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American Music Through the Decades

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Mary Beth Willis

on 25 July 2014

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Transcript of American Music Through the Decades

The "Roaring 20's"
The 1920s were an age of dramatic social and political change marked by a rebellion against tradition. For the first time, more Americans lived in cities than on farms. Dance clubs became enormously popular in the 1920s. Their popularity peaked in the late 1920s and reached into the early 1930s. Dance music came to dominate all forms of popular music by the late 1920s. Classical pieces, operettas, folk music, etc. were all transformed into popular dance melodies in order to satiate the public craze for dancing. Many Americans were uncomfortable with this new, urban, sometimes racy “mass culture”; in fact, for many–even most–people in the United States, the 1920s brought more conflict than celebration. However, for a small handful of young people in the nation’s big cities, the 1920s were "roaring" indeed.
The Blues
1910's - 1930's
Slave Spirituals

Country Music
Country music is a genre of American popular music that originated in Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from the southeastern genre of American folk music and Western music. Blues modes have been used extensively throughout its recorded history. Country music often consists of ballads and dance tunes with generally simple forms and harmonies accompanied by mostly string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas.The origins of country music are the folk music of mostly white, working-class Americans, who blended popular songs, Irish and Celtic fiddle tunes, traditional ballads, and cowboy songs, along with African American blues and various musical traditions from European immigrant communities.
Rock and Roll
1950's - Present
Rhythm and Blues
(R & B)
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B or RnB, is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.
a hybrid and it’s mixed with all kinds of music, from the original one like blues jazz to the modern music like hip-pop, R&B, from traditional music to modern music.
Holiday, Amanda, and Hang

multicultural, crazy and colorful.
Adelina, Vivian, and Erin

What is

1920's - Present
Jazz was blended from West African and European music in the African American communities in the South, mainly around New Orleans. While playing jazz, each musician in a band would improvise. From back in the day until now, jazz has been integral to American popular music with many new types of jazz developing every decade.The popularity of jazz in the 1920s was very controversial and spawned an anti-jazz movement. Conservatives were alarmed at the changes they saw in society and often blamed jazz for changes in moral behavior.
African-Americans in the Deep South started singing the blues to express their feelings about the difficult experiences of everyday life. Their simple rhyming narrative ballads melded work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants with spirituals. Alabama blues composer and musician William C. Handy made the Blues accessible to white society. While he wasn't the first to publish blues music, Handy is remembered as the "father of the blues" for having propelled it to a dominant force in American music.The blues grew in popularity during the 1920s and evolved over the decades until today it is a permanent fixture on the American music landscape. It's at the root of jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll.
Spirituals were religious songs created by African slaves in 19th century America. Indigenous to Africans in the United States, spiritual songs were a blend of religious music from Africa with religious music from Europe. Spirituals were often used as secret communication between slaves. They would use the lyrics as codes to give information to other slaves in a way that their masters would not understand. This was especially useful for slaves who escaped and needed to know safe routes to the North.

Swing and the Big Bands
Big bands played a form of jazz music in the 1920s and moved on to swing music as it developed out of jazz in 1935. Danceable swing was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1945. A big band had 12 to 25 instruments in a musical ensemble of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, rhythm section, and singers known as vocalists. Swing dancing remains a popular pastime in America, and hundreds of competitions are held every year throughout the U.S. and the world.
Rock and roll melded the blues, country music, jazz and gospel music and sometimes blended in the sounds of folk and classical music. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of rock and roll stars over the decades. Beyond existing as a musical style, rock and roll is a pop culture reflected on television and in movies, influencing attitudes, fashion, lifestyles and language.
American music is...
Rap and Hip Hop
Modern Pop Music
Zhenying and Annie
Modern pop music era started in 1955. When the first Billboard Top Hundred was printed, with the Four Aces’ ”Love is a many splendored thing” at No.1; Bill Haley’s “Rock around the Clock” was one of three entries for him, at No.58, and on its way to No.1. The end point is more complicated; the start of the digital age is much blurrier, and the tail-off is gradual. Use the end of vinyl as pop’s main format as a line in the sand.There are so many connections which can be lost in the fractured, static nature of the digital age; without record labels to give us the names of writers and producers to study, without record shops or fanzines to filter endless information, we are less likely to find the obvious connections that run through modern pop.

Hip hop
is a music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx. Hip hop music in its infancy has been described as an outlet and a "voice" for the disenfranchised youth of low-economic areas, as the culture reflected the social, economic and political realities of their live.
, also referred to as MCing or emceeing, is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically, in rhyme and verse, generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats, almost always in 4/4 time signature, can be created by sampling and/or sequencing portions of other songs by a producer. They also incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and live bands. Rappers may write, memorize, or improvise their lyrics and perform their works a cappella or to a beat.The roots of rapping are found in African-American music and ultimately African music, particularly that of the griots of West African culture.
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