European Music Influence
European music influenced American music tremendously by immigrants arriving over the centuries. Many of the great classical pieces came from Europe and influenced popular composers like Aaron Copeland. Also Irving Berlin a composer who wrote many American songs from the early part of the twentieth century until the latter part of the century was born of European immigrant parents. He and many first generation Americans as well as those European immigrants, including those who came here during WWII to escape the Germans, brought their European music and influenced the popular American music landscape. However, starting in 1964, European performers introduced more electric instruments and fresh new lyrics. The Beatles were among the first to arrive from Brittan. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were the perfect combination for writing songs perhaps the best o f all time. It strongly influenced the American rock scene and other bands would try to sound like them. West African music first influence American music when slaves were brought to the south. Much of this West African music was mostly sung by slaves and developed into songs of churches and work songs on the plantations. The Spirituals and hymns and the filed hollers was popular in the slavery days and led by drum music. After the Civil War freed blacks from the deep South as well as blacks from the West Indies arrived in New Orleans and brought their music with them. Slave music had an impact on Mistrals and Ragtime, which influenced Jazz and of course Jazz has had a tremendous influence on popular R & B and Rock and Roll music.
Traditionally white people from the south listen to country music. Young middle class white people make up the majority of Rock-N-Roll listeners. Older people mostly listen to Jazz; however, today you see more and more young people listening to Jazz. Country music has spread into the mainstream pop scene over the last several years.
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