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MUSC 2150 (116)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Notes

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MUSC 2150
Shannon Carter

Music & Popular Culture Chapter 1 1920’s – Jazz “Jazz age” Flapper “Many women drank, smoked, and danced for the first time in public in 1920’s” Wars – 40’s Irving Beling’s “White Christmas” – one of the most successful songs in the history of popular music Rock n’ Roll started – Elvis’s pelvic movements – “Hound Dog” – 1956 NBC National Radio Program – 1928 – 1930’s, 1940’s radio – catered to white rich people 2 ways of reaching ever-larger audience: -Superstations- broadcast via a high-power transmitter -Network linking local and regional stations- programming could be run rom one central location, and it was possible to run live programming from member stations- gave the networks a tremendous range of programming from which to choose Most music was performed live – playing from a record conveyed “cheating” the listener; fool them Listeners expected everything to be live and in real time Amos n’ Andy = biggest comedy show, racial humor, politically incorrect now Bing Crosby – unbreakable statistics in pop music – modern minstrel, “friend to all” “White Christmas” Image of character that is lazy every man; in reality, very hardworking, determined Aloof and warm Blacks, whites and people of all ages liked Bing Crosby 50’s – Television set AABA form – most common pop song design in 1900-1950’s period – “Somewhere over the Rainbow” Sectional verse-chorus – format of song (Tim Pan Alley songs) Sectional chorus – song listeners are likely to recognize Sectional verse – kind of introduction that sets the scene for the song Judy Garland – Over the Rainbow Publishers pitched songs to performers - Convince professional to perform song during radio show - Less ethical version: “song plugger” – someone in the crowd would offer a rendition of a new song during live recording – land him in the streets or in jail most often - Broadway musicals were a prime vehicle to get songs heard - Best way to get a song out during 30’s, 40’s – radio - 35-45 = big bands (Big Band era); - 45 – 55 = star singers - Until the invention of Rock n Roll, the money was strictly in sheet music scales - Performing a song meant “career interests” = “future booking for more money” - Radio networks, performers, and song publishes needed each other to suceeed - Rock music = complete opposite of big band practice; in rockmusic, the vocalist is usually the focus of the song and an instrumental solo takes a verse of the song to provide variety - In Big band music, the vocalist provides variety! - Most important singer of the 1930’s, 1940’s – Bing Crosby - Despite Big Band popularity - 1945+ = Frank Sinatra - Preview to Rock n Roll hysteria – girls grabbing after him - Sinatra’s success branded the move from Big Band music to Solo Artist - This was unfortunate for many Big Bands - Tin Pan Alley – a name given to a collection of New York City music publishers/song writers of pop music - Les Paul – created instrumentals which changed pop music o Les Paul guitars – o Inventor of solid body electric guitar o Sound on Sound Recording – “autodubbing” – record several different pieces of music at once – combine together in real time The style of Tin Pan Alley publishers was largely homogeneous: they discovered a successful formula and they stuck with it for decades. Here are the main common elements in Tin Pan Alley songs: • they are usually in Sectional Verse form, Sectional Chorus form, or in AABA form • the verses usua
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