Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll or rock 'n' roll) is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music. Though elements of rock and roll can be heard in country records of the 1930s, and in blues records from the 1920s, rock and roll did not acquire its name until the 1950s. The term "rock and roll" now has at least two different meanings, both in common usage: as synonymous with rock music and as music that originated in the mid-1950s and later developed "into the more encompassing international style known as rock music". For the purpose of differentiation, this article uses the second definition. In the earliest rock and roll styles of the late 1940s and early 1950s, either the piano or saxophone was often the lead instrument, but these were generally replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late 1950s. The beat is essentially a blues rhythm with an accentuated backbeat, the latter almost always provided by a snare drum. Classic rock and roll is usually played with one or two electric guitars (one lead, one rhythm), a string bass or (after the mid-1950s) an electric bass guitar, and a drum kit. Beyond simply a musical style, rock and roll, as seen in movies and on television, influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. It went on to spawn various sub-genres, often without the initially characteristic backbeat, that are now more commonly called simply "rock music" or "rock". \
The term "rock and roll" now has at least two different meanings, both in common usage. The American Heritage Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary both define rock and roll as synonymous with rock music. Encyclopædia Britannica, on the other hand, regards it as the music that originated in the mid-1950s and later developed "into the more encompassing international style known as rock music". The phrase "rocking and rolling" originally described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but was used by the early twentieth century, both to describe the spiritual fervor of black church rituals and as a sexual analogy. Various gospel, blues and swing recordings used the phrase before it became used more frequently – but still intermittently – in the 1940s, on recordings and in reviews of what became known as "rhythm and blues" music aimed at a black audience. By 1942, Billboard magazine columnist Maurie Orodenker had begun using the term "rock and roll" in descriptions of upbeat recordings such as "Rock Me" by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In 1951, Cleveland, Ohio disc jockey Alan Freed began playing this music style while popularizing the phrase to describe it. Origins
Main article: Origins of rock and roll
Bill Haley and his Comets performing "Rock Around the Clock" on TV in 1955 The origins of rock and roll have been fiercely debated by commentators and historians of music. There is general agreement that it arose in the Southern United States – a region which would produce most of the major early rock and roll acts – through the meeting of various influences that embodied a merging of the African musical tradition with European instrumentation. The migration of many former slaves and their descendants to major urban centers like Memphis and north to New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo (See: Second Great Migration (African American)) meant that black and white residents were living in close proximity in larger numbers than ever before, and as a result heard each other's music and even began to emulate each other's fashions. Radio stations that made white and black forms of music available to both groups, the development and spread of the gramophone record, and African American musical styles such as jazz and swing which were taken up by white musicians,...
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