What are some characteristics of punk music

Punk music

- From outcry to silence -

Punk music, also known as punk rock, originated in London and New York in the 1970s and can be recognized by its important musical characteristics. The most important features are the minimal instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums and vocals), a simple composition (keyword "three chords"), mostly overdriven guitar playing and a high clock speed; just like singing with rough voices that often degenerate into screams.

The term “simplicity” is often used in punk music, especially due to the simple composition and minimal instrumentation.

That was mainly the musical characteristics, but especially in punk music the lyrics, or rather their content, are an important characteristic. Most of the time, the texts and slogans are directed against the state and society, against politics and the conditions in the respective scenes.

This content, i.e. negatively assessed conditions in the country, politics and life in general, ultimately also led to the birth of punk music.

In the 1970s, popular discontent in the United States and England grew more and more. Rock music had long since established itself in youth culture when something new emerged from it.

The youth in New York and especially London had had enough of their lives, they were dissatisfied with everything that had made up their lives so far. They wanted something to change. But they couldn't change anything without being heard.

They let out their frustration with society, civil values ​​and the state with everything that goes with it in music. Rock wasn't hard enough for them, didn't express their anger enough ... So they started to make music themselves. With rock music as a model, a new style of music revived.

The punk rock

It was faster, harder, more aggressive, louder and, with its simplicity in its musical structure, expressed anger, its messages and everything else clearly and unadulterated.
It was an outcry and was very well received.
But it's not just the music that characterizes punk rock. Punk music is an attitude towards life, a mentality that fights against the values ​​of society and the state and is also expressed in the style of clothing and appearance.

With the famous tattered look, the Iros (mohawk) and hair dyed in all colors, they made their distance from society public.

The so-called forefathers of punk rock were the "Sex Pistols", which emerged in the second half of the 1970s. The band members were called John, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Glen Matlock, who was replaced by Sid Vicious in 1977. Also interesting and significant is the punk scene that arose in New York around the punk group Ramones.

However, the Sex Pistols are considered to be the most important band in English punk history, even if their music was determined more by rock than by punk and has always refused to be called a "punk band" itself. Perhaps rightly too, because many musical characteristics such as the straight bass lines, fast hard drums, minimal instrumentation were more developed by groups like the Ramones than by the Sex Pistols. But these became icons of the new music and cultural movement in the 70s, probably because of their provocative lyrics and a shocking appearance, alongside the music.

On October 8, 1976, the Pistols signed their first recording deal. The EMI took the four under its wing. Shortly thereafter, they recorded their first single, "Anarchy In The UK". A number that probably the Represents classic of punk. Great Britain got to know the band for the first time on December 1st, 1976. In a live interview, journalist Bill Grundy wanted to provoke the band. Steve Jones did not miss this chance and fired a cannonade of abuse at the audience the likes of which the UK has never seen before. Today's imitators use such PR gags in a targeted manner to drive sales figures up.

The effect was not lacking even then. Anyone who hadn't heard of the bullying knew now. Unfortunately the EMI didn't find the whole thing so funny and without further ado threw the band out of the contract. A&M grabbed the Pistols but also fired them after McLaren divulged what they'd gotten for a bunch of money. Virgin has now won the bid and promptly released the second single "God Save The Queen", which was not necessarily to be seen as a homage to the British head of state. The debut album "Nevermind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols" went to the top of the charts, much to the annoyance of many a good Briton, despite the boycott of many record stores to sell the disc.

The Pistols embarked on a secret tour to avoid being banned from performing. Then they set out to take America by storm. After eight shows, Johnny Rotten gave up and left the band, which had only existed for a year at the time. Johnny Rotten then founded his own band PIL (Public Image Limited), with which he still releases records today. Sid Vicious died on February 2, 1979 of a heroin overdose. Shortly before, he was charged with the murder of his girlfriend at the time, Nancy Spungen, after she was found dead in their hotel room in New York.

In 1996 the Sex Pistols gave a small reunion tour with their original bassist Glen Matlock that they could have saved. But even the pioneers of the anarcho wave couldn't resist the attraction of being able to pocket a whole sack of coal, and so there were some concerts that were so "good" that the beer bottles and tomatoes just flew. For the Queen's 50th anniversary of the throne, of course, they had to report again: There was a new edition of the scandal single "God Save The Queen", which had been released 25 years earlier. It landed back in the top 10 of the UK charts. On this occasion, the album Jubilee and a 3-box set were also released, which comes up with lots of delicacies, including a pistol photo that has never been seen before.

In the summer of 2003, the oldies let themselves be heard again: in August and September they want to tour the United States, says singer Johnny Rotten. The band is also planning a show in war-torn Baghdad in spring 2004. As Rotten further explains, the performance should show the Iraqis democracy "in its full extreme" and make it clear to them that it also has a "downside". At least his band can shout these problems out, so Rotten.

Unfortunately, the original punk of the Sex Pistols and the other representatives of punk at that time no longer exists today, yes, it is even deliberately pushed into oblivion by today's punk bands.

Also, the lyrics are no longer about the circumstances of life, nor so much about politics, a lot was influenced by commerce, so that, for example, everything is not so hard, and the lyrics are not so aggressive ... -


In addition, the original punk rock has always been a music influenced by the immediate scene, and nowadays one makes money only with music suitable for the masses.

And so punk rock is SILENT, and is generally just a genre of music with the musical characteristics of that time, because original punk, true punk rock, has already been lost.

Helena B. (D - 14 years)