Test Your Knowledge of Progressive Rock



9 Questions

Which bands are retroactively described as 'proto-prog'?

Which bands are associated with the Canterbury scene?

Which album is largely viewed as a beginning in the progressive rock genre?

Which genre emerged as a kind of 'progressive punk' that rejected commercialism and emphasised atmospheric, ambient soundscapes?

Which band is often cited as the principal model for neo-progressive rock bands?

Which subgenre of progressive rock is characterised by its use of personal computer-based recording studios and the Internet?

Which album is considered a turning point for progressive metal?

Which festival was developed in the 1990s and 2000s and is dedicated to progressive rock?

Which statement is true about female singers in progressive rock?


Progressive rock is a genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States in the mid- to late-1960s, peaking in the early 1970s. It was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. The genre is often cited for its merging of high culture and low culture, but few artists incorporated literal classical themes in their work to any great degree, and only a handful of groups purposely emulated or referenced classical music. Progressive rock is based on fusions of styles, approaches, and genres, involving a continuous move between formalism and eclecticism. The term “progressive rock” is synonymous with “art rock”, “classical rock”, and “symphonic rock”. Early groups who exhibited progressive features are retroactively described as “proto-prog”. The Canterbury scene denotes a subset of progressive rock bands who emphasised the use of wind instruments, complex chord changes and long improvisations. In the 1980s, a new subgenre, neo-progressive rock, enjoyed some commercial success, although it was also accused of being derivative and lacking in innovation. Post-progressive draws upon newer developments in popular music and the avant-garde since the mid-1970s. The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are largely viewed as beginnings in the progressive rock genre and as turning points wherein rock music became music that was made for listening to. According to AllMusic: “Prog-rock began to emerge out of the British psychedelic scene in 1967, specifically a strain of classical/symphonic rock led by the Nice, Procol Harum, and the Moody Blues (Days of Future Passed)”.The Rise, Peak, and Decline of Progressive Rock

  • The Moody Blues and Procol Harum established the popularity of symphonic rock and a greater variety of acoustic instruments.

  • Jazz-style chords and horn sections were incorporated into later rock-based riffs by bands like Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago.

  • European bands like Traffic, Colosseum, Soft Machine, and Caravan emphasized the use of wind instruments, complex chord changes, and long improvisations.

  • The term "progressive rock" emerged in the liner notes of Caravan's 1968 self-titled debut LP, and bands like King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis released debut albums during 1968-1970.

  • The genre experienced commercial success during the early 1970s with bands like Jethro Tull, ELP, Rush, Yes, and Pink Floyd, and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells sold 16 million copies.

  • Progressive rock mainly remained a European phenomenon, and few American bands engaged in it.

  • Political and social trends of the late 1970s shifted away from the genre's development and popularity.

  • King Crimson, Yes, ELP, and Genesis went on hiatus or experienced major personnel changes during the mid-1970s.

  • The era of record labels investing in their artists ended with the late 1970s, and established acts were pressured to create music with simpler harmony and song structures.

  • Some established artists moved towards music that was simpler and more commercially viable, and arena rock bands like Journey, Kansas, Styx, GTR, ELO, and Foreigner either had begun as progressive rock bands or included members with strong ties to the genre.

  • Post-punk and post-progressive emerged as a kind of "progressive punk" that rejected commercialism and emphasised atmospheric, ambient soundscapes.

  • A second wave of progressive rock bands appeared in the early 1980s and have since been categorised as a separate "neo-progressive rock" subgenre.A Brief History of Progressive Rock

  • Neo-progressive rock bands emerged in the 1980s and tended to use Peter Gabriel-era Genesis as their "principal model".

  • The genre's most successful band, Marillion, suffered particularly from accusations of similarity to Genesis.

  • A third wave of progressive rock bands emerged in the 1990s, aided in part by the availability of personal computer-based recording studios and the Internet.

  • The shred music of the 1980s was a major influence on the progressive rock groups of the 1990s.

  • Progressive metal reached a point of maturity with Queensrÿche's 1988 concept album Operation: Mindcrime, Voivod's 1989 Nothingface, and Dream Theater's 1992 Images and Words.

  • New prog describes the wave of progressive rock bands in the 2000s who revived the genre.

  • Progressive rock as a genre continues into the 2020s with existing bands like Yes, Marillion, Porcupine Tree and Magenta.

  • Many prominent progressive rock bands got their initial exposure at large rock festivals that were held in Britain during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

  • Progressive rock festivals like ProgFest, NEARfest, ProgDay, Rites of Spring Festival, and ProgPower were developed in the 1990s and 2000s.

  • The genre has received both critical acclaim and criticism throughout the years.

  • Female singers were better represented in progressive folk bands, who displayed a broader range of vocal styles than the progressive rock bands with whom they frequently toured and shared band members.

  • British and European audiences typically followed concert hall behaviour protocols associated with classical music performances, and were more reserved in their behaviour than audiences for other forms of rock.


How much do you know about progressive rock? Test your knowledge with our quiz that covers the rise, peak, and decline of the genre, as well as the emergence of subgenres like neo-progressive rock and post-progressive. Learn about the pioneers of the genre, such as King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis, and discover the impact that political and social trends had on its development. From the 1960s to the present day, this quiz will challenge your understanding of one of the most

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