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Music 103 - Lecture Notes.docx

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Deanna Davis

Home Music 103 – Notes 1. Introduction 2. Multimodality: A Social Semiotics Approach to Communication 3. Doing Multimodality 4. Prehistory of Popular Music and Mass Media – Tin Pan Alley 5. Tin Pan Alley and African American Music 6. Technology after WWI, Solo Singers, and Hillbilly Music 7. Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues 8. From Race Records to R&B 9. Country 1930’s, 40’s 10.The Geography of Rock and Roll 11.The Blues Had A Baby 12.Kat Danser 13.Elvis and the Rise of American Bandstand 14.1960’s Society and Culture 15.Urban Folk Revival 16.Motown & Soul 17.The British Invasion 18.Joplin, Hendrix 19.Singer-Songwriter 20.Heavy Metal 21.Punk (Rylan Kafara) 22.Michael Jackson and Madonna 23.Bruce Springsteen 24.Thrash 25.Hip Hop – Post 911 Introduction Music 103: Overview Home The History of the popular music industry: 1. Musicians 4. Economic systems 2. Musical Styles 5. Technology 3. Music cultures in time and place Central Themes 1. 2. Gender/Sexual 5. Technology 3. Race/Ethnicity 4. Class Pan – the dark side of music Sirens – Greek Mythology Music and Social Meaning • Scholarship on social semiotics or the codes that are embedded in ideas/images show that once socially constructed ideas have taken root, they usually endure • Music and art is manipulation Multimodality: A Social Semiotics Approach to Communication Critical Listening – analysis, not description What/When/Where do I hear? 1. Music is situating • You are actually physically touched by the sound • Sound get translated into meaningful codes that are decoded by your brain 2. Music is situated • Production of music is always situated in a particular time and space • Listening situates you in a particular time and space • Listening to something situates what you are listening in a particular space and time 3. Music is Present 4. Music is Past • These two things (3&4) are always happening simultaneously • Meaning shifts over time and depending on the social situation Multimodality – a social semiotics approach to communication • Listening doesn’t happen In isolation • Multiple modes are occurring simultaneously 1. 2. Text (lyrics) 5. Gestural 3. Aural (music) 4. Visual Social Semiotics • Signs are used in communication and are meaning making • Signs are a means by which people interpret and express meaning • Signs have histories that are developed by complex social exchanges are acted upon by forces Forces shaping social exchanges/meaning within popular music • The development of: 1. Home 2. Copyright (artistic property) 5. Information economy 3. Entertainment economy 6. Interactive digital media 4. Marketing (art into business) Social Semiotics • Messages are made of sings/symbols • Messages communicate a perspective to an audience • Messages are “out there” waiting for you to find them • Messages are constructed with historically established ideas Doing Multimodality Social Semiotics • Signs are used in communication and are meaning making • Signs are a means by which people interpret and express meaning • Signs once made become semiotic resources of a culture • Signs are always newly made in social interactions • Signs are motivated, not arbitrary • Signs have histories that are developed by complex social exchanges and are acted upon by forces Meaning Resources • Socially shared signs • Signs that are widely accepted by a society • Individually created signs • Responses of the individuals to those signs Meaning occurs across 3 territories 1. Group oriented – who is in or outside of a particular group 2. Identity oriented – who the individual is within the group and how they identify 3. Subject oriented – how the individual articulates self and understanding of the world Affordances – the effect that each mode allows Framing – every messages is constructed by a sender to an intended audience. The message is formed to interest and influence an intended receiver Conducting an Analysis: 1. 2. Find lyrics 6. Discuss the accompanying music 3. Identify the frame 7. Discuss the accompanying gestures 4. Discuss the lyrics in each verse 8. Find what is being argued 5. Discuss the accompanying video Prehistory of Popular Music and Mass Media – Tin Pan Alley Tinfoil Cylinder Phonograph • Thomas Edison, 1877 • Technology not yet practical for home application • Music business not that interested in the phonograph Vaudeville • Theatrical genre of entertainment Home • Popular in US and Canada from 1880s to early 1930s • Performances made up of series of unrelated acts • Musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals Tin Pan Alley • Originally referred to a specific place where music publishers set up • Later – stood for the kind of songs created there • Songsters (song writers) • Dominate popular music until WWII • Preoccupied with the leading form of music reproduction – sheet music Vaudeville & Tin Pan Alley – Close Connections • Vaudeville relied on Tin Pan Alley song writers for their