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Music and Popular Culture lecture notes.docx

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University of California - Santa Barbara
MUS 114

Lecture 1 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM  Paired examples  Example 1 o “Rose of Alabama” – Bobby Horton 1985, 1846 Minstrel song o “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice 1989 o why?  White people making money/becoming famous imitating performing genres pioneered by African Americans  Example 2 o “We Shall Overcome” – Joan Baez, 2010 o “Black Flags” – Atari Teenage Riot, 2011  asked fans to send in video clips holding black flags (occupy wall street movement) o why?  Reminiscent of the civil rights era  Music accompanying protest  Example 3 o “Long Tall Sally” – Little Richard, 1956 o “Long Tall Sally” - Beatles, 1964 o why?  White people doing African American music (see example 1)  Example 4 o “Hound Dog” – Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thorton, 1952 o “Hound Dog” – Elvis Presley, 1956 o why?  White people doing African American music (see example 1)  Themes o Globalization  Starting mid 1800‟s o Politics of identity  Considers globalization  European model of “classical”  African (American) model of rhythm  Punk, heavy metal, etc.  more than music; participation/becomes cultural/how you identify yourself o Appropriation  Deliberate act of acquisition to something  Borrowing ideas/outright stealing (Vanilla Ice  poor urban class situation to benefit his career… actually from middle class suburban family)  Elvis  grew up in poor Af. American area of Mississippi o Technology  YouTube  Microphone  Phonograph  Disc cylinder  Ethnomusicology  Ethno = people  Musicology = study of music  Historically o Musicology  study of music on its own o Ethnomusicology  cultural aspects of music in popular culture/culture in general  Ethnomusicology  study of people making music  Scope of the course? o Popular music in Northern American from 1799 – present day  Logistics  Reader  read in advance for section (20%) o Section assignments  upload on GauchoSpace o By 9 PM night before section  Listening  some on GauchoSpace, some on Spotify  Semi-weekly quizzes  lecture (6 of them, 5 count for grade) 25% o Short answers  2 writing assignments 45% o descriptions as they come o first due week 6 o second assignment = final (NO FINAL EXAM)  concert attendance o ukulele concert (look on youtube) NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT $15s  paper due (5%)  Lecture 2 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM  logistics  Tuesday concert  buy ticket at AS  If you can‟t go to Tuesday concert  write quiz questions on GauchoSpace forum (also extra credit)  Spotify playlist  subscribe to it!  GET READER  Popular music?  Memorable vs. unmemorable music o “Thrift Shop” vs. “Oh Susanna”  industrial revolution o late 18 thcentury up until ~ 1950/1960‟s o middle class  moving from agricultural economy to machine based economy  more opportunities for employment  mass migration from rural to urban areas (to find jobs)  creates middle class  primary consumers of popular music = middle class  who is the middle class?  1950‟s  wealthy time in this country (especially if white and/or male) o mass produced instruments  late 1800s = common/fairly inexpensive to have pianos/guitars/etc. in the home o print  Guttenberg‟s press (1455)  Less expensive now to print music o Recordings on radio  Gramophone (invented 1888)  Colonialism o What is colonialism?  Concentration of power extended worldwide  International conglomerates o Concentration of power  European countries dominate and control smaller countries  Context: eve of the modern era o Classical and popular?  Bach, Mozart, etc. wrote music for amateurs  No separation (like today) between classical music and popular music o Print media = operas, ballads, folk, etc. o Parlor music th  18 century  in homes  men are out working  women are home, learning music, teaching music to kids, etc. (music = private home domain)  meant to be performed at home, my amateur piano players and singers  more time to partake in this recreational music making  simplified more complex music  Italian arias  Mozart  Etc.  Minstrelsy in USA o Considered by many scholars  America‟s first form of popular music o Gets really big in Europe too o Stephen Collins Foster (1926-1864)  Classically trained, by wrote popular songs  Writes a lot about the south, but never actually lived there  Tin Pan Alley o Name given to a collection to NYC publishers/songwriters o Dominated popular music in America in late 19 thcentury/early 20 thcentury o Group of people wrote songs that catered to urban middle class audiences o Would have been the YouTube of the early 1900‟s o Would take a tune, go to an artist, paid them to advertise it and play it (pluggers) o SPECIFICALLY WRITTEN TO BE POPULAR WITHIN URBAN MIDDLE CLASS (wanted to stand out from classical/folk music)  Recoding and radio o Helps end Tin Pan Alley  Popular music o Working definition   Remember!  