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FSU MUH 2019 - Comprehensive Study Guide

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DO NOT COPY SURVIVA+ GUIDE ED. 1 Page 1 of 25 [email protected] Modern Popular Music MUH 2019 Comprehensive Study Guide - Terms: o Popular “Pop” Music: the difference between classical music and folk music  Mass produced  Draws upon existing musical traditions o Critical Listening: examines positive and negative meanings o Environmental Music: pioneered by the Muzac Company o Formal Analysis: listening for musical structure, its building blocks and the ways in which they are combined o Musical Process  Riff: a repeated pattern designed to generate rhythmic momentum  Hook: a memorable musical phrase or riff  Groove: a term that evokes channeled flow of swinging, funky of “phat” rhythms  Timbre: the quality of sound (a.k.a ‘tone color’) o The Musical Business  Composer & Lyricist: write songs and identify the performer’s strengths  Arranger: identifies instruments to assist singer  A&R (Artist & Repertoire): seek talent  Producer: convinces board members to back a project, develop new talent, intervenes in the recording process o Centers v. Peripheries  Centers: big recording cities (Ex: NYC, LA or Nashville)  Peripheries: areas that have been historically excluded politically and economically from the mainstream o Sources of Popular Music  Ballad: a type of song that relies on verses to tell a story, often are songs about tragedy (called a ‘strophic’)  R&B (Rhythm & Blues) - Popular Music & Identity o Popular Music  Mass produced  Accessed through multimedia  Listened to by many  Draws and builds on preexisting musical traditions  Relates to people, place, socio-political condition, and institutions  Dependent on producers o Identity & Difference  Gender - Social constructions o We try to discern what makes a person male or female  Race - A social construction of biological differences - Socially inherited o Racism is learned  Ethnicity - Language - Dialect - Homeland - History - Religion - Fashion, cuisine, art, musicDO NOT COPY SURVIVA+ GUIDE ED. 1 Page 2 of 25 [email protected]  Age - Important because: o Generational differences and/or similarities o Cultures based on age o The importance of youth culture in popular music  Disability/Ability/Bodily Difference  Sexuality - Gay or straight - The broad spectrum of sexual practices and identities  Place: a space that we assign meaning to - Basic Concepts o Three Streams of Popular Music  European/American  African American  Hispanic/Latino American o American (Popular) Culture  Socially agreed upon behavioral patterns  Products/creations that are shared and valued  Influenced by history and memory o Philosophy  Theodor Adorno (German Philosopher) - Argues that music industry created the illusion that music defines our individual taste and is not needed - Music manipulates our beliefs - The Minstrel Show & Stephen Foster o The first form of musical and theatrical entertainment acknowledged by Europeans to be distinctly American o Began in 1800s o Influential to many later styles and genres o What was a performance like?  Whites performed their conceptions of black ideas (dress, dance, dialect)  Stock characters: Zip Coon, Jim Crow  Songs performed were known as Ethiopian songs, plantations songs or coon songs  Black performers were known as blackface performers o Minstrelsy  Highly offensive  Possible Origins: cultural expression of race and marginalization (downgrading) of blacks by urban whites in NYC o Early Minstrelsy  Songs performed were based on Irish and Scottish melodies - Considered exotic to the English  Early Performers - George Washington Dixon - Thomas Dartmouth Rice o Late 1800s Minstrelsy  Standardized for success and profits  Institutionalized racism  Standards of Musical Ensemble - 4 men in blackface - Bones and tambourine, violin and banjo - Mr. Interloculer: made jokes, etc. o Minstrel Groups  The Virginia Minstrels led by Dan Emmett - The standard ensemble - Mix of comedy, parodies of plantation lifeDO NOT COPY SURVIVA+ GUIDE ED. 1 Page 3 of 25 [email protected] - References of sex and violence  Christy’s Original band of Virginia Minstrels by E.P. Christie - Good musicians - Sentimental and vocal ballads - Toned down subjects (wider audience than The Virginia Minstrels) - Performed compositions by Stephen Foster - Depicted in the film Swanee River (1939)  Stephen Foster - Wrote “Camp Town Races” - First composer of American Popular Music - Master of the hook - Wrote sentimental songs, plantation/minstrel songs - “Old Folks at Home” o His biggest hit, a plantation song - “Oh! Susanna,” “Jennie with the Light Brown Hair” o Minstrelsy in the 20th Century  Theater and movies  Race records  Successful in blues and jazz genres  Al Jolson - Jazz singer - Jewish-American Performer in 1930s - Loved black culture, performed blackface - Tin Pan Alley o Rise of the music industry in the late 1800s  Produce hit songs for a profit  Produce and sell sheet music  Large markets for songs performed at venues  Could sell upwards of 1,000,000 copies  Publisher on 28th Street in NYC started Tin Pan Alley  Composers would sit in rooms with a piano and write songs all day - Called Tin Pan Alley because of the piano “tin” sounds  Song Plugger: promoters of the songs - Went to department stores, clubs, etc. and performed the music in hopes of selling sheet music o Vaudeville (at the turn of the century)  Traveling variety groups  Helped to popularize Tin Pan Alley songs  Lucrative business  Tin Pan Alley paid performers to sing the music o Styles and Influences  Influential to the 20th Century tunes, forms and styles  Influenced by Minstrelsy o What were Tin Pan Alley songs about?  Privacy: the home, middle class life  Romance: first person point of view, new love, love, lost love  Racial and Sexist themes: gendered language, ignorance about races, blacks, Chinese, Hispanics, Hawaiians o Songs  “After the Ball”: written by Charles K. Harris - Published in 1892 - First megahit - 5 million copies sold - Made $25,000 a month by selling copiesDO NOT COPY SURVIVA+ GUIDE ED. 1 Page 4 of 25


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