Take the Test of Rock

2 Apr

A few posts ago, I wrote about a class that I am teaching called United States History: 1941 to the Present and how I am spending some time on the history of Rock n’ Roll. We talked about the beginnings of the genre when we covered the 1950s, but the students received most of their information from Rock: Music, Culture and Business, a book that I thought would be interesting.Rock Book

I wrote about the test that I was going to give them, and Dying Note, who you guys should check out, wanted to take the test, as well. So, here it is. Take the test, and see how well you know the history of Rock. However, I should explain something on the front end. All of the questions came from the book, which was divided into twelve chapters. Simply, I asked two questions from each chapter and added one other to make twenty-five. After all, twenty-five question is easier to calculate than twenty-four.

With that being said, feel free to take the Test of Rock.

1. What was Napster?

2. Kurt Cobain was lead singer for what group?

A. Green Day

B. Hootie & the Blowfish

C. Nirvana

D. Pearl Jam

3. What band, led by Ozzy Osbourne, is generally considered to be the first real metal group?

A. Black Sabbath

B. Juda Priest

C. Led Zeppelin

D. Metallica

4. Debuting in 1981, how did MTV change the way the music industry operated?

5. Reggae was:

A. associated with the Rastafarian movement, which was inspired by the work of Marcus Garvey.

B. named from a slang term meaning “everyday stuff”.

C. the first musical style in the Rock era to originate in the Third World.

D. All of the Above

6. Which did novelist Thomas Wolfe call “the Me Decade”?

A. 1960s

B. 1970s

C. 1980s

D. 1990s

7. Who was known as the “Godfather of Soul”?

A. James Brown

B. Marvin Gaye

C. Isaac Hayes

D. Otis Redding

8. Name two bands that were part of the “British Invasion”.

9. What made Motown different from other production companies?

A. It was headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, far from Los Angeles, center of the 1960s music scene.

B. It was owned by white entrepreneurs and produced music for African-American audiences.

C. It was under African-American control and produced music not directed primarily at African-American audiences.

D. Both A and C

10. What did the Boogie-Woogie piano style spring from?

11. What is a cover version?

12. What was payola?

13. Which of the following had a pre-Rock n’ Roll hit with “Love and Marriage”?

A. Nat “King” Cole

B. Perry Como

C. Frank Sinatra

D. Hank Williams

14. Alan Freed:

A. first used the term “Rock n’ Roll” for commercial purposes.

B. promoted concert tours featuring African-American artists who played for racially mixed audiences.

C. was arrested for anarchy and incitement to riot when a fight broke out at one of his concerts.

D. All of the Above

15. Which early Rock n’ Roll piano player was known as “The Killer”?

A. Fats Domino

B. Buddy Holly

C. Jerry Lee Lewis

D. Little Richard

16. What band personified the “California Sound” with songs about surfing and became the best-selling American group of the 1960s?

17. In a few sentences, what is the importance of Bob Dylan in the history of American music?

18. What was the counterculture of the 1960s?

19. Name two bands that fit in the “Southern Rock” genre.

20. The term “Disco” is derived from:

A. “compact disc”, which replaced 8-Track tapes in the 1970s.

B. “discotheque”, which was a European term for a dance club.

C. “record disc”, which could hold lengthy songs that intricate dance moves could be coordinated to.

D. None of the Above

21. Who recorded Thriller, the top-selling album in history?

22. What Hip-Hop group popularized the term “rapper” with the song Rapper’s Delight?

A. Beastie Boys

B. Public Enemy

C. Run-D.M.C.

D. Sugarhill Gang

23. What is digital sampling?

24. What is MP3?

25. At this time, who is your favorite artist?

14 Responses to “Take the Test of Rock”

  1. Carl D'Agostino April 2, 2013 at 05:38 #

    I taught high school history here in Miami 33 years. I always wanted to do a song-lesson thing for those of anti war late 60s and Great Depression songs to but never put them together. Have not seen anything with social message last several decades except ghetto rap of course. My Alamo cartoon for today – yes I harvest history and literature for humor ideas. Fortunately most of my followers have the broad base education to catch such allusions as apparently you have.

    • Rick April 2, 2013 at 17:17 #

      This has been one of my favorite classes to teach. My other favorites are Expansion of the United States, which covers my area of research, and World War II, a subject that a lot of people are interested in. You are correct about the social message of music. It seems that it had a deeper meaning in years gone by. However, that could be me just getting older and thinking the old stuff is always better.

  2. segmation April 2, 2013 at 19:20 #

    What a list! How did you come up with this?

    • Rick April 2, 2013 at 19:23 #

      I just went through the book and came up with some questions. I can tell you that coming up with test questions is one of the toughest things to do as a teacher.

  3. Smaktakula April 3, 2013 at 20:14 #

    This is awesome. It sounds like you’ve really given some thought to presenting this information as something other than a simple list Chuck Berry-Beatles-Kurt Cobain-Shakira.

    I think I did pretty well on the test. I had trouble with a couple:
    #8 I’ve always been a little unclear on what constitutes “The British Invasion.” Am I correct that it doesn’t include the Beatles or the Stones? I think Herman’s Hermits were a BI group. Maybe the Yardbirds?

    #9 Threw me, because I know from years of test-taking that when you have three choices followed by one that specifically lists two of those three, that final option is almost always the right choice. But I’m thinking it’s C, right? Because Motown was headquartered in Detroit (hence the name, I always thought).

    #13 Can narrow it to Como or Sinatra (he’d be my guess).

    Great test!

    • Rick April 3, 2013 at 20:51 #

      Thanks. I’m developing a class on the History of Rock, and this is a test run. As for the answers:

      The book included all of the bands you named as part of the BI.

      Motown was in Detroit.

      Sinatra recorded “Love and Marriage”.

  4. sittingpugs April 4, 2013 at 10:07 #

    Excellent test. Fun test too. The most fun I’ve ever had taking a test or quiz was in Intro to Film Part II and Comedy as a Genre — triple matching! Capital letter, lowercase letter, and number in the form of name of director, name of film, associated film achievement or auteur style.

    • Rick April 4, 2013 at 12:17 #

      Dang. Someone took a lot of time to design that test. I can promise that this one was a lot easier to put together.

  5. DyingNote April 5, 2013 at 09:27 #

    That was fun. Didn’t get 10 and 12 and took a guess of C on 22. Good one, Rick

    • Rick April 5, 2013 at 18:06 #

      Thanks. I’m not sure the students thought it was that.

  6. John S April 5, 2013 at 23:09 #

    It’s all on the blackboard (whiteboard?) in “School of Rock”

    • Rick April 7, 2013 at 02:03 #

      White board in my room


  1. Dancing in the Street – A Rock and Roll History – episode 7 | mostly music - April 4, 2013

    […] Take the Test of Rock […]

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