Progressive Rock

Progressive rock - or prog rock as it is commonly known - is one of the many genres of rock music. There are many different kinds of rock music and each has a distinctive style.

One of the most distinctive feature of progressive rock is the format of the song. While traditionally songs have several verses with a chorus in between each, prog rock does not necessarily following this format.

Often there are musical interludes or extended choruses and bridges in prog rock songs. Because of instrumental sections prog rock songs can last considerably longer than other songs - although they will be cut down for the radio edit.

Progressive rock also makes more use of technology than many other forms of music. Synthesizers in particular are often used in progressive rock as is electronic percussion such as drum machines.

Some progressive rock bands also release what are known as concept albums. These albums tend to have a particular theme or character that runs through every song on the album and can be particularly dramatic or theatrical.

As well as themes for an album, progressive rock bands tend to stick to similar themes for their lyrics. These themes often include issues about society, themes from literature and fantasy.

Art is also a big part of progressive rock. Album covers tend to be more creative and unique than other forms of rock music. In fact many prog rock bands are as well known for their elaborate album artwork as they are for their music!
It’s not just artwork either, the packaging of the albums is also important with many bands shunning the traditional album sleeve and cd case.

The term progressive rock emerged in the 1980s as bands sought to find a way to bring rock music up to date and indulge their creativity without shunning the roots of rock altogether.

Pioneers of the music include Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd. The term was coined with the emergence of these popular rock band in an effort to describe the music they were producing. The music is experimental and follows no set course, allowing the artist to take the song in whatever direction they like.

Progressive rock became so popular it let to the founding of several festivals dedicated exclusively to that genre of music. The most famous of these is Progfest in California which began in 1993.

Other famous progressive rock festivals and events include Rogue Fest and ProgPower in Atlanta, Prog in the Park in New York, Prog Sud in Marseille, Baja Prog in Mexico, Tiana in Barcelona, Rio Art Rock Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Progfarm in Holland and Summer’s End in England. The success of these festivals shows progressive rock as an art form is still going strong.