music • National circuits of theatres popularized and circulated among consumers Middle Class Homes – The Piano • Entertainment centered on the piano at the fore • Piano – symbol of decorum and upward mobility Sheet Music – Big Business • Sheet music vehicle for mass dissemination of music • Publishers were at the center of music business • One goal – sheet music • Commercial product • Song pluggers promote music • Vaudeville stars popularize sheet music Pre-recorded Cylinders • Manufacturing of pre-recorded cylinders grew independent of Tin Pan Alley • 1890s • Improvements in sound production • Within a few years Columbia & Edison had introduced the phonograph within the mainstream • Eventually led to creation of home entertainment market Father of the Juke Box – Louis Glass • Phonograph still hadn’t caught on with music business • 1889 – Glass points to the future • Equipped dictating machines with patented coin activated mechanism Phonographs and its problems • Cylinders could not be economically mass produced • Didn’t seem feasible for the home entertainment business • Limited sound quality • Publishers didn’t receive royalties • Couldn’t compete with demand for sheet music Emile Berliner “father of the modern music industry” • Developed flat recording disc that became industry standard • Contracts machinist E.R. Johnson to manufacture phonographs • Berliner & Eldridge R. Johnson interests consolidate Victor Talking Machine Co. Tin Pan Alley and African American Music Home Coon Songs • Popular in US and around the English speaking world from 1820-1920 • Staple of the recording companies from the beginning • Almost always: 1. Sung by whites 2. Aimed to be funny 3. Syncopated rhythms Representation of African Americans • Blacks interpreted as: o Ignorant and indolent o Devoid of honest/personal honour o Given to drunkenness and gambling o Without ambition o Make money through gambling, theft, hustling rather than working to earn a living • Inclined towards violence • Songs revealed social threats that white believed were posed by African Americans • Blacks portrayed as seeking status of whites through education and money • George W. Johnson, Bert Williams, Ada Jones W.E.B. Dubois • Fragmentation of audience along lines of geography and race • Fragmentation according to gender • Transformation of active music making to passive consumption Blackface • Theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows & later vaudeville • Caricatures of African Americans by white artists for white audiences • Later black artists also performed in blackface consumption of white audiences • Practice gained popularity during the 19 century • Contributed to proliferation of stereotypes • Active until the civil rights movement of the 60s • Played a significant role in cementing & proliferating racist images/attitudes Ragtime th • Emerges around the end of the 19 century • Popular till around 1918 after which its supplanted by Jazz • African American piano music • “ragged” rhythm • Structural ties to European marches • Self-conscious art form – composed music • Scott Joplin – most famous practitioner o Presented himself as the “New Negro” o More outspoken advocacy of dignity o Interested in cultivating new images of African Americans that would subvert and challenge stereotypes Tin Pan Alley • Craze for Ragtime was to be incorporated into popular song • Often difficult to separate ragtime songs from the other Tin Pan Alley songs Home • Irving Berlin – composed dozens of ragtime songs Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1911) • Balanced “dash and energy with a bow to negro music” • Does not use syncopation and march tradition as Joplin did • Includes text • Viewed as a catchy, well-crafted tune Blues • Appear around the same time as Ragtime • Blues were improvised • Central musical expression of African Americans • Tin Pan Alley grabs hold of the blues craze beginning in 1920s W.C. Handy • Called himself “father of the blues” • One of the first songwriters to bring feel to blues into popular composition Jazz • Comes into prominence at turn of C. in New Orleans • 1920s spread to New York, Paris, and London • Becomes the social “rage” • Jazz and popular music often synonymous during this period • Early appropriation of jazz created the impression among the mainstream audience that jazz was a product of the white dance bands of polite society: this clearly wasn’t the case • Sweet Jazz – smooth polished style played by white society orchestras (Paul Whiteman) • Hot “swinging” Jazz – rougher driving style played predominantly by black musicians Technology after WWI, Solo Singers, and Hillbilly Music ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers • Forms in 1914 after passage of the 1909 copyright act • Regulates use of catalogue Commercial Broadcasting • Radio – tremendous impact on music industry • Exposure for white artists • Record sales plummet Record Companies • Look for new ways to make money • Emergence of new artists and categories as marketing tools The Cost Problem • Electric turntable, could be “jacked” into