MUAR 392 Lecture Notes May 7 th
The way in which musical parameters (melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre) come together in a
Especially pertains to relationship between harmony and melody/melodies
Monophonic: Single unaccompanied melody
Polyphonic: Two or more simultaneous melodies
Homophonic: Single accompanied melody
Homorhythmic: Multiple voices with same or very similar rhythms
o Simplest musical form: A single repeating musical section to which different lyrics are set
at each repetition
o So AAA
o Also modified strophic form in which pattern is somewhat modified in some or all
o Defined by verses with same music, different lyrics, though sometimes last time repeats
lyrics of first (A)
o Repeated chorus (part with musical “hook”) between verses, often repeated back to back
at end (B)
o Typical form is AABABABB
o A common addition is a bridge (C) a non-repeated section contrasting musically and
lyrically with verses and chorus, almost always occurring afterchorus: AABABCABB
o Form in which each verse is set to different music
o So ABCD (always changing)
o Most common in genres in which text painting is highly valued: e.g. madrigal
o Very uncommon in popular music! Can you think of any examples?
Tonality: A systematic hierarchy of tones allowing for the creation, frustration and fulfillment of
desire for music to move in certain ways
Most important: movement from I chord to V chord (in the key of C: C>G) resolving back to I
Listen to “Wake Me Up Before You Gogo” by Wham! (1984)
Listen especially for how harmonic rise and fall before chorus creates, then frustrates and finally
satisfies desire coinciding with onset of the “hook”
Groups: Drifters, Platters, Coasters, etc.
Musical style dominated by R&B/Gospel influenced vocals with lead voice-supported and
responded to by backing vocal group
Almost always a quartet
Two versions of “Crying in the Chapel (1953)
Listen to Darell Glenn “Country (original), the Orioles – R&B/Doo-wop
Listen to two version of “Sh Boom” (1954)
o The Chords o The Crew Cuts
Listen to Drifters “There Goes My baby” (1959)
Chapter 20, 25, 26: What attitudes did Rock n’ Roll inspire in the Public? The Press?
What does Variety (Chapter 20) think of R&B/Rock & Roll?
Plot by NAACP to lower American youth’s morals? Page 130
NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Rock and Rolle called Communicable Disease?
What does Frank Sinatra say? Page 128. Why might he think this?
Rock and Roll as euphemism for sex, promoting rebellion and immorality
How does Chicago Defender (Page 130) defend R&R? What does the author argue is really
going on in worries over it?
Fear of integration
Chapter 21 Langston Hughes Responds
Famous African-American writer in Chicago Defender – most widely read African-American
newspaper at the time
What does he think about relations between blacks and whites in the music business?
What is the one word that best expresses his point?
Chapter 27: Payola Scandal
Brief History of Radio DJs
o DJ rose in importance in late 1940s as resources of networks moved to TV
o In early 1950s many white DJs become very successful with young whites playing
o Seen by some as conspiracy to promote rock & roll
o Rise of Top 40 AM radio standardization in 1960s: role of DJ starts to wane
o In late 1960s influence of DJs shifts to new FM stations: growth of Album Oriented Rock
What is Payola?
o Directly paying or giving DJs financial stake in records to encourage their airplay
o Although seen by many as immoral, it had a long history in the music business and was
not actually illegal
How did payola benefit independent companies?
o Gave them an opportunity to compete with majors bypassing their control of major
distribution channels: if they could get a hit song by getting one major DJ to play a record
it was very lucrative
o 1959-1960: Congressional Payola hearings – why? Whose interests were at stake in
What happened to Alan Freed (Cleveland DJ)?
What happened to Dick Clark (Philadelphia’s American Bandstand)?
How can we explain the differences?
Why is Rock n’ Roll thought to have nearly died in late 1950s?
What happened to these people?
o Little Richard (1957)
o Elvis Presely (1958)
o Jerry Lee Lewis (1958)
o Chuck Berry (1959)
o Buddy Holly (1959)
o Richie Vallens (