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a genre of rock music regarded by its practitioners and fans as being outside the mainstream
Word Origin
C20: from alt(ernative) + rock
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Contemporary definitions for alt-rock

alternative rock; rock music that is somewhat different than mainstream genres


Indie rock is considered alt-rock.

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Encyclopedia Article for alt-rock

pop music style, built on distorted guitars and rooted in generational discontent, that dominated and changed rock between 1991 and 1996. It burst into the mainstream when "Smells Like Teen Spirit"-the first major-label single from Nirvana, a trio based in Seattle, Washington, U.S.-became a national hit. Suddenly, older, difficult, and even anarchic movements, as well as a previous decade of do-it-yourself college rock, acquired a flashy beachhead on pop radio.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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