MUS111H1 Lecture Notes - Race Record, Marlon Brando, Ida Red
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Country Blues, City Blues, Urban Blues
Country and city blues coexisting in the early history of the blues then when the blues really
moves through the migration, then we get the urban blues
All of these genres have a relative intelligibility (standard North American English)
Differences between Country & City Blues
Country has some artists who you can hardly understand what they‟re saying a „black‟,
African American dialect of English
City is much more intelligible meant to be heard and appreciated in the metropolitan
How it went from being mainstream in the United States (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King
Cole, etc. sounds)
Idea of “mainstream” is real and exerts a powerful influence on people
The “Birth” of Rock „n‟ Roll
Most central – productive of most of the kinds of music we listen to today
How do we get from the soft, gentle crooning of Bing Crosby to Johnny Burnette‟s crazy
sounding rocking music
Faster, change of instrumentation (electric guitars that use distortion)
o Distortion: pushing sound and technology as far as it‟s supposed to go, and a little
further, almost to destruction – overheating of amplifier tubes that stops the clear
conduction of the sound
o Changes timbre (tone colour)
Origins of R&R?
“Before Elvis there was nothing” – quote attributed to John Lennon
o Comes out of nowhere?
o Revolutionary concoction of social elements legacy of great men who create great
Out of the soil?
o The American southern soil; folk myth of the origins – it grows up out of the ground like
o Mass-mediated genre of music
o Some kind of cultural milieu of the American South
Rock and roll an “industrial category” created in late 50s
o Just like hillbilly music, race records, etc.
o Moniker invented as a category for selling records take a bunch of musical life and
give it a label – *seems to be the way*
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