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Article

Akitsugu Kawamoto

American hip-hop group. It was formed in 1995 in Los Angeles by will.i.am (William James Adams, Jr.; b Inglewood, CA, 15 March 1975; rapping, vocals, various instruments), apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr.; b Angeles City, Philippines, 28 November 1975; rapping, drums), and Taboo (Jaime Luis Gómez; b Los Angeles, CA, 14 July 1975; rapping, keyboard). The group grew out of Atban Klann (1991–5), a Los Angeles-based group signed for a time to Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. The Black Eyed Peas developed an approach that fused elements of global pop, jazz-rock, funk, soul, noise music, and a variety of hip-hop styles. Initially considered somewhat of an underground phenomenon, the Black Eyed Peas achieved worldwide commercial success after being joined by Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson; b Hacienda Heights, CA, 27 March 1975; rapping, vocals) in 2003. The group’s third and fourth albums, Elephunk (2003) and Monkey Business (2005...

Article

Nancy Yunwha Rao

[Cathay Music Society]

Sponsored by the Chinese Six Companies Association, it was formed in 1911 by 13 Chinese teenagers in San Francisco and was the first Chinese Western-style marching band in America. Later its members created the Cathay Club, or Cathay Music Society, which fostered multiple bands and social activities, including a small Chinese instrument ensemble. Bookings ranged from the Orpheum Circuit, which involved tours to the Midwest and South under such names as the Chinese Military Band and the Chinese Jazz Band, to various world fairs, including the Panama Pacific International Exposition (1915). The Cathay Club also provided music at holiday parades and funeral processions for generations of San Franciscans, a tradition absent in other American Chinatowns. It grew to 30 members in the 1930s and around 100 at its peak, when it included a senior band, a junior band, a glee club, and two dance bands. The Cathayans Orchestra and Chinatown Knights, formed by Cathay Club members in the 1920s and 30s, were the first all-Chinese dance bands in the United States, performing big band music through the 1950s. In ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

Line of MIDI-based reproducing player pianos introduced by Yamaha Corporation in 1982 (1986 in North America). The Disklavier system combines an acoustic piano with an electromechanical player-piano system. As in other such systems, fibre-optic sensors register the movement of keys, hammers, and pedals during performance, while the digital controller operates a bank of solenoids installed under the piano’s key bed; one solenoid is positioned under the tail of each key, with additional solenoids connected to the pedal rods. Performance information is stored digitally on CD-ROM, floppy discs (still used for many accompaniments for instructional piano material), or a hard drive. Disklavier systems can be connected to sequencers, tone modules, and computers via MIDI and Ethernet. A built-in speaker system attached to the case under the soundboard is used to play back optional digital piano sound and especially for playback of accompanying orchestral or vocal tracks.

Unlike other electronic player systems, the Disklavier is only installed in new Yamaha pianos and only at the factory. It cannot be installed in older Yamahas or other brands of pianos. Compared with other systems, the Disklavier’s recording capability is generally regarded to be of the highest quality and sophistication. Of the Disklavier models available in ...

Article

Article

Amy Kazuye Kimura

Balinese dance and music group founded in 1979 in the San Francisco Bay Area by Michael Tenzer, Rachel Cooper, and I Wayan Suweca. It has since grown into an internationally recognized ensemble that has toured throughout North America and Bali. Under the leadership of its permanent directors and visiting artists from Bali, its members have studied using traditional methods, foregoing written notation, learning instead through imitation and by rote. The group has performed a variety of Balinese dance and music genres, including gender wayang, gong kebyar, bamboo jegog, and angklung. Its repertoire has included traditional works as well as kreasi baru (“new creations”) by Balinese and American artists, commissioned with the support of public and private funding initiatives. The group’s long-standing ties to artistic circles in both the United States and Bali have positioned it as a strongly cross-cultural organization, mutually influencing both American and Balinese musicians and dancers. In addition to performances, the ensemble has hosted educational workshops to share and promote Balinese arts and culture. In ...

Article

Loren Kajikawa

Jazz fusion group. Founded in 1974 by the multi-instrumentalist Dan Kuramoto and the koto player June Okida Kuramoto, Hiroshima took its name from one of two Japanese cities to suffer atomic attack during World War II. It consists of third-generation Japanese Americans and first rose to popularity in the late 1970s amid the Asian American movement, which also provided the impetus for the development of Asian American jazz. Hiroshima’s early sound mixed Japanese instrumentation, notably koto and bamboo flutes, with a blend of electric jazz, funk, and disco soul. In addition to playing a variety of saxophones, flutes, and keyboards, Dan Kuramoto has served as the group’s main arranger and songwriter.

