Origins of Rock and Roll
World Music in the Global Village
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The musical ethnography being studied is the origins of Rock and Roll. Rock and Roll evolved from blues in America and started in the 1920’s but only became popular in the 1950’s. Rock mainly uses a fast paste beat of drums, electric guitar, bass guitar and acoustic guitar. Some famous Rock musicians such as Elvis Presley were in the early stages of when Rock was popular. He in fact covered blues songs but added more of an upbeat twist to it. Another famous rock band is The Beatles, they were around the 1960’s and this was when there was the Youth Rebellion which was the young adults was upset with the war going on in Vietnam. It was very popular back then than in the 21st century the amount of people listening has been decreasing because of popular music culture and that generation is decreasing as well. However there are still radio stations on classic rock; it’s not becoming extinct but there’s still a noticeable difference in listeners. The band supporting this research is a Montreal band called Medusa. They have a diverse and open mind in their music that they will add old style rock, blues and hard rock into their music. They also have great knowledge in the history of Rock and respect for the blues. Medusa also uses the same main instruments that Rock uses normally but have a piano and trumpet too if they really wanted to make an old style. The purpose of their music is to express experiences and loss of loved ones. The research project will discuss examples from the band Medusa, the origins and general history knowledge of Rock and Roll the organizing principles and the four components of a music-culture.
Organizing Principles: Cultural Perspective
1. Geography: The environment can affect music because it could give the musician inspiration such as land, rivers, etc. A different music-culture that could relate more in depth with geography could be the Native Americans. They relate their spirituality and music through the environment and what they’re surrounded with. Maybe they may add birds chirping or waves into their production of songs to get the atmosphere. Medusa’s music is not really affected by this principle neither in the earlier days of the birth of Rock. 2. Languages: this can affect music because if the band is singing in a different language then that song can be targeted to a different audience. Music is also a language so people can understand it if it is their kind such as style or sound, people are more prone to listen their language than a foreign one depending how open they are of different music-cultures. Medusa keeps their songs in English because the vocalist is most comfortable with that language. The origins of Rock started with the English language because it came from American and that’s their targeted audience. 3. Ethnic Group(s): There are plenty of bands that they will play music of where they are from. Medusa is somewhat affected by this principle but not so much; it would be based on their look. 4. Gender Roles: How gender roles affects the band Medusa is that the lead female vocalist does not want another female in the band because it would ruin the image. Medusa was part of Greek mythology and was said that she was the only mortal of her two other sisters. Rock was always known to be mainly male dominance but now there are many famous female musicians into Rock so the stereotype has decreased since the earlier days of Rock. Fans have to get a feel of Rock in the vocalist’s voice in order to feel a sort of familiarity with Rock music. Rock vocalists normally have to have a rough side because that’s what Rock needs since a male’s voice is deeper and can hit rough notes. The ideal image for a family in the 1950’s was men would go to work; their wife would be a housewife and take care of the children. However in 1966, Janis Joplin became...
Bibliography: Bergamini, Andrea. Masters of Music. The History of Rock Music, English Translation. NY, US: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 2000
Crampton, Luke. Rees, Dafydd. Rock & Roll, First America Edition. Year by Year. NY, US: DK Publishing, Inc. 2003
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