Difference Between Rock and Metal Music (With Table)

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 complemento 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, musical teatro are a few examples of the genres that are commonly found in music. Each are strikingly different from each other 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 quite exhilarating and energising to listen to. However, there are a few differences between these two categories.

Rock vs Metal Music

The difference between rock and metal music is that while rock music is a genre, metal music is a sub-genre. There are various other features based on which these two differ too.

Comparison Table Between Rock and Metal Music

Parámetro de comparación Rock MusicMetal Music
GenreRock is considered to be a popular main genre in music.Metal is considered to be a popular sub-genre of Rock music.
OrigenThe 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 1960s and beginning of 1970s.
SonidoRock 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 an unsyncopated stress.Metal music exercises deliberate stress emphatically.

What is Rock Music?

Rock music is one of the most popular main genres that exist in the music industry. It is influenced by and has influenced various other genres all over the world. 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. It is these influences that gave rise to few 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. With regard to 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 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 definitely inspired several cultural and political movements, acting as its driving force.

Few artists who are famous under this genre are Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, and so on.

What is Metal music?

Now, we all know that there are a diverse set of sub-genres created under Rock music such as jazz, rock, grunge, soft rock, folk-rock, etc. Metal music is one such popular sub-genre that comes under the main genre Rock music.

It is said to have originated around the late 1960s and early 1970s in mainly the United Kingdom and in United States of America, to a lesser extent. It is also known by its nickname “Heavy metal”. It is heavily influenced by the blues genre and other psychedelic rock genres.

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, when it comes to the rhythm that it follows.

Metal music rarely uses keyboards as their primary instrument. This sub-genre is characterised by guitars and drums with extreme loudness. Metal uses a drum set with 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 as ‘headbangers’.

Few artists who are famous under this genre are Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and so on.

Main Differences Between Rock and Metal

  1. Rock music is considered to be a popular main genre of the industry. But Metal music is considered to be a popular sub-genre of Rock music, among many others.
  2. The origin of Rock music is dated back to 1950s in mainly United States of America (USA). But the origin of Metal music is dated back to late 1960s and early 1970s in mainly United Kingdom (and also in USA).
  3. Rock music has a lighter and lower sound, while Metal music has a deeper and higher sound.
  4. Rock music has a lighter distortion in its sound. But Metal music has a strong and higher distortion.
  5. Rock music exercises unsyncopated stress with 4/4 signature. But Metal music exercises deliberate emphatic stress.
  6. Rock music is also known as simply ‘rock’ or ‘rock and roll’. But Metal music is also known as simply ‘metal’ or ‘heavy metal’.
  7. Rock music uses keyboards as their primary instruments. But Metal music uses guitars and drum sets as their key instruments.
  8. Few artists who play rock music are Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Nirvana, etc. Few artists who play metal music are Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.

Conclusión

Both Rock and Metal are similar, yet quite different. They are alike in terms of categories and other features.

They differ based on sound, distortion, instruments used, origin and rhythm.

However, both these kinds of music have made an impact on people and has become a driving force to bring about change.

Referencias

  1. http://search.proquest.com/openview/8ef784d40c1d3d28d5e4ea54c61dc6e4/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=34704
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/11745398.2017.1326156