Musc 309 Lecture 5: Country Music, Gospel, Folk, and the Latin Tinge

Download 45.15 Kb.
Size45.15 Kb.
MUSC 309 Lecture 5: Country Music, Gospel, Folk, and the Latin Tinge
I. Country music

  1. Least acknowledged (and perhaps least noticeable) influence on rock music

  2. Anglo-American folk music essentially imported from British isles

  1. Preserved, with little outside influence, in Appalachian region of country

  2. Does change over time

a. Certain instruments favored - fiddle, banjo, guitar

b. High, nasal singing style

c. Called old-time music

C. Commercial version = country music

D. Two types

1. Adheres closely to mountain traditions = Carter family

2. Hillbilly music

a. Heavily influenced by popular music, African-American folk music,

jazz and blues

b. = Jimmie Rodgers

E. Mountain tradition

1. Carter family - Ex. Wildwood Flower

a. Strophic form: each verse AABA

b. Guitar style of Maybelline Carter - "thumb-brush" style

i. Melody played on lower strings

ii. Chords played on upper strings

iii. Adopted by many country, later folk musicians

iv. Already used by some blues musicians

2. White gospel

a. Religious songs in mountain style

b. Vocal harmonies influenced by Sacred Harp or shape note singing

i. Popular method of vocal instruction in rural areas

ii. Taught harmonizing melodies at 3rd above the melody

c. Called tight vocal harmonies

d. Ex. Bales Brothers, You Can't Go Halfway (and Get In)

F. Jimmie Rodgers - Ex. Waiting for a Train

1. Definite influences from popular music, jazz, and blues

2. Especially the latter

3. blue yodel - very similar to some regional blues hollers; blues in form and

style - Ex. Blue Yodel #11

4. Same mixture of influences found in nearly all early rock and roll singers

a. Elvis, for example, known first as a "hillbilly" singer

b. And country influence on Chuck Berry undeniable

G. At about same time, in West, another country hybrid taking shape

1. By way of cowboy music

2. Cowboy songs collected as early as 1910

3. First big singing cowboy "star" Gene Autry

4. Eventually, cowboy songs fused with dance music, jazz, blues in Western


  1. Innovator fiddler Bob Wills

  2. Through broadcasts on Grand-Old Opry, television, very influential

  3. Fusion very clear in Guitar Rag

i. Pedal steel guitar

ii. Heavy two-beat

iii. But accents on back beat

H. Major employer of country singers were beer joints called honky-tonks

  1. Rough saloons, loud environments

  2. Ex. Your Cheatin' Heart

  1. Fox-trot beat

  2. Backbeat

  3. Very emotional singing style

  4. Electric and pedal steel guitar

I. From Honky-Tonk, short step to modern Country-Western music

  1. Old-time music not quite as popular

  2. Re-emerges as folk music, as part of folk music revival

J. Folk Music revival

  1. Combination of factors

  2. Largely centered in public works projects of depression

  3. One involved collecting songs and stories of older Americans to document

culture of late 19th century

  1. Another, John Lomax and son Alan go to south to record African American

folk songs

  1. At same time Woody Guthrie combines honky-tonk music, cowboy songs,

old-time music, and pop songs into something completely new

6. All of these influences come together, combine with Union building activities,

labor rallies, in NYC

7. Immediately, brings to rock

a. Music as vehicle for social commentary

b. Aspects of guitar style of Woody Guthrie

8. Largest influence comes later, when Bob Dylan enters tail end of folk music

scene in NYC, revitalizes, and brings into rock

9. Example: Woody Guthrie, "This Land is Your Land"

II. Gospel

  1. Combination of blues and church hymns

  2. First songs in the genre by Thomas A. Dorsey, recognized as father of the genre

C. Large mixed choirs not the only ensembles that performed gospel

  1. Quartets also largely influential

  2. Quickly developed unique sound

  1. A capella singing

  2. Usually one member of quartet takes lead, others accompany by

i. Imitating instruments

ii. Vocalizing, with ooohs, or shoo-bop, or other sounds = vocal percussion

c. Ex. Golden Gate Gospel Quartet - Golden Gate Gospel Train

i. Backing vocalists imitating train

ii. Swinging, eight beat feel

iii. Provided by riffs of backing vocals

iv. Highly syncopated

d. Ex. "Jesus, I'll Never Forget"

i. Accompaniment of a bass guitar and piano - very soft, but there

ii. Bass guitar hitting backbeats

iii. Most evident, and important feature is lead singer

aa. Not only because Sam Cooke, who becomes soul singer

in the 60s

bb. But quality of the vocal line

cc. Same type of rhythmic freedom as heard from Louis


e. But seems to soar, rather than float, over backing vocals

iv. Clearly influenced by blues

aa. Improvisations on melody line

bb. Emphatic interjections

cc. melismas- stretching word or syllable over number

of notes

D. Same style heard in probably greatest of the female gospel singers, Mahalia Jackson

1. Ex. Move On Up A Little Higher

2. Vocal style clearly influenced by blues

  1. Remind you of anyone?

  2. Aretha Franklin, other R&B, soul singers up through Whitney

Houston, Alicia Keys influenced by Mahalia Jackson

  1. Employs melismas

  2. Harmonies

a. From spirituals and Methodist/Baptist hymns

b. Combination of blue notes, pentatonic melodies, and Western

harmonies accounts for distinctive sound of Gospel

c. Frequently co-opted in rock music, esp. soul

  1. Accompanying instruments

  1. Electric keyboard

  2. Hammond organ

i. Electronic organ developed in 1930s

ii. Frequently employed in gospel music of this period

iii. Adopted by rock artists as groovy new sound in mid 60s

III. Other influences

A. American Folk

B. "The Latin Tinge"

1. Jazz, and later rock, also contain hints of Latin American musical styles

2. Most popularized in this country as dance crazes

3. Fusions between European music, African influences, and native musics of

individual countries of Central and South America


a. Dance popularized in 1930s

b. Introduced by Cuban bandleader Don Azpiazú (Ex. El Manisero)

  1. Opens door for other Afro-Cuban music

  1. Mambo

a. Dance fad created in NY in 1940s

b.Based on Afro-Cuban rhythms

c. Injected two elements into American musical mix

i. Percussion instruments like conga drums, bongos

ii. And the clave rhythm

aa. Often played by claves, another Cuban percussion

instrument (aka “son”)

bb. Analogous to backbeat in African-American influenced


cc. Pattern of accents that run contrary to beat

e. 1 2 3 4 I 2 3 4

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4


  1. Clap pattern until can do it with some ease

  2. Then, try clapping along with Carambola

Download 45.15 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page