicking the piano bench out of the way to play standing, raking his hands up and down the keyboard for dramatic effect, and even sitting on the keyboard are common place in modern piano rock and often seen in the performances of Elton John and Ben Folds.

Billy Joel and Elton John could be considered groundbreakers in the genre, with hits throughout the 70s and 80s merging the Rhythm and blues sounds of pianists Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder with Jerry Lee Lewis inspired Rock and Pop trends.

Artists such as Tori Amos and Ben Folds have kept piano rock in the public consciousness throughout the '90s and into the 2000s. 2005 has seen piano rock continuing to record popular success in the U.S. and Australian charts through "Landed" by Ben Folds and "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter.

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