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Tense-sounding chromatic or tritone relationships are used in a number of metal chord progressions. The tritone, an interval spanning three whole tones—such as C to F —was a forbidden dissonance in medieval ecclesiastical singing, which led monks to call it diabolus in musica —"the devil in music". Heavy metal songs often make extensive use of pedal point as a harmonic basis.
A pedal point is a sustained tone, typically in the bass range, during which at least one foreign i.
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Also that metal's "most influential musicians have been guitar players who have also studied classical music. Their appropriation and adaptation of classical models sparked the development of a new kind of guitar virtuosity [and] changes in the harmonic and melodic language of heavy metal. In an article written for Grove Music Online , Walser stated that the "s brought on Classical and metal are probably the two genres that have the most in common when it comes to feel, texture, creativity.
Although a number of metal musicians cite classical composers as inspiration, classical and metal are rooted in different cultural traditions and practices—classical in the art music tradition, metal in the popular music tradition. As musicologists Nicolas Cook and Nicola Dibben note, "Analyses of popular music also sometimes reveal the influence of 'art traditions'.
An example is Walser's linkage of heavy metal music with the ideologies and even some of the performance practices of nineteenth-century Romanticism. However, it would be clearly wrong to claim that traditions such as blues, rock, heavy metal, rap or dance music derive primarily from "art music'. According to scholars David Hatch and Stephen Millward, Black Sabbath, and the numerous heavy metal bands that they inspired, have concentrated lyrically "on dark and depressing subject matter to an extent hitherto unprecedented in any form of pop music". They take as an example Sabbath's second album Paranoid , which "included songs dealing with personal trauma—' Paranoid ' and ' Fairies Wear Boots ' which described the unsavoury side effects of drug-taking —as well as those confronting wider issues, such as the self-explanatory ' War Pigs ' and ' Hand of Doom '.
The thematic content of heavy metal has long been a target of criticism. According to Jon Pareles , "Heavy metal's main subject matter is simple and virtually universal. With grunts, moans and subliterary lyrics, it celebrates Congress to regulate the popular music industry due to what the group asserted were objectionable lyrics, particularly those in heavy metal songs.
Heavy metal artists have had to defend their lyrics in front of the U. Senate and in court. At the hearing, the PMRC alleged that the song was about sadomasochism and rape ; Snider stated that the song was about his bandmate's throat surgery. Osbourne was not found to be responsible for the teen's death. While the case attracted a great deal of media attention, it was ultimately dismissed. In some predominantly Muslim countries, heavy metal has been officially denounced as a threat to traditional values. In countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, and Malaysia, there have been incidents of heavy metal musicians and fans being arrested and incarcerated.
For many artists and bands, visual imagery plays a large role in heavy metal. In addition to its sound and lyrics, a heavy metal band's image is expressed in album cover art, logos, stage sets, clothing, design of instruments, and music videos.
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Down-the-back long hair is the "most crucial distinguishing feature of metal fashion". Long hair gave members of the metal community "the power they needed to rebel against nothing in general". The classic uniform of heavy metal fans consists of light colored, ripped frayed or torn blue jeans, black T-shirts, boots, and black leather or denim jackets. Deena Weinstein writes, "T-shirts are generally emblazoned with the logos or other visual representations of favorite metal bands.
Fashion and personal style was especially important for glam metal bands of the era.
Performers typically wore long, dyed, hairspray-teased hair hence the nickname, "hair metal" ; makeup such as lipstick and eyeliner; gaudy clothing, including leopard-skin-printed shirts or vests and tight denim, leather, or spandex pants; and accessories such as headbands and jewelry. Many metal musicians when performing live engage in headbanging , which involves rhythmically beating time with the head, often emphasized by long hair.
The il cornuto , or devil horns, hand gesture was popularized by vocalist Ronnie James Dio while with Black Sabbath and Dio. Attendees of metal concerts do not dance in the usual sense. It has been argued that this is due to the music's largely male audience and "extreme heterosexualist ideology".
Heavy metal music
Two primary body movements used are headbanging and an arm thrust that is both a sign of appreciation and a rhythmic gesture. Stage divers climb onto the stage with the band and then jump "back into the audience". It has been argued that heavy metal has outlasted many other rock genres largely due to the emergence of an intense, exclusionary, strongly masculine subculture.
The metal scene has been characterized as a "subculture of alienation", with its own code of authenticity. Musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie observes, "Most of the kids who come to my shows seem like really imaginative kids with a lot of creative energy they don't know what to do with" and that metal is "outsider music for outsiders. Nobody wants to be the weird kid; you just somehow end up being the weird kid. It's kind of like that, but with metal you have all the weird kids in one place".
