Soft rock

Soft rock
Soft rock
Stylistic origins Rock, pop rock, rhythm and blues, folk rock, rock and roll, smooth jazz
Cultural origins Late 1960s
Typical instruments Electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, twelve string guitar, drums, piano, synthesizer
Mainstream popularity 1970s to the 1980s
Other topics
Adult contemporary music

Soft rock is a style of music which uses the techniques of rock music (often combined with elements from folk rock and singer-songwriter pop) to compose a softer, more toned-down sound. Soft rock songs generally tend to focus on themes like love, everyday life and relationships. The genre tends to make heavy use of acoustic guitars, pianos, synthesizers and sometimes saxophones. The electric guitars in soft rock are normally faint and high-pitched.


Neal Schon, only member of Journey to play on every one of their albums

From the late 1960s it became common to divide mainstream rock music into soft and hard rock,[1] with both emerging as major radio formats in the US.[2] Soft rock was often derived from folk rock, using acoustic instruments and putting more emphasis on melody and harmonies. Major artists included Carole King, Cat Stevens and James Taylor.[3] It reached its commercial peak in the mid- to late 70s with acts like Billy Joel, Chicago, America and the reformed Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours (1977) was the best-selling album of the decade.[4] By 1977, some radio stations, like New York's WTFM and WYNY, had switched to an all-soft-rock format.[5] By the 1980s, tastes had changed and radio formats reflected this change, including musical artists such as Journey.[6][7] The genre evolved into what came to be known as "adult contemporary" or "easy listening", a categorization that bore less overt rock influence than its forebear.[8]

See also


  1. ^ R. B. Browne and P. Browne, eds, The Guide to United States Popular Culture (Popular Press, 2001), ISBN 0879728213, p. 687.
  2. ^ M. C. Keith, The Radio Station: Broadcast, Satellite and Internet (Focal Press, 8th edn., 2009), ISBN 0240811860, p. 14.
  3. ^ J. M. Curtis, Rock eras: interpretations of music and society, 1954-1984 (Popular Press, 1987), p. 236.
  4. ^ P. Buckley, The Rough Guide to Rock (Rough Guides, 3rd edn., 2003), p. 378.
  5. ^ C. H. Sterling, M. C. Keith, Sounds of Change: a History of FM broadcasting in America (UNC Press, 2008), pp. 136-7.
  6. ^ "Journey: The band who did not stop believing". BBC News. November 12, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  7. ^ "10 Best Soft Rock Ballads". Made Man. Retrieved December 6, 2010.  “Journey fans can easily list a dozen soft rock ballads from the band...”
  8. ^ C. H. Sterling, M. C. Keith, Sounds of Change: a History of FM broadcasting in America (UNC Press, 2008), p. 187.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Soft Rock — Portail du rock Principaux courants Scènes régionales Groupes et musiciens Par instrument Par nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Soft rock — Orígenes musicales Jazz rock, pop, rock sinfónico, rock melódico. Orígenes culturales finales de los setenta y comienzo de los ochenta, en EE. UU. y Europa (Suecia, Inglaterra, etc.) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Soft rock — (мягкий рок англ.), так же относящийся к light rock (легкий/светлый рок англ.) или easy rock (легкий/простой рок англ.), это музыкальный стиль, который использует технику рок н ролла чтобы достичь более мягкого, более приятного для слуха звука,… …   Википедия

  • soft rock — loc.s.m.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} TS mus. genere di musica rock diffuso spec. negli anni 70, caratterizzato dall uso di strumenti acustici e da sonorità dolci e malinconiche {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: sec. XX. ETIMO: comp. di soft soffice,… …   Dizionario italiano

  • Soft/Rock — is a single released by Lemon Jelly on 21 June, 2001. The 7 single was released in two formats. The first was limited to 1,000 copies and released on blue vinyl, each coming its own hand stitched denim sleeve with a flavoured condom.Fact|date=May …   Wikipedia

  • soft rock — (izg. sȍft rȍk) m DEFINICIJA glazb. podžanr rocka, karakterističan po jednostavnoj pop melodiji, raskošnom aranžmanu i produkciji ETIMOLOGIJA engl.: meki rock …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • soft rock — soft′ rock′ n. mad rock and roll that is relatively melodic in style with an underemphasized beat • Etymology: 1965–70 …   From formal English to slang

  • Soft rock — Le soft rock est un terme à géométrie variable et parfois galvaudé du fait qu il a pu avoir des significations différentes selon les périodes. Toutefois, de façon générale, tous ces différents courants ont un fil conducteur : une musique… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • soft rock — noun : rock music that is less driving and gentler sounding than hard rock * * * a comparatively unaggressive, melodic style of rock n roll in which the arrangement and lyrics are emphasized more than the beat. [1965 70] * * * soft rock noun A… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Soft Rock — Sọft|rock, der; [s], Sọft Rock, der; [s] [engl. soft rock]: gemilderte, leisere Form der Rockmusik. * * * Sọft|rọck, der; [s], (auch:) Sọft Rọck, der; [s] [engl. soft rock]: gemilderte, leisere Form der Rockmusik …   Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.