Rock Music vs. Alternative Rock Music

Difference between Rock and Alternative Rock Rock and alternative rock music have their own story of emergence and…

Difference between Rock and Alternative Rock

Rock and alternative rock music have their own story of emergence and acceptance by the society. Both these styles of music had their own influence and a message to the society. Alternative rock has branched out from Rock and it is focused on powerful chords, drums, guitars and a powerful voice. The existence of rock was realized in 1950’s in Europe and US and it is based on some of the old styles of music like blues and rhythm.

Rock got popularity with Elvis Presley, when he displayed it with great combination of dance and music. He inspired other music enthusiasts to come and join the world of rock. One such popular group was Beatles which greatly influenced the world with their great melodies. It was a British rock group which got popular in 1960s. With increased interest and inclination towards rock, different styles of rock like alternative rock, folk rock, psychedelic rock etc emerged out of Rock.

Alternative rock branched out from classic rock in 1980s and got huge popularity in 1990s with the popularity of the rock band named Nirvana. Realizing the commercial potential of alternative rock many courting bands like REM, Hole, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Red hot Chili Peppers were started by major labels.

Although alternative rock has emerged out of rock, they have quite a few differences between them. Some of them are given here:

  • First of all Rock got instant popularity with Rock n Roll while alternative rock made its market slowly because it did not accept the mainstream culture of commercialism which Rock did.
  • Alternative Rock is also referred to as college rock because it hardly got recognition from the market and remained confined to clubs and pubs popular among college students while Rock music got commercial success as well as popularity among the masses.
  • Rock music is general while alternative rock tried to address emotions, sentiments and socio-political issues which helped it in gaining popularity gradually.


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