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MUSIC 2II3 (297)
Simon Wood (183)

Beginning of the Term till Golden Age of Rock and Roll

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McMaster University
Simon Wood

Pre-War Period September-03-11 8:38 PM What is "Popular Music"? It isn't "Art" (classical) music Not absolutes, they are our opinions Not considered folk music Folk music Is made by people for their own entertainment Made by people who do something else for a living Amateurs You do it because you love it Music that is produced for money Neither good nor bad Money is involved, people trying to make a living at it Making, producing and performing for a market Interested in people listening to it and liking it Because market are involved we need distribution Dealing with music that is very important in terms of its relationships with mass media Interconnected with changes in technology There is no such thing as bad music There is music that you like, there is music that you dont like. But there is nothing objectively in music Music that we like reflects social values that we believe are important What went into forming Popular Music Most important influence Massive social experiment that started 400 years ago Mass amounts of Africans and Europeans living together interactions Issues of gender, business etc. The interaction of "African" and "European" Culture Africa West coast just under Saharan Desert South: Africanculture North: Middle East Europe England, little bit of the British Isles We create culture based on models we see around us Based on where you grew up and with whom you grew up In North America those divisions are drawn on physical appearance Birth place of rock and roll When does the history of Popular Music in the West begin? North American Slave Trade 1619-1863 First time we know of this happening on North American Soil Millions of folks from west African were attacked, beaten into submission, chained (many killed), loaded on a ship, shipped across the ocean in HORRIBLE conditions, then sold to the highest bidder. As long as they did their work they lived, when they could no longer work they died Treatment of Slaves Differences in North and South American based on religion of slave owners African Retention more obvious in South American music Spain and Portugal controlled south America, big chunk of Central America Catholic France controlled South America, North America (till war with British), Caribbean Catholic New Orleans Old Alabama During free time slaves were allowed to practise and do whatever they wanted to do as long as Example of African American musical culture they didnt cause trouble Example of what a lot of music historians think you might British controlled North America have heard if you were listening to African slaves working Protestant 1947 Wanted to stamp out "Africanness" Written in 1945 African Retentions in music: Recordedby Alan Lomacks 1. Interest in percussive and distorted timbres Timbre: quality of sound Distortion indicates an overload of emotion Realized in the south that many cultural practises Putting themselves physically in jeopardy 2. Values in the Ecstatic and the Cathartic Syncopation: Very complex rhythms Shown as showing commitment were going to vanish and went to rural towns to 3. Rhythmic complexity - syncopation record all songs 4. Use of "riffs" Riff: small self contained piece of music that Call and response: musical tennis repeats creating a larger composition. (remains 5. Use of "call and response" the same throughout the music) Legacy of slavery is Example of a Riff: fundamental to what goes Led Zeppelin - Whole Lot of a Love Slavery ends when Abe Lincoln signs the emancipation proclamation on in the US today Motif: changes in every possible way Civil war fought over slavery? Really fought over whether the territories to the West of the Mississippi would be slave states or free states Slavery was already on the way out Would have died out by 1820 Eli Whitney Made cotton production easier Slavery ends in 1865 Recording technology not created until 1875 Mark Twain wrote about his travels in the south Made a great effort to inform people about how life was really like as a slave Charles Dickens Wrote at length about slavery James Brown - invented Funk music Work Song: Pass time/set pace, coordinate work Group coordination Pay careful attention to the way the things were the night before Set pace to the slowest/weakest worker Music 2II3 Page 1 Set pace to the slowest/weakest worker Song leader Created songs everyday A good song leader got more work done Slave owners realized this "floating pool of verse" Slaves had virtually nothing No instruments Acapella, music made only by singing All documents tell us they sang In West African Culture music was all over the place Specific music was sang for different things Old Alabama's format- Called a 'Form chart' 4 3 3 4 3 3 4 4 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 A a b a a b a a b a a a b a a a b The numbers represent the number of bars or 'measures' for each line of words. The lower case letters refer to the text of the song Upper case are melodic In Old Alabama, they repeat the first two lines then change what the lyrics are for the third line thus it goes a(same) a(same) b(different). This resets every 'verse'. So if it was abc for the first verse the second verse would not be def, it would be abc again (or a different derivation) If a professional musician wrote the form chart the bars would all be the same and the verses would all be aab as well instead of changing it later to aaab The workers lack self-consciousness- did not pay attention to right or wrong notes, just felt through the music, hence the shift in bars and verse length Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin which prolonged slavery. Thomas Edison invented the Gramophone in 1875 -->Friday notes Audio files found at First two chapters available at Spiritual/Gospel Slaves read the bible and learned of the tale of Moses(Israelites being put into slavery and saved by Moses) "Lined Hymn" Call and response Use of body-clapping and stomping Ecstatic outcry of participants during song Distortion of vocal timbre Line Hymn usually does call and response, but the slaves added their improvisation into it. "Oh Jonah" The Golden Jubilee Quartet Gospel develops early in the post-war period when after the freedom of the slaves, a lot of people who were supporting it opened up colleges and universities for blacks. They needed to sing for the whites to make money and made a more typical European sound, Gospel. Music 2II3 Page 2 Post Slavery October-04-11 11:01 AM New forms of music begin to appear during the late 1800s:Ragtime, Jazz, Blues. No new cultural forms occur until 20 years after slavery because of the lack of a change of mindset. Ragtime: Example- The Entertainer Jazz- Addition of the drum kit. Blues- Considered as a musical aesthetic OR an actual musical structure. First form of Blues is called Country (rural) Blues. performed by a wandering musician who sang and accompanied himself with an acoustic guitar It was dangerous to travel in the rural areas, especially if you were alone and black. Aesthetic characteristics, Very plaintive vocal sound Themes included :Travel, Economicsand Love. The themes are interesting because they are all things of which the now free slaves could not have prior to the end of slavery Musical Form 12 measure phrases a-a-b lyric pattern call and response between guitar and voice: Voicesometimes would go for two bars then guitar would play the other two associativecoherence floating pool of verse: Blues musicians would slip local names and issues into their songs Chords are based around the chromatic scale. I being the first chord IV being the fourth chord. Blind Willie McTell- Blues musician.
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