The Death of Rock and Roll

I was talking recently to a rock musician about the Gibson guitar company which has now fallen on hard times. He said that rock music was no longer fashionable, just as the big bands before and shortly after the Second World War became unfashionable. I wondered, then, whether we are now seeing the death of rock and roll.

For my generation rock was the main source of music. There were great bands, great musicians and great songs on great long playing alums. For those of my generation those bands were outrageously wonderful. Many of the bands have disbanded; many of the musicians have died, but the songs remain.

Different forms of music are now enjoyed by the young. A band with a lead guitarist, a bass guitarist, a rhythm guitarist and a drummer was the classic rock set up. There were variations; some bands would have a keyboard player, others used a violinist or flautist and they mainly composed and played music in a predictable format.

Some remain, but will not remain forever; their music will outlast them and become the classical music of the future.

When I was young I thought that rock music was a new art form; part of music but something different from what went before. So it has proved. There is not as much scholarship about rock music as there is about classic music, but give it time and the scholarship will increase and rock music will be taught in schools and universities to a far greater extent than now.

So I suppose we are not seeing the death of rock and roll; just a gentle decline in popularity and transfiguration from the outrageously wonderful into the gently acceptable wonderful.

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