pop (genre) =/= popular music (field of study)  Popular music =/= music that is widely popular  1. Mass produced and disseminated  (print media, then radio/recorded sound, MTV, internet/YouTube, etc.) rd  2. Impersonal (3 party)  don‟t know the artists personally  3. Between “classical” and “folk”  music = sound; sound = meaningful  drum beat = can describe the sound, but can‟t connect with it  as opposed to hearing/feeling a groove in a song; it has meaning that we construct on our own  ex: this makes me want to dance  as humans, we give music meaning  ex: Spinal Tap  d minor = saddest of all keys  use language to give music meaning  classical vs. folk music o classical  formal  elite  exclusive  performed by specialists  transmitted via notation  esoteric  professional  no audience participation  universal  eternal o folk  informal  ordinary  inclusive  performed by common people  transmitted orally/aurally  accessible  amateur  audience participation  local  ephemeral (once it‟s performed, it‟s gone) o what was a community in folk culture  became an audience in high culture o popular music = hybrid of classical and folk (somewhere in between the two)  leans toward the folk side of the spectrum  jazz = started closer to the folk spectrum  now in Lincoln center  high art o should we value some music over others?  No  But do we?  YES  Modern narratives about popular music o Discourse that‟s been written by journalists/scholars about popular music o Musical autonomy  the essence of music lies in the music itself thorough its text  You can learn about music just by looking at the text (sheet music) o Mass culture  mass culture = lowest common denominator  Popular music = catering to the lowest cultures  In elite/dominant cultures (ruling class of a country)  Not concerned about lower cultural influence… as long s they stay in their place  Mass media involved = completely changes  Radio, phonograph, film, etc.  lower class starts influencing society and “pulls down society of country” (according to upper class) o First narrative of authenticity  groups of people will develop their own kinds of music which is then considered “authentic”/cultural  Widely known as folk music  Ex: Bela Bartok o Classic and classical popular music  popular music, like classical, can produce superior individual masterpieces and even entire sub-genres  Ex: jazz  used to be popular, now considered high art o Youth culture  post-war prosperity made cash and leisure time more accessible for young people  Music industry responded by targeting younger people  Ex: rock n roll = connection with youth and delinquency  Tends to be a male narrative o Second narrative of authenticity  masses in capitalist societies are capable of creating products expressing their class, but capitalist cultural production makes it impossible for these to be conveyed authentically through commercial means o What‟s the point of all these narratives?  Puts popular music at a very low level  It doesn‟t matter what genre the music is Lecture 3 – Ukulele Orchestra 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM  How did you all meet?  1985 orchestra started  all doing other musical projects  all met through friends  decided to make it a side project and it snowballed from there  minority of ukulele enthusiasts go to shows o not how they started off… o started off thinking that uke‟s were an outsider instrument o “What do you do after punk? You form a ukulele orchestra”  fun to make own repertoire of music they just like  wanted as little as possible to work with agents, producers, record labels, etc. o did own DVD‟s, got management structure, do gigs o 15 years ago certain companies didn‟t want them, come now and say can we sign you?  they say no  they liked having control of the operation too; they have lasted longer than many other groups  do you do any originals or all covers?  yes, slip them in  known for playing covers though… how they spread their name  like entertaining… covers = entertainment for the audience  preferences for different ukuleles?  Personal preference  All have difference sizes/tuning  Baritone uke, bass uke (tuned as double/upright bass)  Their story  Been going for 25 years  Have gone to concerts, pop festivals, Carnegie hall, Sydney opera house, etc.  Sold out concerts  Classical, comedy, folk, rock, pop, etc. festivals all played  Is it difficult to first time run through a new cover?  