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Word Count: 1,110
History of Rock Rock Music is a group of related music styles that have dominated popular music in the West since about 1955 Rock music began in the United States but it has influenced and in turn been shaped by a broad field of cultures and musical traditions including gospel music the blues country-and-western music classical music folk music electronic music and the popular music of Asia Africa and Latin America In addition to its use as a broad designation the term rock music commonly refers to music styles after 1959 predominantly influenced by white musicians Other major rock music styles include rock and roll the first genre of the music and rythem-and-blues music influenced mainly by black American musicians Each of these major genres encompasses a variety of substyles such as heavy metal punk alternative and grunge While innovations in rock music have often occurred in regional centers-such as New York City Kingston Jamaica and Liverpool England-the influence of rock music is now felt worldwide The central musical instrument in most kinds of rock music is the electric guitar Important figures in the history of this instrument include jazz musician Charlie Christian who in the late 1930s was one of the first to perform the amplified guitar as a solo instrument Aaron Thibeaux T-Bone Walker the first blues musician to record with an amplified guitar 1942 Leo Fender who in 1948 introduced the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar and Les Paul who popularized the instrument in the early 1950s with a series of technologically innovative recordings Rock-and-roll guitarist Chuck Berry established a style of playing in the late 1950s that remains a great influence on rock music Beginning in the late 1960s a new generation of rock guitarists including Jimi Hendrix Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana experimented with amplification feedback a type of electronic sound distortion and various electronic devices extending the musical potential of the instrument Other instruments commonly used in rock
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