a radio • Decca emerges – impressive talent roster (Bing Crosby) slashes record prices Expanding the Market • Ted Wallerstein convinces CBS to purchase faltering Columbia • Lures big talent to the label John Hammond • Staunch civil rights activist Home • Aficionado of African American music • Joins Columbia and was a key figure in the talent raids • Showcases history of African American Music Microphone and Crooning • Era of electronic recordings prompts new musical styles • Allowed singers to adopt more “confidential” singing style – crooning • Well suited to radio – dominated music industry at the time • Bing Crosby – most popular and successful crooner Big Band Out, Solo Singers In • Ella Fitzgerald – queen of jazz, highly respected • Frank Sinatra – fan hysteria, socially engaged pop star Postwar – 1940s • Dominated by Italian American men • Nat King Cole – one of a handful of big name pop sounding black vocalists Hillbilly and Race Music – An Untapped Market • 1920 – race record market emerges • Ralph Peer seeks out new blacks artists – discovers hillbilly Fiddlin’ John Carson • Earned living on railroad, horse jockey, moonshiner • Busking • One of first commercial recording by a rural white artist The Hillbillies • String band • Catch-all, pejorative term for white southern backwoods culture • Initially repertoire consisted of traditional, anon. folk tunes • With proven commercial viability – gradually songwriters appear • Most performers had day jobs Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers • One of the most influential early string bands • Revival of their music during the 60s Jimmie Rodgers • Ramblin’ man • First national star of hillbilly • Combines: African American vernacular blues, yodeling, singing in plaintive, story-telling style Carter Family • Country music’s first family • New sound • Audition for Ralph Peer • Inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame Dobro • 1928 – type of resonator guitar • Acoustic guitar – steel inverted resonating disk • Response to growing demand for guitar that could produce more volume Home Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues Classic Blues 1902-1930 – Socio-political Context • Segregation under Jim Crow Laws • Dominance of KKK • Women as maids and surrogate mothers to white babies Lyrical Themes • • Love-Lust • Geographical Events • Loss-Grief • Sin-Salvation • Violence-Empowerment From Race Records to R&B Blues Origins • Predominantly black American folk music • Separate from but sometimes related to jazz • Largely undocumented • Since 60s, most important influence on popular music Blues State of Mind • Refers to state of mind • Sings to rid himself of the blues • Sometimes employing rasp or growl techniques, flattened notes Blues Musicians • Largely created by musicians who had little education • Could not read music • Improvisation • Patterns 12-Bar Blues: Textual Pattern • Most familiar pattern • 3-line stanza, 2 repeats the first, 3 line improvised rhyming with 2 nd • Harmonic progression Delta Blues • One of the earliest styles of blues music • Considered regional variation on rural blues • Guitar, harmonica, cigar box guitar • Social realism • Slide guitar • Son House | Father of the Delta Blues • Robert Johnson | King of the delta blues, father of rock n roll – influential to many guitarists Eric Clapton • One of the most influential guitarists of all time • 3-time inductee to rock and roll hall of fame Blues Rock Home • Developed by British artists during the 1960s • Electric guitar and bass, full drum kit, sometimes keyboards • Instrumental jam • Vocals often secondary importance Social and Political Landscape • Military build-up – economic boom • African American men and women go to war • New Technology – magnetic tape • Migration – people took their music with them • Big Question – who should benefit, and in what proportion, from the profits • 1930s Blues finally hit the airwaves • Emergence of the “Indie” Record Company – supporting R&B Electric Blues • Pioneered in 1930s • Chicago emergence • Amplification of guitar, bass, drum, and harmonica • Foundation of rock music • Development of blues rock Muddy Waters – links country blues with urban blues, loud vocals Jump Blues • Popular style 1940s • Developed out of boogie woogie wave and big band music • Horn dominated line-up • Swing rhythms from jazz • General chord structures • Declamatory vocals • T-Bone Walker Rhythm and Blues • Emerges in 40s from the big band and swing jazz era • Meet dancing and partying needs of an urban, African American audience • Marketing term – replaces race records, applied to blues records, developed from and included electric blues, gospel and soul, blanket term for soul and funk Country 1930’s, 40’s From “American Folk” to “Country and Western” • Country| honky tonk, music from fiddle tunes, ballads, waltzes, novelty tunes • Western|western swing and cowboy songs Singing Cowboys – Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, Sons of the pioneers Singing Cowgirls – Dale Evans Marty Robbins – cowboy songbooks Wilf Carter – singing cowboy country Hank Snow – country Honky Tonk – Al Dexter, Hank Williams, Toby Keith • Both women and men attend, but essentially a masculine retreat Home • Lyrics: deal with virtually every theme or issue found in country music (religion, drinking, cheating, marital instability, divorce) The Geography of Rock and Roll New Technology – Long Play, Television, Transistor Radio The Emergence of the Teenage Market • Baby boomers • Relatively young target audience • Shared cultural identity of teenage market o o Recovering from trauma o First generation with TV o Growing up in relative o Racial tension economic stability of 50s o Threat of cold war Two Strands of R&B • Country blues → urban blues (B.B. King) • Increased use of solo gospel singing vocal techniques (Ray Charles) The Growing Threat of Rhythm and Blues • Popular music and the “Filthy Fast Buck” • Langston Hughes – highway robber across the color line in rhythm and blue The Blues Had a Baby Black Roots/White Fruits • Steve Chapple and Reebee Garofalo The blues had a baby and they called it rock and roll • Muddy waters • Chuck Berry – prototypical rock n roller • Little Richard – outrageous appearance uninhibited stage act • Elvis Presley – the king of rock n roll Sun Records – Owned by Sam Phillips • First single “that’s all right” • Introduces audiences to “rockabilly” o Style: no drums, light percussion (slapping bass), guitar driven o Vocals: excitement over enunciation o Short life • Rockabilly points way to Rock and Roll “Hillbilly Cat” – Marketing Dilemma • • Heavily influenced by gospel and • A white man playing “black” music blues • “jungle” or “negro” music Colonel Tom Parker – Marketing the Hillbilly Cat • Elvis Presley “products” Home • High-profile prime-time TV appearances • Song-writers give up a piece of publishing royalties in return for the privilege of Elvis recording song Kat Danser Dobro guitar – bluegrass instrument • Hubcap – amplify (interior cone shape to amplify sound) • Slide guitar developmental piece of blues music • Pentatonic scale Robert Johnson – legendary, mythological, looked up to by major league guitar players • Walking Blues When Viewing Music • Who? • What instrument • What song is being covered? • Why they are covering that song in the present • Structure – lyrically, and what is happening with the guitar Mississippi – birthplace of the blues Koko Taylor – expert in field of blues 1. Take a look at who the person is playing the music. Are they copying or bringing their own life to the music 2. What instrument and how is it being played 3. What they are singing about, is it believable? 4. 3 crucial pieces to blues • Thump when playing the guitar (replicate the sound of a train) • Emphasis on the 2 and 4 beat. • Vocals behind the beat • Called to the blues (Bessie Smith’s Ain’t Nobody’s Business) – tried to imitate • Favourite part of performing – meeting fans • 2 albums near Winnipeg • Hardest part is taking criticism • Best advice “don’t work too hard” • Michael Jerome Brown, Bonny Brag-hat, Derek Trucks, Mavis Staples • Canadian Blues – more open, American is more attached to electric blues rock • Speak lyrics before show • Inspiration comes from experiences and interactions • Travelled to Mississippi for artistic dev. • Winnipeg Blues Woman of the Year – AA Blues Society • Plastic thumb picks – change slides for different effects • “Here me out, think it over” – most proud of this song • Muddy Water’s standardised blues in 70s, Derek Trucks revitalized it • Folk vs. Blues, very similar, blues grew out of AA Folk • Shared story – Euro-American’s Home Elvis and the Rise of American Bandstand Feb 3, 1959 – the day music died (Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, and Richie Valens) Rock n Roll Meets the Popular Press • Reiterates connection between rock n roll and sex, juvenile delinquency • Musicians and performers defying social norms • Aberrant behaviours linked to rhythm/beat “Schlock Rock” – Reebee Garofalo • Commercially viable approximations of rock and roll • Performed by and for white, middle class teens • Visual more important than musical ability Dick Clark’s Teen Pop Empire – American Bandstand • Reinstated the separate roles of songwriter, instrumentalist and singer • Quickly became one of the most important promotional vehicles in the industry • Performers invariably white • Promoted clean-cut white performers • Cautious about integration The Brill Building – The New Tin Pan Alley Rock ‘n’ Roll = Society’s Fears • • Interracial relationships • Juvenile delinquency • Sexuality • Moral decline • Violence Entertainment Industry – Cleans House The Public battle for a return to “good music” • • Ascap • Us government • Major record labels and their stars • Elected officials The Official Attach on Rock ‘n’ Roll • • Payola Hearings • Dick Clark – unscathed in Payola • Alan Freed – ruined in Payola trials hearings 1960’s Society and Culture Popular Music and Political Culture – the sixties • Race Problem – 1954 (brown vs. Board of Education) •
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