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MUS 2420 (37)
Lecture 30

MUS 2420 Lecture 30: Lecture 30
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Department
Music
Course
MUS 2420
Professor
Kevin Nordstom
Semester
Spring

Description
Lecture 30  Case study: multiple identities in Cajun and Zydeco Music  The closely related Cajun and Zydeco music cultures relate identity to place, ethnicity, class, race and gender  The 2 musical styles share geography and related historical roots that they continue to celebrate through music  French heritage of Creoles and Cajuns  The creoles and the Cajuns share the same language-French-and the same geographical space-southern Louisiana  Traditions going back to the French-speaking people who arrived in Louisiana during the 16 and 17 centuries  The people termed creoles, are of mixed French, Spanish and African or Afro- Caribbean descent, began arriving in New Orleans in the early 1600s while the Cajuns arrived later beginning in 1755  Cajuns come from a community of French refugees who lived in present day Nova Scotia and were forced to migrate  Setting: music and place  Cajuns kept their French traditions and language and came into contact with a number of other people, including Spanish, native American, European Americans and African American  Cajuns contributed to other well-known American musical styles ex: cowboy songs  Listening 80  Allons a Lafayettel (let’s go to Lafayette)  Form: strophic song  Tempo: moderate 2-step duple meter  The distinctive Cajun French dialect and pronunciation  Instrumental improvisations that provide variety within the strophic structure by building on the original melody  The spontaneity of a live performance at the triangle club in Scott, Louisiana including cries from joe falcon and background noise from the audience  Listening 80 accordion, fiddle, guitar, triangle and drums  Cajun music emphasizes the sound of the words  The emphasis on language as sound, termed ‘cajunization’ evokes a certain nostalgia, since through music one can still ‘speak cajun’  Cajun language is rarely used except in music  Zydeco:  Zydeco uses the same core ensemble as Cajun music: voice, fiddle, accordion, electric guitar and sometimes piano  Zydeco’s distinctive sound come from a ‘found’ instrument, the steel washboard or rub board  Listening 81  Zydeco Sont Pas Sale (‘The beans are not Salty’ Zydeco song)  Form: iterative form  Tempo: lively, fast  The fast syncopated rhythm with accordion chords stressing the second beat of each pair  The distinctive scratching sound of the rub board  A regularly repeated chord progression, a 4-measure harmonic, underlying the various melodies  Zydeco’s Kings and queens:  The use of the titles king and queen by famous Zydeco musicians derives, according to Cajun lore, from jo
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