Special Focus Style 2012 - Punk

Notes on performance styles, instrumentation, popular artists and their contributions, production techniques etc.

  • Created by: T
  • Created on: 25-05-12 20:33

Key Facts

  • Started around 1975
  • Popular by 1977
  • Dissolved by 1980
  • Reaction against the highly produced sound of progressive rock
  • Anti-establishment music for the people
  • Lyrics often social or political commentaries or focused on dissatisfaction with the establishment
  • Many bands and songs refused airplay
  • Supporter of political movements such as Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism
  • Chaotic dancing (known as pogo-ing) and spitting were common
  • Equipment and venues often destroyed during gigs
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  • Rock and roll
  • Hard rock of bands such as The Who
  • Early 1960s pop
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Artist and Contributions - Sex Pistols

  • Outraged mainstream society 
  • Manufactured by fashion guru Malcom McClaren
  • 'No Future' portrayed bleak prospects for the youth of UK
  • Made punk fashionable

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The Clash

  • More diversity than other punk rock bands, often dabbling in reggae, rockabilly, rock and roll and funk
  • Their album 'London Calling' is often referred to as one of rock's finest
  • Continued to make political commentaries in their music well in to the 1980s despite declining popularity
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The Ramones

  • From New York
  • Referred to as the first punk band
  • Played at CBGB's club where other post-punk and new wave artists developed their sound
  • Thought of as pop punk, but occasionally veered in to punk rock
  • Music was often Four chords and one tempo the whole way through
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  • Thin and harsh
  • Typically a drumkit, bass, two electric guitars and vocals. 
  • Guitars: Distortion and aggressively strummed
  • Drumkit: Lots of cymbals, loud and aggressive
  • Vocals: Mostly male and shouted
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Performance and Arrangement

  • Small ensemble
  • Loud, raw, basic, no frills music
  • Simple, repetitive melodies based around just a few notes/pitches
  • Straight forward rhythm with some simple syncopation
  • Fast, steady tempo
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Technology and Production

  • DIY ethic
  • No clever production techniques
  • Small, independent studios to give a raw sound
  • Effects were limited to avoid a polished sound
  • Distortion quite popular on guitars
  • Relatively short songs with basic structures
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