With RMT-150C rock testing machine and AEWIN E1.86 DISP acoustic emission system applied, the acoustic emission test was accomplished with two kinds of rock samples including marble and granite under uniaxial compression. Cyclic loading and continuous loading were used through the experiment, and the mechanical performance and acoustic emission (AE) characteristics were obtained during the process of rock progressive failure. Details related to the relationship between amount of AE and stress-strain was given in this paper. A comparison between marble and granite was made as well following the general AE law, on the basis of which, the failure mechanism of rock mass was investigated. Finally, some conclusions can be summarized as follows:(1) AE activity features are different with stress state variation in rock failure process;(2) loading patterns make a direct impact on the failure process thereby affecting AE activities;(3)AE activities are various basing on the different types of rocks, structures and failure modes.