n. A rock music genre originating from the late 1960s and early 1970s, heavily influenced by classical music and jazz
n. a style of rock music that emerged in the 1970s; associated with attempts to combine rock with jazz and other forms; intended for listening and not dancing [syn: art rock]
Progressive rock (first known as progressive pop; later prog rock or prog; sometimes art rock, classical rock, or symphonic rock) is a rock music subgenre that originated in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid to late 1960s. It developed from psychedelic rock, and began as an attempt to give greater artistic weight and credibility to rock music. Songs were replaced by musical suites that often stretched to 20 or 40 minutes in length and contained symphonic influences, extended musical themes, fantasy-like ambience and lyrics, and complex orchestrations.
The style was an outgrowth of retrospectively termed " proto-prog" bands who abandoned the short pop single in favor of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz or classical music as part of an effort to give rock music the same level of musical sophistication and critical respect. It saw a high level of popularity throughout the 1970s, especially in the middle of the decade, but faded soon after. Conventional wisdom holds that the rise of punk rock caused this, although in reality a number of factors contributed to the decline. Music critics, who often labeled the concepts as "pretentious" and the sounds as "pompous" and "overblown," tended to be hostile toward the genre or to completely ignore it. Some bands achieved commercial success well into the 1980s, albeit with changed lineups and more compact song structures.
Most of the prominent bands from the genre's 1970s heyday fall into the "symphonic prog" category, in which classical orchestrations and compositional techniques are melded with rock music. Other subgenres exist, including the more accessible neo-progressive rock of the 1980s, the jazz-influenced Canterbury sound of the 1960s and 1970s, and the more political and experimental Rock in Opposition movement of the late 1970s and onward. Progressive rock has influenced genres such as krautrock and post-punk, and it has fused with other forms of rock music to create subgenres, such as progressive metal. A revival, often known as new prog, occurred at the turn of the 21st century and has since enjoyed a cult following.
Progressive rock is a radio station programming format that prospered in the late 1960s and 1970s, in which the disc jockeys are given wide latitude in what they may play, similar to the freeform format but with the proviso that some kind of rock music is almost always played. The name for the format came from around 1968, when serious disc jockeys were playing "progressive 'music for the head'" and discussing social issues in between records.