What is progressive rock?

By | April 6, 2021


There are several ways to describe the style of progressive rock music — The Oxford Pocket English Dictionary says it is characterized by ‘classical influences, the use of keyboard instruments and long compositions.’ According to Princeton University’s WordNet, ‘progressive rock style’ is associated with attempts to combine rock with jazz and other forms; intended for listening and not dancing. Finally, in British History, the Oxford Companion describes the style of progressive rock as ‘complex compositions using electroacoustic sounds’.


According to ‘The Music’s All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock’, an article published in the academic humanities magazine ‘Notes’, progressive rock is originally traced back to Britain’s late 1960s psychedelic music scene, especially from the Beatles’ late music . Oxford Companion to British History credits ‘groups like Pink Floyd’ for developing progressive rock in the late 1960s.


In addition to Pink Floyd, ‘The Music’s All That Matters’, the band Ja, Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) are described as progressive rock acts who achieved great commercial success in the 1970s. Encyclopedia Britannica is also called British bands Genesis and King Crimson as examples of progressive rock groups. Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music known for musical acts such as Pink Floyd and Yes. Progressive rock music did not appear until the end of the 1960s and gained commercial popularity in the 1970s and 1980s.