Music: Changing Sounds

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Since its inception in the 1950s, rock ’n’ roll has stirred controversy. Elvis Presley shocked many conservative Americans. They referred to rock ’n’ roll as a cacophony and censured its being played on the radio or sold in record stores. But the “noise” could not be stopped or the movement quieted.
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Over the next few years, rock ’n’ roll continued to break down the decorum of the young as crowds of women chased after the Beatles, screamed through their songs, and fainted at their concerts. During the 1960s, the young clamored for even more energetic music. The execution of rock music continued to change as rock venues grew. Performers learned to modulate their voices and performances depending on whether they were singing in front of thousands at a concert like Woodstock or before an intimate group at a folk cafe. Performers like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin showed how instruments and voices could be used in dynamic ways.
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The complaints against rock music seemed barely audible by the mid-1970s, when punk rock and the Sex Pistols broke the peace. High energy was again vital to the music scene, and poor acoustics, found in many of the small halls punk bands first played in, hardly seemed to matter to audiences that spent the night dancing. Music continued to evolve, and the 1980s and ’90s embraced a variety of styles including new wave, hip-hop, and rap. For many performers today, it isn’t unusual for their repertoire to include a classic song from one of the ’60s girl groups to a heavy metal-inspired number.
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Tonight’s concert brings artists together from the 1950s to the present to perform songs from some of their most popular albums as well as works by other rock greats. Enjoy the fun, the flair, and the flavors of rock ’n’ roll!

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