The community of Progressive rock has developed several forums and mailing lists for discussion. One such message board is Progressive Ears. This message board features discussions, polls and reviews. If you are interested in progressive rock, this is the place to be. If you are new to the genre, you may not be sure how to start a discussion. Here are some tips for newcomers:
Music Banter Forum
Founded in 2000, Music Banter is a 100% forum devoted to progressive rock. The site features extensive discussions and features space for member journals and album reviews. In addition, it offers several distinct genre forums, including “Artist’s Corner,” which allows users to discuss everything from stereo equipment to songwriting. The forum focuses on building community and fostering creative and intelligent conversation, rather than simply offering an “all-in-one” music resource.
If you are new to progressive rock, or you’ve never heard of this genre, you’re in for a treat. It’s a musical style that has evolved from psychedelic rock in the late 1960s, with the genre reaching its zenith in the early 1980s. Unlike many other styles, progressive rock’s lyrics are complex and abstract, often drawing inspiration from classical literature, fantasy, folklore, or social commentary. Among the most notable bands to use these themes in their lyrics are Jethro Tull, Yes, and XTC.
In addition to blogs and message boards, the progressive rock community has developed several tools to discuss this genre. A progressive rock forum, known as Progressive Ears, features discussions, polls, and reviews. Several progressive rock artists have used these forums to share their thoughts. There are also numerous discussion lists and mailing lists dedicated to this genre. Below are some of the most popular ones:
Define Prog Rock in plain language and avoid using highly-esteemed knowledge to explain the genre. For example, do not use sound track samples or modifiers of adjectives (also called adverbs). Stick to real language, and you’ll go a long way. Time signatures in Prog Rock are a great example of this. Let’s look at some of the band’s best-known songs as examples.
While the music of prog-rock has been characterized as classical and jazz-influenced, there is no specific rule regarding its instrumentation. Generally, prog-rock melodies are modal or built upon the pentatonic scale. Instrumental chord progressions are often augmented with compound intervals and may follow an I-IV-V progression. Similarly, few prog-rock bands follow a strict harmonies scheme, but there have been instances where the music used classical themes as inspiration. Some prog rock bands have also worked with dissonant harmonies, atonal harmonies, and rudimentary serialism.
The Lyrical Ambition in Prog Rock is generally comparable to the band’s musical ambitions, which eschew typical rock/pop subjects and themes. Progressive rock lyrics often draw from classical literature, fantasy, folklore, and social commentary. For example, the lyrics of Dream Theater are inspired by surreal stories, while those of Roger Waters are inspired by social criticism and personal struggles. Similarly, the lyrics of Styx are inspired by science fiction.
Art direction in Prog Rock is an integral part of the band’s sound. It was introduced to the genre with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As prog bands became famous, art direction became more integrated into their sound and identity. Famous artists such as Roger Dean created the artwork for bands. The artworks served the same function as corporate branding. In the Prog Rock Forum, art direction was discussed regularly.
In the art direction of a prog band, a creative person’s job is to translate ideas into a visual representation. The Beatles established the aesthetic with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but soon other prog bands followed suit and adopted art direction as part of their brand identity. Artists like Roger Dean became famous, and his work now serves the same purpose as corporate branding.