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MUAR 392 Lecture Notes May 8.docx

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Music-Arts Faculty
MUAR 392
Melvin Backstrom

MUAR 392 Lecture Notes May 8 th Phil Spector  Associated with left-wing, “power to the people” politics  Key figure in development of pop music and R&R in early 1960s Review: “Folk” – where does it come from?  Producer, songwriter, arranger, sometime performer, but not singer  Translation of German “Volk” meaning, the (common) people, nation, lower  Seen by many as visionary musical genius classes  As plural, “Volk(e)s” has generally  But might this reflect worries over power shift towards female singers and negative connotations: mob, rabble, the common herd. songwriters in the early 1960s Elements of Spector’s “Wall of Sound” When did the “Folk” become important?  Johan Gottfried Herder (1744-1803).  Dense, reverberant texture using echo chamber Prussian philosopher, theologian, literary and linguistic theorist.  Doubling, tripling, quadrupling of instruments  Rejected faith in science championed by Enlightenment Philosophies (Voltaire,  R&B rhythm section mixed with pop singing style Diderot, D’Alembert, etc)  Argued that the Folk not rabble, rather  Orchestral arrangements  Often called “Wangerian” – after locus of authentic, true cultural and national expression aesthetics of Richard Wagner (1813- 1883), major opera composer whose  Value pluralist. Cultures are incommensurable, cannot be judged grandiosity of vision is perhaps according to external principles; each is unparalleled in history of music, e.g. 4 opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung different not better or worse  Linguistic relativist. Language is not  Listen to “River Deep-Mountain High” by Tina Turner (1966) pop rock transparent; instead it determines thought (now known as Sapir-Whorf Girl Groups and Feminism? hypothesis) Urban Folk Revival  What kind of working relationship did Spector have with his artists?  How is “Urban folk” paradoxical?  How do 1960s girl groups compare with 1990s-2000s girl groups, e.g. the Spice  What is ostensibly being “revived”? Girls  In its use of primarily acoustic instruments and traditional songs how is What is “Folk Music”? it different from Country & Western?  Roots trace back to 1930s New York  Often uses acoustic traditional City intelligentsia: Charles and Ruth instruments Seeger, John and Alan Lomax, etc.  Music understood as “authentic” or “real”  Leftist folklorists and musicologists saw compared to commercial/popular music in traditional, rural music an alternative  Folk songs either traditional/anonymous to and implicit critique of capitalism or original but expressive of communal expressing solidarity of working people values – authentic to the “people” against the business and political elites  “Hillbilly” is changed to “American Folk”  Performs at 1963 giant civil rights in 1945 but then becomes “Country & Washington D.V. rally where Martin Western” in 1949 because of leftist Luther King Jr. gives famous “I have a associations of “folk.” Dream” speech  In 1950s this fuses with counter-cultural “Don’t Think Twice, It’s all Right” (1963) values and cultural critique of Beats defined most famously by Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg and Neil Cassady  Composed by Bob Dyla
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