A Definition of Progressive Rock

Criteria for defining progressive rock's musical style based on the books

  1. Combines classical music's sense of space and monumental scope with rock's raw power and energy.

  2. Frequent inclusion of musical styles from other than a rock format (e.g. - classical, R&B, jazz, folk, avant-garde and world music).

  3. Complex, dynamic and multi-dimensional usually featuring intricate keyboard and guitar playing (often using a Mellotron or string synth to simulate an orchestra backing).

  4. A blending of acoustic, electric and electronic instruments where each plays a vital role in translating the emotion of compositions which typically contain more than one mood.

  5. A mixture of loud passages, soft passages, and musical crescendos to add to the dynamics of the arrangements.  Extended instrumental solos, perhaps involving some improvisation.

  6. Multi-movement compositions that center on a core musical theme. Tracks predominantly on the longish side, but structured.

  7. Subject matter typically drawn from science fiction, mythology, fantasy and utopian literature.