MUSC 2150 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Big Band, Thirty-Two-Bar Form, Music Complete

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25 Nov 2011
Music & Popular Culture
Chapter 1
1920’s – Jazz
“Jazz age”
“Many women drank, smoked, and danced for the first time in public in
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,
Aloof and warm
Blacks, whites and people of all ages liked Bing Crosby
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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
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