Music is all around us. We all grew up listening to some type of music. No one can really determine when music began or which cultures had music first. There are stories of its origins that go back to ancient times. "Popular music is music produced for and sold to a broad audience."(1) The types of popular music we are going to look at are jazz, country-and-western music, rhythm-and-blues music (R&B), rock music, and rap, also know as hip-hop.(1)
First, we will look at jazz. Jazz is a type of music that was first developed by African Americans around the first decade of the 20th century. (2) It is believed that jazz originated in New Orleans. The first ever recording of jazz was in the 1890's. (3) Jazz developed into different styles. Some of these styles are, Boogie Woogie, which was named this because Clearance "Pine Top" Smith released an album with that style called Pinetop's Boogie Woogie. Next is improvisational jazz, which is the most popular type of jazz. Improve means made up on the spot, which is actually, what this type of jazz is. Improvisational jazz can be played with any instrument. Another is ragtime. It was called this because its rhythm and timing sounded "raggedy". Like improvisational jazz, this was one of the first types of jazz. It was played in cakewalks and was usually played with a piano. (3) "Some of the great musicians who made jazz more popular are, Art Tatum, Earl Hines, Joseph Lamb, James Scott, Scott Joplin, Hot Five and Louis Armstrong."(3) Some of the jazz musicians of today are Kenny G and Rosemary Clooney. Jazz remains a rich and vital presence in the world of music today.
The next type is country and western music. Country and western music was primarily produced by white Southerners beginning in the early 1920s and came from the folk music of Southern Appalachia and is rooted in the folk songs of immigrants from Great Britain.(5) Some of the country music styles are Western swing, honky-tonk, bluegrass, rockabilly, and new country. "Although originally known by the derisive label "hillbilly music," country has since moved into the popular music mainstream and gained wide international acceptance."(4) Most country music is based on the lyrics rather than the musical content. Allot of country music is based on the lives and experiences of ordinary people. They include things such as love, breaking up with someone, maybe even the artist themselves telling a story in there music of their younger days growing up. Some of the instruments that are used in country music are the fiddle, the banjo, the guitar, and the piano.(5) Some country artists of past are The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. Some of the country artists of today are Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, Shania Twain, and Kenny Chesney. One place known to all country music artists and musicians is The Grand Ole Opry, which is in Nashville, Tennessee. (5)
Another type of music style is Rhythm-and-Blues Music or better know as R&B. Jerry Wexler is credited with the term R & B(1947).(7) This type of music laid the groundwork for rock & roll. "Early rock & roll is basically R&B blended with country & western and pop influences."(6) "During the '50s, R&B was dominated by vocalists like Ray Charles and Ruth Brown, as well as vocal groups like the Drifters and the Coasters."(6) The term R & B was replaced in the 1960s by soul music and Motown, but has re-emerged in recent years. "In this context only the abbreviation R&B is used, not the full expression."(6) Today there are some great R & B artists as well, like Barry White, All-4-One, India Arie, Erykah Badu and Alicia Keys. R&B remains a crucial part of rock, soul, and rap.
Rock music is next on the list of types of music. Rock music has dominated popular music in the West since about 1955. (8) Rock music started in the United States. "The term rock music commonly refers to music styles after 1959 predominantly influenced by white...
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