Alternative rock is the form of rock music, which emerged from underground scene of 1980s and got highly popular in 1990s. Term “alternative” got coined in 1980s that described the punk rock bands on the independent record labels, which didn’t fit in mainstream form of time. As the musical genre, the alternative rock comprises of different subgenres, which have emerged from independent music scene from 1980s, like Britpop, grunge, indie pop and gothic rock. Such genres can be unified by the collective debt to style or ethos of punk that laid groundwork for the alternative music of 1970s.
More about This Genre
Although this genre is considered rock, some subgenres can be influenced by the folk music, electronic music, reggae, and jazz among many other genres. Sometimes alternative rock is used as the catch-all phrase of rock music from the underground artists of 1980s, and music descended from the punk rock, and, ironically, for the rock music in 1990s & 2000s. Whereas some artists like The Cure and R.E.M. achieved huge commercial success as well as mainstream critical recognition, most of alternative rock artists in 1980s were the cult acts, which recorded on the independent labels & received exposure by college radio airplay or word-of-mouth. So, with this breakthrough of Nirvana & popularity of grunge & Britpop movements in 1990s, the alternative music entered this musical mainstream and alternative bands got successful commercially.
The alternative dance is one term that is used for genre of music that combine different elements of the dance-pop (other types of the electronic dance music like house and techno) and the alternative rock genres like indie pop. The alternative dance music typically is predominantly electronic, with the programmed beats from the drum machines and sampled drum loops or sequenced synthesizer melodies, thus musically similar to the commercial dance-pop. Indie element is highly prevalent in songwriting; not like other dance music, the alternative dance generally has lyrics, and, just like in the indie pop and rock, these often are thematically complex or very less polished than commercial pop.
Pop and Rock
Alternative pop and rock is essentially the catch term for the post-punk bands of mid-’80s to mid-’90s. There are many different musical styles in alternative rock music, right from sweet melodies of the jangle-pop to disturbing grind of industrial, still are tied together by the similar aesthetic – and they all existed & operated outside mainstream.