Essay on Heavy Metal Music

7267 Words Dec 3rd, 2011 30 Pages
HEAVY METAL MUSIC

WHAT IS HEAVY METAL MUSIC?
Heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in between 1968 and 1974 , largely in the United Kingdom and the United States.With roots inblues-rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo.
The first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, though they were often critically reviled, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the
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A characteristic metal drumming technique is the cymbal choke, which consists of striking a cymbal and then immediately silencing it by grabbing it with the other hand (or, in some cases, the same striking hand), producing a burst of sound. The metal drum setup is generally much larger than those employed in other forms of rock music.
In live performance, loudness—an "onslaught of sound," in sociologist Deena Weinstein's description—is considered vital. In his bookMetalheads, psychologist Jeffrey Arnett refers to heavy metal concerts as "the sensory equivalent of war." Following the lead set by Jimi Hendrix, Cream and The Who, early heavy metal acts such as Blue Cheer set new benchmarks for volume. As Blue Cheer's Dick Peterson put it, "All we knew was we wanted more power."A 1977 review of a Motörhead concert noted how "excessive volume in particular figured into the band’s impact." Weinstein makes the case that in the same way that melody is the main element of pop and rhythm is the main focus of house music, powerful sound, timbre, and volume are the key elements of metal. She argues that the loudness is designed to "sweep the listener into the sound" and to provide a "shot of youthful vitality."

MUSICAL LANGUAGE

* Rhythm and tempo

The rhythm in metal songs is emphatic, with deliberate stresses. Weinstein observes that the wide array of sonic effects available to

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