it depends on the piece  sometimes really great, sometimes have to stay on it for a few months  try to pick covers that everyone knows and twist them  twist just a little so people can still recognize it  combine some songs  “it‟s all one big melting pot”  being in the states o lots of popular music used to when they were younger = American  no one has music degree  only a few can read/write music  read tabs, chords, etc.  favorite genres?  Old jazz  Everyone likes different stuff, so their repertoire is dverse  Weird being on inside of a movement when they used to be on the outside 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM Lecture 5 – Early 20 th Century Technology and Imagine Reality (Blues and Hillbillies) 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM  Logistics  Buy Blues Night Out (Taj Mahal Trio) ticket ASAP  NEXT QUIZ HAS LISTENING PORTION o Everything after Paul Simon (on Spotify) o Bessie Smith “Outside of That” – 1923  Read about in reader  Wild Women Don‟t Have the Blues (film)  Questions o How did black performers access Vaudeville?  Meant new black professionalism  New stage for black entertainment o What does TOBA stand for?  Theater Owners Booking Association  Had theaters all over  Would tour in tents during summer  Only place people could display their talent to a live audience (not enough minstrel shows to do that) o What kind of effect did Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith have on their audiences?  Presented rare vision  bold costumes, beautiful, very out of line, impossible to forget, long shiny hair  Beneath the glamour, Bessie was one of them (of those in the audience) = VERY POWERFUL  They could change the audience/public‟s mood based on what they were singing about  Tunes they wrote = came from ideas that relate/are very similar to the audience  Every day living, etc.  There‟s bound to be at least ONE woman somewhere that completely feels the meaning of the music on a personal level o What role did religion play?  Condemnation from religious community  Church elders  said the women sang the devil‟s music  Gambling  Sex, etc.  “people will think you know what you‟re talking about”  Blue Lu Barker  got too old to sing blues ^  Couldn‟t talk about lovers  Came up with religiosity; were to sing in quartets/gospel songs  Church = clap  Cabaret = snap o What was the recording industry‟s reaction to African American blues singers?  Ignored black musicians in wanting to put their own feel/music on record  Crazy (Harlem) Blues  one of the first albums  Opened the recording industry to black artists  Popularized blues across the country  Awakened recording companies to the profits the blues brought them  Sold new market as exclusively black (sold records through stores in black neighborhoods/ads in primarily black newspapers)  Became a mass audience  More and more artists began recording blues o What new technologies contributed to the end of the popularity of blues (and vaudeville)?  People started getting tired of the same songs  needed to liven up everything  Younger generation came in, and started jazz  Stared singing cabaret/tin pan alley material  Microphone  Changed the sound  Lecture notes  Rural, white, Anglo-Saxon o Music industry comes up with 2 categories of what they want to sell  Blues  Hillbillies  Issues o Imagination  Music as imagined reality  Inspired by Benedict Anderson (how our country builds nationalism through newspaper print, ec.)  Generated 3 industry categories of music in 1920‟s  Popular music  tin pan alley  Selling sheet music  Trying to get away from classical, promote popular music within middle class  Human cultural practices are imagined, invented, not pure  Ex: describe punk band in LA in 1980‟s  preconceived notion of what that person looked like, acted like, etc.  Sometimes actually true  A lot of the time, GENERALIZATION  Ex: television does this well  Beverly Hillbillies  Music-culture could have been and can be imagined differently (present and future)  Forces us to front issues about race, ethnicity, class, gender in American society o Fascination (with the other)  Minstrelsy  whites have this fascination (even today) with African American culture/people/music  The original fascination  2 kinds of fascination  1. white fascination with black culture  2. northern fascination with southern  Stephen Foster (1826-1864) o Wrote “Oh Susanna” o Visited south, but never actually lived there  Appalachian Mountains  European whiteness could be found in the mountains (myth) o By collecting folk songs  Example: Song Catcher (2000) o About going into the mountains o Maud Karpeles and Cecil Sharp (based off of these English song collectors)  Traveled to mountains to collect folk songs o Representation  black women in 20‟s self represent themselves in a very different way than middle class, white women do  Who was the power to represent whom?  Whites representing blacks  Northerners representing southerners  Going over the Davis reading  Upward trajectory of “race” musicians?  