Music is a presence that is always there for you, no matter where and how you are. You can be hurt, furious, or on cloud nine, and you will always find music by your side.
As you all may know, different moods require different kinds of music to complement one’s emotions. These kinds of music or songs are called genres.
Genres refer to categories in music, each carrying different properties and characteristics unique to itself.
Rock, hip-hop, pop, jazz, and musical theatre are a few examples of the genres commonly found in music. Each is strikingly different, and one can easily differentiate one genre from the other.
Rock and metal music are very popular among listeners. Both these categories are said to be exhilarating and energizing to listen to.
However, there are a few differences between these two categories.
- Rock Music has a broad range of styles and sub-genres and is characterized by guitars, drums, and bass. In contrast, Metal Music is characterized by amplified distortion, fast tempo, and aggressive vocals.
- Rock Music is influenced by various genres, including blues, folk, and country, while Metal Music is rooted in heavy metal and hard rock.
- Rock Music is generally associated with a rebellious and anti-establishment culture, while Metal Music is associated with dark themes and subcultures.
Rock vs. Metal Music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that originated in the 1950s and 1960s, characterized by electric guitars, bass, and often vocals with a strong beat and catchy melody. Metal music is a genre of music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, characterized by aggressive guitar riffs and heavy drums.
|Parameter of Comparison||Rock Music||Metal Music|
|Genre||Rock is considered to be a popular main genre in music.||Metal is considered to be a popular sub-genre of Rock music.|
|Origin||The origin of Rock music can be tracked down to the 1950s.||The origin of Metal music can be tracked down to around the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.|
|Sound||Rock music has a lighter and lower sound when compared to Metal music.||Metal music has a higher and deeper sound when compared to Rock music.|
|Distortion||Rock music has a lighter distortion in its sound.||Metal music has a strong distortion in its sound.|
|Rhythm||Rock music exercises unsyncopated stress.||Metal music exercises deliberate stress emphatically.|
What is Rock Music?
Rock music is one of the most popular genres in the industry. It is influenced by and has influenced various other genres worldwide.
Rock music, as a genre, is said to have originated in the 1950s in the United States of America. It is also known by its nickname, “Rock and Roll.”
Rock music has heavily drawn inspiration from other main genres such as blues, rhythm and blues, folk, country music, jazz, classical, and many more. These influences gave rise to sub-genre combinations like folk rock, blues rock, jazz rock, grunge, heavy metal, etc.
Other genres have also taken inspiration from Rock music.
The main characteristics of Rock music are its sound and distortion. Rock music has a lighter and lower sound when compared to Metal.
About distortion, rock music, once again, has a lighter distortion in its sound.
Rhythm is one of the key components when it comes to music and songs. Rock music exercises an unsyncopated stress, following the 4/4 signature.
Coming to the instruments used, rock music predominantly uses keyboards as their primary instrument. Rock music also uses a classical drum set without a double bass pedal. This genre does not use a guitar power chord too.
Thus, rock music has inspired and been influenced by many genres creating a diverse set of other genres. These influences have inspired several cultural and political movements, acting as their driving force.
Some famous artists in this genre are Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, and so on.
What is Metal music?
We all know that a diverse set of sub-genres are created under Rock music, such as jazz, rock, grunge, soft rock, folk-rock, etc. Metal music is a popular sub-genre that comes under the main genre of Rock music.
It is said to have originated around the late 1960s and early 1970s, mainly in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, to a lesser extent. It is also known by its nickname, “Heavy Metal.” The blues genre and other psychedelic rock genres heavily influence it.
As the name suggests, “Heavy metal,” or simply ‘metal’ is known for its two main characteristics: – sound and distortion. Metal has a higher and deeper sound when compared to Rock music. It also has a strong and higher distortion.
Metal music exercises deliberate and emphatic stress regarding the rhythm it follows.
Metal music rarely uses keyboards as their primary instrument. Guitars and drums with extreme loudness characterize this sub-genre.
Metal uses a drum set with the double bass pedal. It also uses a guitar power chord.
Metal music is often associated with aggression and masculinity, and fans who love songs that come under this genre are called ‘headbangers.’
A few artists who are famous in this genre are Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and so on.
Main Differences Between Rock and Metal
- Rock music is considered to be a popular main genre in the industry. But Metal music is considered a popular Rock music sub-genre, among many others.
- Rock music originates from the 1950s, mainly in the United States of America (USA). But the origin of Metal music is dated back to the late 1960s and early 1970s in mainly the United Kingdom (and also in the USA).
- Rock music has a lighter and lower sound, while Metal music has a deeper and higher sound.
- Rock music has a lighter distortion in its sound. But Metal music has a strong and higher distortion.
- Rock music exercises unsyncopated stress with a 4/4 signature. But Metal music exercises deliberate emphatic stress.
- Rock music is known as ‘rock’ or ‘rock and roll.’ But Metal music is also known as simply ‘metal’ or ‘heavy metal.’
- Rock music uses keyboards as their primary instruments. But Metal music uses guitars and drum sets as their key instruments.
- A few artists who play rock music are Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Nirvana, etc. A few artists who play metal music are Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.