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Unit 30: Pop Music In Practice - Assignment 1
Transcript of Unit 30: Pop Music In Practice - Assignment 1
Now moving into the harmonies for the 1950`s a good example would be Doo-Wop which is vocally based and was devolved by African-American musicians in the 1940`s yet is still used. It uses nice smooth and consonant vocal harmonies, with some singers imitating instruments while singing nonsense syllables. Like singers imitate the "doomph", "doomph" plucking-sound of a double bass in a 1950`s song "count every star"
One of the more used and complex styles of vocal harmony in the 1950`s is barbershop quartet. This is were the melody is harmonized into four parts, each vocalist has his own role. The lead singer sings the melody, the bass sings the lowest harmonizing notes, the tenor harmonizes above the melody and the baritone completes the chord. Barbershop quartets are
more likely to use
dominant seventh chords
rather than pop or rock
Getting into more detail about the song structures of the 1950`s, the songs would based like below in Roman-numeral notation:
I I I I
IV IV I I
V V I I
Which could be
C C C C or C7 C7 C7 C7
F F C C or F7 F7 C7 C7
G G C C or G7 G7 C7 C7
Rock `n` Roll dominated popular music around the mid 1950`s with artists such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and of course Elvis Presley.
1950`s rock used some different song structures in the course of it`s time which mostly occur from the 12 bar blues and that chord progression is the 1,4,5 or Tonic, subdominante and dominante. Yet not all are around the 12 bar blues, others would be the "Verse - Chorus" form also known as ABA. Penny Lane by The Beatles use the ABA structure.
So in the 1950`s there has been many different bands and artists, producers to songs but not only these things happened in the 1950`s. Vinyl was introduced. The company RCA made the first 12" LP. This drastically changed the development of music because until the 1950`s you had to see music live. I am using a background template of a Vinyl record, they were originally made with beetle poo but it was changed. Next presentation will be on the 1960`s.
Going into texture now for songs in the 1950`s and texture is used to describe the vertical aspects of music. Texture is best pointed out in the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic materials in a composition. There are many types of texture like the following; Density, range, weight etc. I`ll explain what these mean in the next slide.
The density of texture in a composition can be used as thin or thick and this is determined by how many voices are in the song, the less voices the thinner the texture and the more voices the thicker the texture. Barbershop quartet`s have four vocalists and this can be a thick texture to a song.
The range of texture in a composition depends
if the song is wide or narrow and that is determined by the difference between the highest and lowest tones.
The weight of texture in a composition depends how heavy or light it is and this depends on the amount of doubling tones or their octave equivalents that are in a chord or multiple chords.
Timbre is my new topic and timbre is the unique sound to an instrument. The timbre best describes the difference between two tones played in the exact same tone and pitch but for an example, timbre is what you would compare a piano to a guitar or an acoustic guitar to an electric, playing the same song, notes, pitch etc. I will compare two songs that are the same song but performed by two completely different artist and the same is hugely contrasted.
Hound dog originally performed by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in 1953 and it uses Vocals, guitar, bass and drums as does the version by Elvis Presley in 1955. Both songs use the same instruments, the same tone, pitch etc. Yet when you listen to the songs they both sound different, well this is because of the timbre of the instruments. Elvis`s cover of the song is rather more upbeat and Rock `n` Roll where Big Mama`s is more Rhythm & Blues.
Production of the 1950`s and still to this day is a major part of releasing records. I'm going to use Elvis Presley as an example for this because he was "The King Of Rock n Roll" in the 1950`s so his producer must of been doing something right. Sam Phillips is the producer of a lot of "big" artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis and johnny ash etc. He was a producer, label owner, DJ and talent scout throughout the 1940`s and the 1950`s. He is most famous for founding Sun Studios and Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee
In 1950, Sam opened the Memphis Recording Service in Tennessee. The Memphis Recording Service let performers practice, which drew performers such as B.B. King, Junior Parker etc. Sam if he liked what he heard, he would have the artist/artists recorded by himself at times, then sell their performances to larger record labels and this helped amateur performers get a name. Sam Phillips was also famous for recording some what notably the first rock and roll record, "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.