What actually IS prog?

  • This is coming off some exchanges in the Sum Of The Parts thread (about midway down this page discussing PG's solo work) that wandered into the area of "defining" prog rock and I thought it warranted its own thread, indeed I thought there already was one but there doesn't seem to be.


    So what is it?

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • Progarchives has a very in-depth definition of progressive rock music. I come here often to find new and old music. The site is a veritable mine of information for music lovers. All of Peter Gabriel's albums are here as well, classified as Crossover Prog. Tons of reviews.


    To define what prog rock is in one paragraph would be impossible. The genre has genres within itself; heavy prog, crossover prog, progressive metal, symphonic prog, etc, so please take the time to read this history of progressive rock music.


    Once in the site, and after you've spent some time reading about the history of progressive rock, enter an artist's name in the search window and check out their discography.


    http://www.progarchives.com/Progressive-rock.asp#definition

  • I've got various issues with the long explanation of prog in its alleged various forms on that site but I'm tired so may return to this tomorrow.

    Abandon all reason

  • Every prog forum has their "so what is prog" discussion. Those discussions usually tend to bring up a lot of theoretical definitions, which is all very nice, however in reality 'prog' as a label is largely applied by convenience. To sum it up very roughly I would say prog covers rock music (or rock-derived music) rooted in a movement going back to the late 60s that aimed to break out of pop music conventions; what it became was its own niche, a type of music that stresses intellectual, academic features such as odd-time signatures, extended instrumental parts, lyrics inspired by classic literature, etc. in short anything that serves to show off classical education; plus it has a tendency to toy with the listener's expectations. Newer variants of prog such as prog metal or alternative prog are basically rooted in newer rock or metal styles but nonetheless they add the intellectual attitude and aim at a higher level of musical complexity than what is usually to be expected from average rock music.


    Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush usually get labeled as "Art Pop"; Pink Floyd, Supertramp and Alan Parsons Project are "Art Rock" by definition. These labels have become conventions for artists who are on the verge of prog or who are simply too "different" to call them only pop or rock music but who still differ too much from stereotypical prog to lump them together with the mass of prog bands.


    Discussions about the nature of prog often tend to get lengthy without ever coming closer to a sharp definition, a sign that prog can only be loosely defined no matter what.

  • in reality 'prog' as a label is largely applied by convenience.


    Discussions about the nature of prog often tend to get lengthy without ever coming closer to a sharp definition, a sign that prog can only be loosely defined no matter what.

    I'd go along with these points. The detailed explanation on the Prog Archive link is trying too hard to break it down and pigeonhole. I treated the list of links to various sub-genres as a biohazard and hurried past it.

    Abandon all reason

  • Thanks for the input Schrottrocker and Backdrifter. I agree with many of your ideas and comments. I don't go by labels, per se, when it comes to the music I enjoy, though I do appreciate sites like http://www.progarchives.com for their extensive list of artists and bands, with histories of each.


    Other sites that are very useful include

    .

    DPRP Reviews

    https://www.dprp.net/reviews


    Bandcamp

    https://bandcamp.com/tag/progressive


    New Prog Releases

    http://newprogreleases.blogspot.com/?m=1


    The Prog Report

    https://progreport.com/


    New Releases Now (A Weekly Guide To New Music)

    http://www.newreleasesnow.com/…y-edition?genre=prog-rock

  • Every prog forum has their "so what is prog" discussion. Those discussions usually tend to bring up a lot of theoretical definitions, which is all very nice, however in reality 'prog' as a label is largely applied by convenience. To sum it up very roughly I would say prog covers rock music (or rock-derived music) rooted in a movement going back to the late 60s that aimed to break out of pop music conventions; what it became was its own niche, a type of music that stresses intellectual, academic features such as odd-time signatures, extended instrumental parts, lyrics inspired by classic literature, etc. in short anything that serves to show off classical education; plus it has a tendency to toy with the listener's expectations. Newer variants of prog such as prog metal or alternative prog are basically rooted in newer rock or metal styles but nonetheless they add the intellectual attitude and aim at a higher level of musical complexity than what is usually to be expected from average rock music.


    Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush usually get labeled as "Art Pop"; Pink Floyd, Supertramp and Alan Parsons Project are "Art Rock" by definition. These labels have become conventions for artists who are on the verge of prog or who are simply too "different" to call them only pop or rock music but who still differ too much from stereotypical prog to lump them together with the mass of prog bands.


    Discussions about the nature of prog often tend to get lengthy without ever coming closer to a sharp definition, a sign that prog can only be loosely defined no matter what.

    I agree 100% ^


    The Prog genre was invented in the 70's and as of today evolved quite rapidly.


    I find some of the sub-genres quite confusing today as I quite often have to refer to prog archives or listen via youtube, bandcamps and soundscape to understand the music.


    Prog was invented like classical to have a lot of different time signatures which was so different from pop during that time.


    I even find some of the moderators have a difficult time classifying a band to a specific genre.


    Myself, prefer interesting music, whatever genre. I am not a fan of Mike's solo's works and find his style pretty much the same throughout. Other then him all the genesis members solo works I enjoy. :)

  • 'Prog' rather than "progressive rock' is a usefully noncommital shortcut for this kitchen-sink type genre, while being punchy enough to give pause to kneejerk detractors.


    Having said that, l like Steve Hackett's definition/manifesto: 'permissive rock' or, more recent, 'pan-genre approach'compositional freedom in popular music, what a concept!

  • This is what comes to my mind in any discussion of genres, sub-genres, and sub-sub-genres:


    "It's just music, man -- forget the label."

    -- Guillermo Cazenave

    Your most dangerous enemies are those who can convince you they're your friends.

    Edited once, last by DecomposingMan ().

  • This is what comes to my mind in any discussion of genres, sub-genres, and sub-sub-genres:


    "It's just music, man -- forget the label."

    Of-- Guillermo Cazenave

    Maybe, but if I simply tell people I like music they might buy me some Jay Z for Christmas.!!

  • I find that Gandalf's Pikestaff are currently the finest example of all the various dark magenta logarithmic symphoniasm interphased transition-mesh halogen-prog bands. Take a listen to their most recent 7-disc conceptium Cosmological Apotheosis of the Plasmavoid Necromancer if you don't believe me.

    Abandon all reason

  • I find that Gandalf's Pikestaff are currently the finest example of all the various dark magenta logarithmic symphoniasm interphased transition-mesh halogen-prog bands. Take a listen to their most recent 7-disc conceptium Cosmological Apotheosis of the Plasmavoid Necromancer if you don't believe me.

    I believe every word..I shall give it a listen 😁