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Punk music, or punk rock, originated in CBGB's in New York City in the mid-1970s with Iggy Pop and The Ramones. It was seen as a response to the cultural sterility of progressive rock and other highly commercialized forms of rock. Although punk had limited popularity in America, it quickly spread to the UK where bands such as The Sex Pistols, Siouxsie Sioux and The Clash became massively popular.


Punk is charactarised by up-tempo arrangements, and seldom employs instruments other than guitar, bass, and drums. By design, the songs are usually structured to be very simplistic, with the 1-4-5 chord progression being typical. The lyrics, which are almost always written with a 1-2, 1-2 rhyme scheme, can be concerned with any topic, but usually deal with some aspect of youth culture or express some theme of "punk attitude" such as opposition to authority.


Various methods of dancing to punk rock have emerged, such as skanking, pogo-ing, and slam dancing. Most punk-style dancing is synasthetically expressive of an emotion, rather than a particular representational style, such as a jitterbug. Dancing tends to be individual or communal, seldom couples-oriented.

Punk Culture

Punks typically distinguish themselves from others with their unmistakable appearances. This has included things such as Mohawk hairstyles, tight pants, studded leather jackets, bullet belts, combat boots, etc. Clothing and hairstyles vary widely throughout the punk scene, and often particular outfits denote particular strains of punk or core-beliefs. Most true punks however will claim that the punk subculture is more based on the idea of non-conformity.

Subgenres of punk

As punk rock grew in popularity, several subgenres became apparent, some of which represent very fine distinctions (such as anarcho-punk), or small (Muslim punk) or localized (Nardcore) groupings. Some subgeneric names are probably useful, however, or at least well-known. Hardcore punk, usually characterized by fast tempos and a garage-band sound, was a staple of West Coast punk circa 1980, especially in the important Southern California market, and has since spread throughout the world. New Wave, despite sharing similar roots with punk, developed its own distinctive sounds and is today not usually considered punk. Forms such as grunge rock and emo grew to the point where they are arguably rock genres in their own right. Among the many punk subgenres, real or imagined, are:

Notable Punk bands

United Kingdom

United States

Christianity in Punk Music

There are a few bands that are considered to be Christian punk bands. Some examples are:

External Links