Downward trajectory of “hillbilly” musicians?  “Emancipation”  black blues singers sang about travel and sexuality  freed them of things they couldn‟t do/say during slavery  examples o Bessie Smith o Gertrude “Ma” Rainey Lecture 6 – The Blue Lecture 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM  Logistics  Taj Mahal concert TOMORROW @ 8:00  Look into extra credit! o GauchoSpace o Up until week 8  Finishing up  Issue 3: representation o Who has the power to represent whom?  Whites representing blacks  Northerners representing southerners o Upward trajectory of “race” musicians? o Downward trajectory of “hillbilly” musicians? th  Black stringband, late 19 century o Shared tradition between African and European influence o Derogatory words now = OKAY to use back when piece was written o Move away from fiddle and banjo playing  Becomes white instruments (late 19 /early 20 th century)  Decline of black fiddle tradition comes with emancipation and end of slavery  Mass migration of blacks from south to free north (once slaves freed)  Railroads, automobiles, factories (lots of work) available up north  Move away from these instruments because they represent slavery o Eventually banjo comes to represent “rural” life  “hillbilly”  Columbia Race Records o genre of music o seems derogatory  early 20 thcentury  “race” used as African Americans as a whole (not derogatory)  remember to keep everything in context o record companies pushing “race records” to African American audience  push hillbilly music toward white Americans…  truth is: you can get either album despite race…  southerners‟ self-representation o Scott Joplin (1867-1917)  Southerners‟ self-representation  Not recorded  SHEET MUSIC ONLY  Recordings haven‟t completely taken over at this point in time o W.C. Handy (1873-1958)  Sheet music as well  “Memphis Blues”  1912 hugely popular  marketed through Tin Pan Alley  important to jazz music o Dr. Bate‟s Possum Hunters  1926  Not hillbilly seen  Look sharp for a string band  1928  commercialized as hillbillies  dirty, grungy looking, etc.  marketed for a “simpler” time o Fruit Jar Drinkers  1920  looking nice  in suits, etc.  another picture  in the fields  wearing overalls  drinking out of fruit jars… o film example  Oh Brother (starring George Clooney)  race records o Mamie Smith and the Jazz Hounds (early 1920‟s)  “Crazy Blues”  not supposed to be recorded  supposed to be recorded by white vocalist… Mamie Smith filled in  completely changed the music scene  first African American blues song (woman too)  1920 o 3 issues  imagination  fascination  representation  the blue lecture (1920‟s-1950‟s)  12 bar music form o AAB lyric form  first phrase = A, 2 nd phrase = A, 3 rd = B o See lecture slides for more information o Spotify example: Maple Leaf Rag (Sean Moyses)  And down (study for quiz Tuesday) o Solo guitar/solo voice  Down home blues  Delta blues  Country blues  Downhome blues to urban blues; stringband to bluegrass o General  Transition driven by urban migration o Downhome blues  Solo guitar, solo singer  Birth place = Mississippi Delta  Ex: Robert Johnson  Genre = older than 1920… only started getting recorded 1920 (Mamie)  General  1920‟s-1930‟s  solo  AAB poetry & 12 bar form  Themes  travel, poverty, love  Example: “Traveling Riverside Blues” 1937  Robert Johnson  Freedom of form (because he has no accompaniment)  On Spotify  Crossroads myth  Sold his soul to the devil to make his talent even better (Robert Johnson)  More plausible explanation o Robert Johnson disappeared for a year… o Said to have studied under someone who was really talented o Classic Blues  General  Bessie smith  Mamie Smith  Ma Rainey  Featured women, first blues to be recorded in 1920 “Crazy Blues”  Tried to categorize them into “race record” only  Domestic violence  Came out and sang about it  When it was a taboo subject otherwise  African American women = classic blues o Urban blues (begins 1940‟s)  General  Lazy Bill Lucas and the blue rhythm (Chicago, 1954)  Why migrating?  Jim crow laws in the south  Segregation/marginalizes Lecture 7 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM  Hillbilly (split into)  Bluegrass o Changes to a genre o Bill Monroe  Didn‟t like associations with hillbilly music (tried to move away from it)  1942 Blue Grass Boys  sometimes called the original blue grass band  created definitive sound/instrumental configuration associated with the model today  blue grass state = Kentucky  had soloists o Reactionary o Acoustic, but relied on modern technology o Genre and style  Appalachian string-band  Generally no soloists  Most musicians playing melody at all times  Blues inflected  Jazz format  Stop up to microphone for solo (new idea  applied to old string-band format)  Country  Jazz (1920‟s, 1930‟s)  Paul Whiteman o Referred to as the King of Jazz