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Music 2252: Funk/Punk

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Dana Plank

on 23 July 2014

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Transcript of Music 2252: Funk/Punk

Music 2252: Funk/Punk

Soul emerges in the 50s as a category within R&B, following a grittier, rootsier trend in gospel, all about vocal style, personality of singer, simple musical ground
Testify Isley Brothers (1964) rough, gritty end of soul; notice how different the rhythmic feel is from rock
Try a Little Tenderness Otis Redding (1967) more polished but still earthy; big band with horns, Hammond organ
All about the square, constant beat, continuous, uninterrupted groove
Love to Love You Baby
Donna Summer (1975) 17 minutes!
Get Down Tonight
KC and the Sunshine Band (1975); sped-up guitar (hello Les Paul!), soul format with horn section
Brick House
Commodores (1977)
Stayin' Alive
Bee Gees (1977)
Elements of Punk Musical style:
to the point, no egotistical soloing, no pretentious prog arrangements, no grooves
anti-virtuosic, anti-pompous
garage amateurishness celebrated
usu. with heavy distortion, confrontation, intense sound
50s garage rock models, no other styles
skeptical to idea of authenticity
The Ramones
Blitzkrieg Bop
No funky groove, no grand rock style: hammered down to basics: square backbeat, primal, constant cymbal crashing, dirty recording, amateur, loud, fast, exciting
Judy is a Punk
Pseudo-British accent (!?)
Psychotically dark lyrics
Sex Pistols
Extremely loud, guitar-driven, brutally simple, celebrating amateurish, psychotic vocal

Anger not seen in the U.S. bands; battle cry of disenfranchised British youth
Anarchy in the U.K.
Overtly political, holding up anarchy as a way to reinvent the toxic social order
No bluesiness: thirds remain major the whole time (no variable pitches)
Shows were wild: mark the audience by
(spitting beer on them), fans would
(precursor to slam, moshing)
Theme from Shaft
Isaac Hayes (1971)
Freddie's Dead
Curtis Mayfield (1972)
Stevie Wonder (1972)
Herbie Hancock (1973)
Shining Star
Earth, Wind & Fire (1975)

How does funk influence rock?
Instrumental layering (already popular in prog rock)
Use of intensely active bass lines
the juxtaposition of soulful groove with tight textural layering, involving contrasts with riffing, vamping, and syncopation, emphasis on repetition to the extreme
Mother Popcorn
James Brown (1969) rich but sharp, complicated bassline, deep groove, Brown's voice concise, energetic, sharp
Voidoids, Television
Love Comes in Spurts
Voidoids (1977)
On the edge of insanity vocal style
Lairs Beware
Voidoids (1977)
Catchy, but supercharged
See No Evil
Television (1977)
Distorted, simple, repetitive Mixolydian progression
Vocal style similar to Voidoids
Marquee Moon
Television (1977)
Stripped down; guitar filling in cracks in the beat
Mixolydian harmonies a la garage rock
elemental, natural, exuberant, intimate, connected to the body
Music with a potent groove, prominent rhythmic layering, syncopation
Physically intense like hard rock, but in a different way
James Brown
Key popularizer, galvanizer of funk
Emerges as over-the-top soul singer in mid-50s
I Got You
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
Give It Up or Turn It a-Loose
(1968) abandons steady chord changes altogether
entire time (repeats a single set of pattern/riffs/rhythms); entire texture built on constant drone, no chord changes
the steady, intense, entrancing rhythmic basis of the music, often set up by vamps
Disco Influence
Cheesy pop thing, but it was everywhere
Elevation of DJs, turntable skill
MCs (master of ceremonies) play an increasingly important role in clubs; exhorting audience to dance but also entertaining them
Important for the development of rap
Rapper's Delight
Sugarhill Gang (1979) the first rap hit, uses a disco for its beat--reperforms the bass and drum line from
Good Times
by Chic (1979)
The Damned
Show the range of early punk; less politically radical, range of styles
Neat Neat Neat
(1977); sneering singing style, simple, insistent ideas
White Rabbit
(1980); cover of Jefferson Airplane, intense irony in voice
Wait for the Blackout
(1982) good, catchy, almost poppy songwriting, with ironic vocal style, overdriven guitar, amateurish looseness
The History of the World
(1980) moving away from punk roots, more textural, episodic, dark, synthy, gothy
The Clash
Fast, driving heat and political edge, but more idealistic (less nihilist than the Pistols)
White Riot (1977)
Simple I-IV progression, exciting, driving riff, anthem-like chorus refrain
Intensely major: no bluesiness
London Calling
Simple, but catchy, mid-tempo, singing not too outrageous, just an ordinary working class bloke
Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees
Inspired by amateurish radicalismf Sex Pistols, but approach is more passionate, more professionally-crafted songwriting, very dark, atmospheric, leads out of punk to New Wave, goth
Hong Kong Garden
Fully-formed musical universe
Obsessive-repetitive style
Cool but intensely expressive voice
Cities in Dust
Intensity, sharpness, obsessive regularity of drums
Song about ancient destruction of Pompeii (!)
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