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MUSC 2150 NOTES.pdf

Course Code
MUSC 2150
Shannon Carter
Study Guide

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Unit 1: pg 1-15, 16-33
Studying Rock
- Elviscameonthesceneinthe1950’sstartingashockingmovementthattheBeatles,Madonna,
and Prince continued in the coming decades
- Term“rockandroll”isgenerallyusedtodescribethefirstwaveofRockfrom1954-1959
o Othersterm“rock”asmusicafter1964
Rock History in the Media
- Magazines such as Rolling Stone and Mojo, books, and cable networks such as VH-1 and MTV
take the history of rock and bring it to the general public, promoting interest in rock history
- In many cases, information found in the popular media is designed primarily for entertainment
and can be skewed and unreliable due to the majority of revenue for these outlets being
brought in through advertising
The Fan Mentality
- Fans of rock music listen frequently to the music of a particular artist, group or style and gather
interesting facts about both the artists and the music
- Whenitcomestostudyingmusic,itisimportanttokeepthe“fanmentality”atbay,asfanstend
to ignore artists they do not like, which create an imbalanced learning curve
Chart Positions
- Charts help us draw general conclusions about the general popularity of a song or album at the
time it was released
- Charts can also be useful to compare certain songs on the way they fared on different charts (ex.
Song may be #1 on country music chart, but only #5 on Billboard chart)
- Charts help to avoid the fan mentality
- However, charts are not precision instruments for measuring a song or albums success, and they
do not accurately reflect the influence of some songs
- They are the best instruments to judge listeners changing tastes, even if they are flawed
- Record Industry awards gold records for sales of 500,000 units and platinum awards for over 1
million units sold which is a more accurate measurement of popularits of an album or single
Four themes of Rock Development
- Four themes (outlines throughout the chapters of the text):
o social/political/ cultural
o race/class/gender
o development of music business
o development of technology
- Music business has changed dramatically since the 1950s, as the rock element of business has
- Rise of radio in 1920s or TV after WW2 contributes to the development of music technology as
well as culture
- Race class and gender are essential to understanding the origins and stereotypes of rock
Tracking the Popularity Arc

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- In the 1970s few New Yorkers were aware of the emergence of the punk rock scene until it took
spotlight in 1978
- The rise of punk from a small, regional underground scene to mainstream pop culture, and its
o Most specific rock styles follow this template
How did this style arise?
When did it peak in popularity?
Does it still exist in culture somewhere?
What to listen for in Rock
- Musical Form: the structure and organization of different sections in a song or piece
- Instrumentation: the types of instruments used in a given recording can drastically change the
way a song sounds and allow for variation within a performance
- Rhythm: the ways musical sounds are organized in time
- Beat: regular rhythmic pulse
- Meter: the way of organizing rhythm and beats, how many beats per measure, how beats may
be subdivided
o Simple meter: when each beat is evenly divided into two parts
o Compound meter: when each beat is evenly divided into 3 parts
o Duple: meter grouped into 2 parts
o Triple: meter grouped into three beats
o Quadruple: meter grouped into 4 beats
o Note: if time signature has /8 it is compound, if it has /4 it is simple
o Quadruple compound time is thoughtofas“shuffle”rhythm(12/8)
- Verse: section with repeating music and non-repeating lyrics
- Simple verse form: employs only verses
- Chorus: section that repeats the same music and lyrics in each presentation
Rocket 88
1. Rocket 88
2. Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
3. First rock and roll song
4. This song is in a quadruple meter; each bar is divided into four beats. You can count the
beats ONE-two-Three-four in time with the bass on the recording. Beat one is the strongest,
beat three is the second strongest and beats two and four are weak.
a. The meter is simple because each beat is divided into two parts; you can hear this most
clearly by counting along with the saxophones from 00:50.
b. The song is played with a shuffle rhythm; the beats are divided into two, but the two
parts are unequal: ONE-(and)-uh-two-(and)-uh-Three-(and)-uh-four-(and)-uh. The word
5. The instrumentation of this song includes electric guitar, drums, piano, and saxophones.
Work to distinguish each sound in the mix.
6. Musical form: simple verse
7. Song features: first rock and roll song, actually written by ike turner,

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12 Bar Blues
- Common structural pattern found in rhythm and blues, rock and roll, many styles of jazz
- Consists of 12 groups of 4 beat measures
o Falls into 3 groups of 4: measure length, phrasing and lyrics, chord structure
o First four measures: phrase; feature a lyric repeated in the subsequent 4 measures; the
lyric in the final four measures often complete the thought begun in the initial phrase
o First line in each verse is repeated in the second phrase, with the third phrase
completing the thought with a new line
- Doo-Wop progression: most often associated with doo-wop of 1950s
o Can form the underlining structures of songs line Sh-Boom, a chord on every beat
forming a harmonic pattern that repeats through the entire song except the bridge
1. Sh-Boom
2. The Chords
3. Doo-Wop
4. Quadruple meter, simple, shuffle rhythm
5. Instrumentation: drum, electric guitar, saxophone, bass, piano, solo vocals, lead vocals
6. Musical form: simple verse with interludes and a bridge
7. Song features: The record rose to #3 on the rhythm-and-blues charts and #9 on the pop charts
(#2 and #5, respectively, on the list of Most Played Jukebox Hits), an almost unheard of feat for a
crossover hit at that time. The Chords were also the first R&B group in the 1950s to put song in
the Pop Top 10
Heartbreak Hotel
1. Heartbreak hotel
2. Elvis
3. Genre: blues
4. meter/ rhythm: quadruple compound, shuffle in four
5. Instrumental: bass, piano, guitar, drums
6. Musical form: simple verse
7. Songfeatures:heavyuseofechoandreverb,elvis’firstevergoldrecord
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