Here’s one take…
Progressive rock and art rock are two subgenres of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While they share some similarities, there are also some distinct differences between them.
Progressive rock is characterized by its complex musical structures, virtuosic instrumental performances, and experimental approach to songwriting. Bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, and Genesis are often cited as examples of progressive rock, as they frequently incorporated elements of classical music, jazz, and other genres into their compositions. In general, progressive rock is focused on pushing the boundaries of what can be done within the framework of rock music and is often associated with a sense of intellectualism or conceptual depth.
Art rock, on the other hand, is more concerned with exploring the artistic potential of rock music. It often involves more overtly theatrical or visual elements, such as elaborate stage shows or concept albums that tell a story or explore a theme. Bands like David Bowie, Roxy Music, and The Velvet Underground are often cited as examples of art rock, as they blended elements of avant-garde art, fashion, and performance into their music.
While there is certainly some overlap between the two genres, progressive rock tends to be more focused on musicianship and instrumental virtuosity, while art rock is more concerned with pushing the boundaries of what is considered “acceptable” within the realm of rock music. Ultimately, both subgenres are characterized by a sense of experimentation and a willingness to explore new sonic territory.
Do you agree?