With every new generation, a new musical genre is developed. Usually, it’s accompanied by shouts of ‘turn that racket down!’ from every older person in the lip tattooing perth. In the 1920s, jazz was looked down on by the older generations, who thought it was too ‘wild’ and ‘uncouth’, and many young people were banned by their parents from watching or listening to it.
Later, in the 1950s, jazz had become the pinnacle of education and sophistication, but those who had once been banned from listening to jazz by their parents now decided that rock’n’roll was the ‘braindead’ music of the masses. Then those same people grew up and looked down upon the next generation of punk rockers who came along. So is music actually changing so much? Or do we just think that we know better than the generations who come after us?
This attitude towards new genres of music is not new. In fact, it is as old as time itself. Even operas such as Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s Madame Butterfly were initially considered ‘sordid’ and ‘scandalous’ before society evolved to see the important political messages behind the stories.
Is rock and metal music really so different? Rock and punk have long been a means of communicating a political message; just consider for a moment bands such as The Clash, Rage Against The Machine, and Husker Du. And playing ‘loud’ or ‘dark’ music is hardly exclusive to rock and metal; many classical pieces fit the bill for these qualities – Holst’s ‘Mars, The Bringer Of War’, from The Planets, is booming, dark and aggressive, to fit with the character of the God in Roman mythology.
Holst’s composition was so compellingly dark and suspenseful that it inspired John Williams’ theme song for classic villain Darth Vader in the Star Wars series. In fact, a great many rock bands have taken influence from classical music; for example, Led Zeppelin are among the loudest live bands in history, yet are known to have drawn influence from Beethoven, Queen used a range of operatic features and styles in their music, and an entire genre of music (symphonic metal) was created using classical as the basis for creating heavier tracks.
Frank Zappa was known for his passion for Stravinsky and Varese, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd wrote and released his three-part opera, Ca Ira, which was released in 2005. Also, metal bands such as Metallica and Children Of Bodom in particular, seem to have been heavily influenced by classical music, with Metallica even releasing two albums with the San Francisco Symphony orchestra.