The origin of the term "heavy metal" in a musical context is uncertain. The phrase has been used for centuries in chemistry and metallurgy, where the periodic table organizes elements of both light and heavy metals e.
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An early use of the term in modern popular culture was by countercultural writer William S. Burroughs' next novel, Nova Express , develops the theme, using heavy metal as a metaphor for addictive drugs: Metal historian Ian Christe describes what the components of the term mean in " hippiespeak ": Iron Butterfly 's debut album, released in early , was titled Heavy. The first use of "heavy metal" in a song lyric is in reference to a motorcycle in the Steppenwolf song " Born to Be Wild ", also released that year: The first documented use of the phrase to describe a type of rock music identified to date appears in a review by Barry Gifford.
This is the new soul music, the synthesis of white blues and heavy metal rock. Other early documented uses of the phrase are from reviews by critic Mike Saunders. In the November 12, issue of Rolling Stone , he commented on an album put out the previous year by the British band Humble Pie: Here they were a noisy, unmelodic, heavy metal-leaden shit-rock band with the loud and noisy parts beyond doubt. There were a couple of nice songs He described the band's latest, self-titled release as "more of the same 27th-rate heavy metal crap".
In , lead New York Times popular music critic John Rockwell described what he called "heavy-metal rock" as "brutally aggressive music played mostly for minds clouded by drugs",  and, in a different article, as "a crude exaggeration of rock basics that appeals to white teenagers". Coined by Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward , "downer rock" was one of the earliest terms used to describe this style of music and was applied to acts such as Sabbath and Bloodrock.
Classic Rock magazine described the downer rock culture revolving around the use of Quaaludes and the drinking of wine. Earlier on, as "heavy metal" emerged partially from the heavy psychedelic rock scene, also known as acid rock , "acid rock" was often used interchangeably with "heavy metal" and "hard rock". Musicologist Steve Waksman stated that "the distinction between acid rock, hard rock, and heavy metal can at some point never be more than tenuous",  while percussionist John Beck defined "acid rock" as synonymous with hard rock and heavy metal.
Apart from "acid rock", the terms "heavy metal" and " hard rock " have often been used interchangeably, particularly in discussing bands of the s, a period when the terms were largely synonymous. Heavy metal's quintessential guitar style, built around distortion-heavy riffs and power chords, traces its roots to early s Memphis blues guitarists such as Joe Hill Louis , Willie Johnson , and particularly Pat Hare ,   who captured a "grittier, nastier, more ferocious electric guitar sound" on records such as James Cotton 's " Cotton Crop Blues " ;  the late s instrumentals of Link Wray , particularly " Rumble " ;  the early s surf rock of Dick Dale , including " Let's Go Trippin' " and " Misirlou " ; and The Kingsmen 's version of " Louie Louie " which made it a garage rock standard.
However, the genre's direct lineage begins in the mids.
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American blues music was a major influence on the early British rockers of the era. Bands like The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds developed blues rock by recording covers of classic blues songs, often speeding up the tempos. As they experimented with the music, the UK blues-based bands—and the U.
In terms of sheer volume, especially in live performance, The Who's "bigger-louder-wall-of- Marshalls " approach was seminal. The combination of blues rock with psychedelic rock and acid rock formed much of the original basis for heavy metal. Acid rock has been described as psychedelic rock at its "rawest and most intense," emphasizing the heavier qualities associated with both the positive and negative extremes of the psychedelic experience rather than only the idyllic side of psychedelia.
The latter label was applied to a pounding, hard rock variant that evolved out of the mids garage-punk movement. When rock began turning back to softer, roots-oriented sounds in late , acid-rock bands mutated into heavy metal acts. One of the most influential bands in forging the merger of psychedelic rock and acid rock with the blues rock genre was the British power trio Cream , who derived a massive, heavy sound from unison riffing between guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce , as well as Ginger Baker 's double bass drumming.
Hendrix 's virtuosic technique would be emulated by many metal guitarists and the album's most successful single, " Purple Haze ", is identified by some as the first heavy metal hit.
During the late s, many psychedelic singers, such as Arthur Brown , began to create outlandish, theatrical and often macabre performances; which in itself became incredibly influential to many metal acts. Live shows consisted of elaborate, theatrical " Satanic rites. Critics disagree over who can be thought of as the first heavy metal band.
Most credit either Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath , with American commentators tending to favour Led Zeppelin and British commentators tending to favour Black Sabbath, though many give equal credit to both. In , the sound that would become known as heavy metal began to coalesce.