Post Rock Music Theory- What You Need to Know

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A quick guide to understanding post rock music theory- everything from song structure to soundscape.

1.What is post rock music?

Post rock music is a genre that uses rock instrumentation to build atmosphere and create sonic landscapes. This type of music often has no traditional song structure, and instead relies on mood and feeling to convey its emotional message. Post rock bands typically make use of extended guitar solos, echo-laden melodies, and intricate keyboard patterns to create their sound.

2.The history of post rock music

Post rock is a genre of music that is defined by its lack of traditional song structure and conventional instrumentation. The genre is often characterized by long musical sections that build in intensity and texture until they reach a crescendo, without ever resolving into a discernible melodic hook or chorus. Post rock bands typically make use of elements of jazz, classical, and experimental music, often using improvisation to create extended crescendos that pour out from the speakers.

The history of post rock music can be traced back to the early 1990s, when a number of bands began to experiment with the sound collage techniques of avant-garde and experimental music. These bands, such as Tortoise, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Slint, began to fuse together elements of post-punk, Krautrock, minimalism, and free jazz to create something completely new and unique. In the years since, post rock has continued to evolve and mutate, with new bands taking up the mantle and pushing the boundaries of what the genre can be.

3.The key elements of post rock music

In order to understand the key elements of post rock music, it is first important to understand what post rock music is. Post rock music is a type of experimental rock that emerged in the 1990s. This genre of music is characterized by the use of unconventional song structures, time signatures, and extended instrumental sections. Post rock bands often make use of traditional Rock instrumentation, but they also incorporate elements from other genres, such as electronica and jazz.

One of the most important elements of post rock music is the use of repetition. This repetition can take the form of a single motif that is repeated throughout the course of a song, or it can be a more general repetition of musical ideas. This repetition creates a sense of forward momentum that is integral to the post rock sound.

Another important element of post rock music is the use of dynamics. Dynamics are changes in volume, or the loudness and softness, of a piece of music. Post rock bands often make use of wide dynamic range in their music, meaning that there are significant changes in volume level throughout a song. This contrast between loud and soft sounds creates an emotional intensity that is central to the genre.

4.How to create a post rock song

The first step in writing a post rock song is to come up with an emotional theme or story that you want to tell. This will be the ” driving force ” behind your song and will dictate the overall mood and feel of the piece. Once you have your concept, it’s time to start thinking about the instruments you will use to create your soundscape.

Most post rock songs make use of at least one guitar, but many also incorporate other instruments such as keyboards, bass, drums, and even strings. The important thing is to think about how each instrument will contribute to the overall sound and feel of the song. For example, you might want to use a distorted guitar sound to create an ominous feeling, or a piano to add a sense of melancholy.

Once you have a basic idea of the instruments you want to use, it’s time to start thinking about the structure of your song. Traditionally, post rock songs are based around 4-5 minute long ” movements ” that eb and flow between different sections. These sections can be anything from quiet and introspective verse sections to bombastic and triumphant chorus sections. Experiment with different arrangements and ideas until you find something that feels right for your song.

Finally, once you have all of your pieces in place, it’s time to start putting them together into a final form. The best way to do this is by recording a demo version of your song using whatever recording equipment you have available (a simple laptop with audacity will suffice). This will help you fine-tune the arrangement of your song and make sure that everything sounds good together.

Post rock doesn’t have any hard and fast rules, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas and sounds until you find something that feels right for you. And above all else, remember to have fun!

5.The benefits of learning post rock music theory

Learning post rock music theory has a number of benefits. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help you to understand the music you listen to and play better. Theory can also help you to communicate your ideas to other musicians more effectively, and make better choices when improvising or composing your own music.

There are also more general benefits to learning theory. Developing a better understanding of how music works can help to increase your enjoyment of it, and can also give you a greater appreciation for the work that goes into making it. Learning theory can also help to improve your memory, concentration and problem-solving skills, as well as your mathematical ability.

6.The different post rock subgenres

Post-rock is a subgenre of rock music that is typically characterized by ‘the use of synthesizers, sampling, and looping’ as well as ‘a focus on lengthy instrumental compositions’. The genre emerged in the early 1990s and is often seen as being synonymous with the broader ‘ambient’ genre.

However, post-rock is often distinguished from other styles of ‘ambient’ music by its greater emphasis on melody, dynamics, and processed sounds. Commonly cited influences on the genre include Brian Eno, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley.

Post-rock has been associated with several different subgenres, including ‘math rock’, ‘drone’, and ‘noise rock’. However, the term is primarily used to describe a more general set of stylistic traits rather than any one specific subgenre.

Some of the most well-known post-rock bands include Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Slint, Tortoise, Explosions in the Sky, and This Will Destroy You.

7.Post rock music theory resources

There are many resources available to help you understand post rock music theory. Here are a few of the best:

-The Post Rock Manifesto by Mike Watt: This book is a great starting point for understanding post rock music theory. It covers the basics of the genre and provides a thorough introduction to the concepts and history behind it.

-The Cambridge Companion to Post Rock by Stefan Drees and Wieland Hoban: This book is a more advanced resource that covers post rock music theory in greater depth. It includes contributions from some of the most respected names in the field, and is an essential read for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of the genre.

-Post Rock Orientations by Tony Warner and Richard Osborne: This book provides a detailed exploration of post rock music theory, focusing on the ways in which the genre has been influenced by other genres such as jazz and electronic music.

8.Frequently asked questions about post rock music

What is post rock music?

Post rock is a type of experimental rock that emerged in the 1990s. It is characterized by its use of non-standard time signatures, unconventional instrumentation, and extended song structures.

How did post rock music develop?

Post rock developed out of the British post-punk and avant-garde scenes of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The genre was initially influenced by the experimental sounds of artists such as Brian Eno, Can, and Kraftwerk. In the 1990s, post rock bands began to experiment with shoegaze and ambient influences. This led to the development of the subgenre known as “ambient post rock.”

What are some notable post rock bands?

Some notable post rock bands include Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and Sigur Rós.

9.10 post rock songs to get you started

Here are 9.10 post rock songs to get you started on your journey into the wide world of post rock music theory. These tracks are taken from a variety of albums, and each one offers a different take on the post rock sound.

1. “In the Blind” by This Will Destroy You
2. “Postcards from Italy” by Beirut
3. “Untitled #1 (The Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in d minor)” by God is an Astronaut
4. “Cliffs” by If These Trees Could Talk
5. “Sleep is a Rose” by Lanterns on the Lake
6. “We Sing in Time” by Maybeshewill
7. “The End is Near” by Russian Circles
8. “Ahead in the Clouds” by This Will Destroy You
9. “Requiem for a Dream (Lux Aeterna)” by Clint Mansell
10. “All Went Wrong” by 65daysofstatic

10.The future of post rock music

While the future of post rock music is uncertain, the genre has shown incredible resilience in theface of adversity. In recent years, post rock music has been relegated to the underground once again, but a new generation of musicians has emerged and is beginning to bring the genre back to the forefront.only time will tell if post rock music will make a comeback, but it’s certainly looking promising.

Similar Posts