MUSC 2150 Lecture Notes - Falsetto, Dreadlocks, Get Up, Stand Up
Black Pop and the Rise of Disco
This notion builds on the national youth dance culture which started in the 1950’s.
1970’s Main stream music: funk, soul, Motown pop, and fusions of these styles.
Woodstock concert…Wattstax was organized by Stax Music label (same as southern soul) for the benefit
of communities that were damaged in LA.
Reggae and Disco
Started to join main stream through the course of the 1970’s
Funk has a complex groove (multilayered collection of riffs and rhythms played by different instruments
and is the support structure for the vocals/lyrics). Funk is the ancestor of rap and hip hop it is also for
disco. It derives its characteristics (groove) from jazz. It has a strong bass for dancing.
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly and the Family Stone
o Elements of Psychedelic music: electronic effects on the guitar pedals (wah-wah effect).
o Lyrics and melody are unimportant it’s all about the groove.
o Similar to Acid Rock in the sense that it can be trans-like: music is about the process not
just the goal.
Papa was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations
o Melody is not normal
o Elements of Psychdelic: Wawa pedals on base and guitar. Syncopation. Groove is very
o Elements of Motown pop: they sing a lot in harmony. String section.
o Lyrics are anti-Motown. They are witty, about life, reflect about poor children. Not
about fantasy; about reality (for urban children)
o Elements of Soul: Saxophone
o Song was written a couple of years (early 1970’s) after Martin Luther King Jr. died in late
1960’s. Vietnam War is still going on.
Progressive Rock is a fusion of rock and classical music. The Beatles were an obvious source for this
Living for the City – Stevie Wonder
o Used many synthesizers (instrument of progressive rock)
o Vocal timbre is rough which is similar to soul.
o B section uses instrumentals and vocals,
o Lyrics are socially conscious; more bitter and accusatory. It’s a call for change.
o Problems that the song outlines: American dream did not exist for lower classes;
disproportionate number of black people in jail compared to whites due to racial
profiling, socioeconomic disadvantages
Back Stabbers – The O’Jays
o Song is interesting, danceable
o Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
o Vocals are very smooth, not broken and angular
o Lyrics remain about Motown stuff; cynical about insincere people.
Tear the Roof off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk) – Parliament
o Used synthesized screens (come from progressive rock)
o High falsetto main voice in harmony
Rastafarian religions was founded by Rosiah Marcus Garber (1997-1940)
Use of marijuana as a medical herb, wear dreadlocks,
Movement spread through churches; music and dance were performed to give thanks. Sing against
oppressant of Babylon.
Rocksteady became reggae in the 1970’s (through 50’s and 60’s). Call for racial and social equality was
showed in music.
Reggae has some influence on funk.
Get Up, Stand Up – Bob Marley and the Wailers
o Powerful song, call for racial/social equality
Disco comes from soul, funk, psychedelic and TSop
Elements include: moderately fast to very fast tempo, simple lyrics that often contain call and response,
hook-based singable lyrics, interesting groove that isn’t as usually complex as funk, synthesizers, and
sometimes a glam element in a performers costume or make-up.
Disco has long been linked with gay culture.
Prior to the rise of the Gay Rights Movements, night clubs and bars were a good opportunity for gays to
meet each other. In the 1970’s, safe bar amounts because to rise dramatically, however, bars always
Lyrics for dance music is always simple; so people can sing along, catchy.
126 beats per minute, is the tempo of dance music at the time. Very quick (more than two times faster
than your heart beat).
Sylvester in 1978 was the first out gay performer. Lyrics weren’t explicit, he wasn’t out publicly.
Do You Wanna Funk? – Sylvester
o Call and response, soul, funk, groove, Motown
o Sexual nature to lyrics is common in club music