o Has his own style of jazz   less interested in soloing aspects  more interested in orchestration  everything written out (like classical music)  his style = often times the first jazz Americans ever heard o racial tension  wanted to originally hire black musicians  manager  convinced him not to… it would be “suicide”  behind the scenes  hired black arrangers  Fletcher Henderson  Don Redman  Jazz becomes very popular through white people  LeRoi Jones  makes point it was originally black music, but gets appropriated by whites o Jazz = new class of music  Not popular until around WWII  Even then, white swing big band music  Jazz musician = marginalized (despite race) because it isn‟t popular yet o “Whispering” 1920  Paul Whiteman  stats  11 weeks as U.S. #1 hit  stayed 20 weeks in charts  sold 2 million copies (sheet music + recording)  Fletcher Henderson o “My Pretty Girl” (mid-1920‟s)  general  wrote arrangements for Paul Whiteman  also had own orchestra  trumpet = own personality  rhythmically/social interactions  black bands  less polished, messier, looser, free-form  white bands  tight strung, followed the music thoroughly, well orchestrated, etc.  swing era of jazz (1935-1946 WWII)  international sweethearts of rhythm 1946 o show blues piece  AAB form  1946 = before rock and roll  already rock and roll reference  “rock and roll” already circulated into her lyrics o exclusively female musicians (men go to war, women needed to fill in while men overseas)  jennar Lecture 8 – Finishing Up and Starting Rap 4/2/2013 12:27:00 PM  music and political protest  reoccurring theme in popular music o political protest  declaration of opinion against some aspect of the policy of one‟s government; public statement that things aren‟t as they should be o presents series of tensions  protest vs. popularity  revival and progress  both movements suggest something is wrong with the present; something is lacking in society  progressive  work for fundamental change in the future  ex: 1920‟s women‟s suffrage (women voting)  ex: same sex marriage  revivals  driven by cultural opposition; offered as an alternative to mainstream culture  draw something from the past to address a current problem  seen in religious revivals  early protest music o blackface?  Class politics  Made fun of the wealthy class  Working class conflict o Spirituals  Slaves desire freedom  Used by slaves to worship, but had encoded messages  Hope  Resistance  Promoted by white and black abolitionists  used as evidence that slaves had souls  Example: “Go Down Moses”  “When Israel was in Egypt‟s land: Let my people go,” etc. th  great depression (as foundation of 20 century protest music)  folk revivals and protest o 1930‟s-1940‟s Depression Era and beyond  Seeger and Lomax families  Able to collaborate between families  Build archive of American folk songs at library of Congress  Went around the country with a recording machine in the trunk  Drove throughout the south and recorded music  Talked to musicians, went out and study with them  Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter)  Seegers and Lomaxs helped get him out of jail  other protest music  Rap Music‟s Aesthetics and Controversy  Rap music‟s foundation o African nexus (connection/link)  West African bard  Bard  storyteller/poet; usually musician  Known across many different cultures  Associated with spiritual power; sometimes even magic  Explain the origins of the natural world  Teach future generations their culture/history/stories  Traditionally accompanied stories with quora (like lute and harp put together  21 strings)  Slaves shipped over to the Americas  Got some bards/storytellers with them  In an alien culture  Transform it  Influence of African storytelling  can be traced into contemporary culture o Trans-Atlantic slave trade o African American emergence  Poetic speech  Black vernacular  characteristic language of a particular culture  Video example: Signified Monkey  African American vernacular transformations  Migration of southern African Americans to the north  “the streets” o traditions take place here o moving into urban areas o no longer have plantation settings o do have:  street corners  churches  urban areas, etc.  jive talk o 1921  Chicago o meant as sarcastic speech/talking o why important?  Develops as exclusive urban- derived vocabulary (specific to African Americans in urban settings)  Jamaican Dancehall influence o Clive Campbell (aka DJ Kool Herc)  Leaves Jamaica in 1967  At that time in Jamaica  Early sound systems  playing ska, r&b, etc. in 60‟s  Started using multiple turn tables  Kept the beat going  Turned Americans on to this style of music (break beats)  already going on in Jamaica  Advent of hip-hop movement o Comprised of four elements:  1. Disc jockeys (DJ‟s/turnta
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