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Musical subculture of the late 1980s and 90s. Acid jazz is largely a fusion of black American musical styles such as funk, soul and hip-hop combined with a visual aesthetic which borrows extensively from both British popular culture of the 1960s and black American street style of the 70s. Fundamentally a form of street style, it combined music, fashion and recreational drug use to create an ‘attitude’ that owed much to the beatniks of the 1960s (hence ‘jazz’) and a nostalgia for the 1960s and 70s, regarded as a time when musicianship was vital to good dance music as opposed to the more contemporary technological emphasis. The term covers a wide range of musical styles, from the electronic disco styling of bands such as Jamiroquai and Brand New Heavies to the Santana-inspired funk rock of Mother Earth and the Mendez Report. The common denominator is usually the influence of funk, drawing on syncopated rhythmic interplay between the instruments and the use of chromatic chord sequences used widely in post-bop jazz but rarely in mainstream pop or dance music....

Article

Gunther Schuller

A jazz style. It was created from a fusion of bop with traditional Cuban elements, that arose in the 1940s, primarily in the work of Dizzy Gillespie; it is distinguished from the more general Latin jazz by the specific influence of Cuban dance, folk and popular idioms. Although a Latin-American or Caribbean influence (Jelly Roll Morton called it the ‘Latin tinge’) is discernible in jazz from the late 19th century, the earliest use of Cuban elements is traceable only to Alberto Socarras and Mario Bauzá in the late 1930s. Afro-Cuban jazz became a clearly defined style and acquired an international following only when Gillespie, who had been influenced by Bauzá, began to collaborate with the outstanding Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. For Gillespie, Bauzá, and others, the main impulse for the Afro-Cuban movements came from their feeling that American jazz of the 1930s and 1940s, being essentially monorhythmic, needed the kind of enrichment that an infusion of Afro-Cuban polyrhythms would provide....

Article

Nancy P. Riley

The term “alternative country” refers to Country music of the late 20th century that existed outside of mainstream country (as represented by Nashville and contemporary country radio) and incorporated country music with aspects of punk, rock and roll, and roots influences. During the 1990s, alternative country identified with a punk rock do-it-yourself ethos and a connection to indie-rock fans and scenes, with live venues and independent record labels playing a crucial role in its emergence. Further, the term owes much to the success of underground rock bands like R.E.M. and Nirvana that became commercially successful, marketed as “alternative.”...

Article

Will Fulford-Jones

A form of 20th-century club dance music. It became popular in the ‘chill out’ rooms of clubs in London during the late 1980s as music to relax to, away from the more fevered, heavily rhythmic music favoured in the main rooms. Its DJs included Dr Alex Paterson of the Orb and the KLF, who played a mix of wildlife samples, sound effects, hypnotherapy tapes and Pink Floyd. The KLF’s ...

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Term associated with Brian Eno that describes a type of Environmental music.

Article

Balada  

Daniel Party

Spanish-language variant of the international pop music ballad. A hybrid of Mexican bolero, Italian and French orchestrated love songs, and early rock and roll ballads, balada emerged simultaneously in Spain and throughout the Americas in the late 1960s. Lyrics are invariably about love and purposely lack references to socio-political issues or local events to maximize potential target audiences. Most often performed by a solo singer, early balada moves at a slow to moderate tempo, and the musical accompaniment, by either a rock ensemble or a studio orchestra, is secondary to the voice. Early baladistas include Mexicans Carlos Lico and Armando Manzanero, Cuban American La Lupe, Spaniards Raphael and Julio Iglesias, Brazilian Roberto Carlos, Argentines Leonardo Favio and Sandro, and Chilean band Los Ángeles Negros....

Article

Banda  

Helena Simonett

Banda (band) is a generic Spanish term for a variety of ensembles consisting of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments found throughout Latin America. Introduced in the mid-1800s, brass bands were a fixture of Mexico’s musical life in the late 19th century and flourished in both rural and urban areas. With the revolutionary movement (...

Article

Originally a rural meeting for dancing held in a barn or similar large building. From the 1920s the term was used to designate variety radio programs of rural, folk-like entertainment, although artists frequently performed a wide range of musics from old-time fiddling and ballads to contemporary popular songs and blues. The first program so described was broadcast on the radio station WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas, in ...

Article

Paul Oliver

A style of piano playing that originated among black American blues musicians in the early 20th century. It was first practised in the makeshift saloons of lumber camps in the South and is related to Boogie-woogie, which it may have preceded as a blues piano style (...

Article

Allan F. Moore

A style of British pop music developed in the early 1960s; it was significant as the first time musicians of that country had created their own sound, rather than imitating the US originals. In Liverpool, Merseybeat was spearheaded by the Beatles, whose early style grafted onto a skiffle base the instrumental and vocal textures, melodic structures, syncopated rhythms and responsorial vocal styles of early rock and roll, the modality and verse–refrain form of Anglo-Celtic folk song, and some ornamental chromaticisms and triadic parallelisms from late 19th-century European harmony. Other leading exponents included Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Searchers. The Beatles’ insistence on writing their own material was a novel redivision of labour which has had lasting consequences. In London an alternative approach was dominated by the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and the Who, in which a narrower amalgam was found, with the skiffle and rock and roll foundation partly replaced by a harder-edged rhythm and blues sound, in a selfconscious attempt at authenticity. In the USA the term ‘British invasion’ is preferred to ‘beat’, calling attention to the flood of such bands as these into the US market during the period ...