Difference between rock, punk, & new wave


– Rock music evolved from rock and roll music in the 50s, incorporating influences from jazz, classical, country, and gospel music.
– Punk music originated in the mid-70s as a form of anger and rebellion against the establishment, reflecting anti-establishment sentiments and alienation.
– New Wave music evolved from punk music in the 70s, differentiating itself by also reflecting anti-corporate sentiments in addition to being anti-establishment.


Rock, Punk, and New Wave are three popular genres of music that have evolved over time. While rock originated from rock and roll in the 50s, punk and new wave emerged as subgenres with their own unique characteristics. This article aims to highlight the differences between these three forms of music.


Rock music has its roots in rock and roll from the 50s but incorporates influences from jazz, classical, country, and gospel music. It is characterized by the use of electric guitar and drums. Since the 50s, rock music has continued to evolve and has given rise to various subgenres, some of which remain popular today.


Punk music emerged in the mid-70s as a form of rebellion against the establishment, particularly in the UK during an economic depression. It is known for its harsh and energetic sound, as well as its anti-establishment sentiments. Punk music reflects a sense of alienation from the system.

New Wave

New Wave music evolved from punk in the 70s and was named to differentiate it from its predecessor. Like punk, it expresses anti-establishment sentiments, but it also reflects anti-corporate sentiments. New Wave is distinct from both punk and heavy metal. Prominent artists of this genre include U2, Police, and Duran Duran.

Rock vs. Punk vs. New Wave

While rock and roll laid the foundation for rock music, there are differences between the two. Rock incorporates influences from various musical styles, while rock and roll is more specific. Punk, on the other hand, is a subgenre of rock that emerged as a response to harsh economic times in Britain during the mid-70s. New Wave, as an offshoot of punk, shares anti-establishment sentiments but also includes anti-corporate themes.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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