Although Hiroshima’s membership and style have shifted over the years, its most consistent feature has been June Kuramoto’s virtuosic koto playing. At the age of six, she began lessons with the koto sensei Kazue Kudo. Eventually mastering the instrument’s traditional repertoire, she also developed her own approach to improvising....

Article

Wendy F. Hsu

Rock band. Formed at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey, the Hsu-nami is an erhu progressive rock band fronted by Taiwanese American erhu player and composer Jack Hsu. Hsu was classically trained in violin. His erhu training included intensive summer lessons in Nanjing, China. The rest of the group is composed of Tony Aichele (guitar), Brent Bergholm (guitar), Dana Goldberg (keyboard), John Manna (drums), and Derril Sellers (bass). The Hsu-nami integrates an amplified “erhu,” a two-string spike fiddle used in Chinese classical and folk music, into an instrumental progressive rock sound. Their music is marked by virtuosic erhu melodies and shredding solos, in place of vocals, intertwined with heavy guitar riffs, funky rhythms, and metal-driven rock drumming. Part of the new-fusion rock movement, the group recasts the sound of its 1960s and 1970s roots.

The band has played alongside international and major recording artists such as Chthonic, Yellowcard, Bowling for Soup, Nightmare of You, and The Parlor Mob. Their music was also featured during the ...

Article

Ury Eppstein

Musical life in modern Jerusalem can be divided into two separate spheres: the liturgical music of the various Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities who maintain their living musical traditions; and Western secular art music.

Most of the many Jewish religious musical traditions are represented in the synagogues of the various communities, the most ancient being of Middle Eastern origin, mainly from the Yemen, Baghdad, Kurdistan, Iran, Bokhara and Syria. On further investigation, these may prove to preserve elements of musical traditions from biblical times. There are also representatives of the musical traditions of Spanish-based Sephardi communities, especially those from North Africa, Greece and Turkey, as well as of the mainstreams of eastern European Ashkenazi tradition, namely Hasidism (which created in Jerusalem a special vocal style imitating instruments, stimulated by the ban on instrumental music imposed to signify mourning for the destruction of the Temple) and its opponents, Mithnagdim, who developed a Jerusalem version of the Lithuanian-style Bible cantillation. Western European communities, mainly from Germany, also have synagogues with their own musical traditions....

Article

J.W. Junker

Rock group. Kalapana are Hawaii’s longest-active rock group, with loyal audiences in Hawaii and Japan. Their instrumentation and lyrics are not specific to Hawaii but their image and overall feeling effectively reflect the zeitgeist of island life. In many regards, the group represents Hawaii’s response to the singer-songwriter and R&B fads of the 1970s. Formed in 1973, Kalapana perform mostly original material full of catchy melodies, strong bass lines, well-crafted bridges, rock-inflected solos, and self-reflexive lyrics or instrumental jams. Founding members were D.J. Pratt (guitar/percussion/vocals), Malani Bilyeu (guitar/bass/vocals), Mackey Feary (guitar/piano/bass/vocals), and Kirk Thompson (keyboards, bass, vocals), joined frequently by Michael Paulo (sax/flute) and Alvin Fejarang (drums). Feary and Bilyeu served as the main songwriters and singers. Early shows at The Toppe Ada Shoppe led to their opening for Cecilio & Kapono and visiting artists. Their self-titled debut album in 1975 was a local sensation, including hits such as “The Hurt,” “Nightbird,” and “Naturally.”...

Article

Andrew C. McGraw

[tek-tek]

Processional ensemble of Banyumas, Central Java, Indonesia. The ensemble, developed since 2000, includes up to 20 kentongan (tek-tek) consisting of two tuned lengths of bamboo from 50 to 80 cm long cut in the manner of the calung bar, screwed onto a square frame of bamboo, and carried on a rope strung around the player’s shoulders. The bars are struck with a padded wooden mallet. Up to five musicians play beḍug, large homemade drums constructed from plastic barrels and rubber or plastic heads ranging from 30 to 45 cm in diameter and struck with large padded mallets. A single musician plays several small, one-headed drums and cymbals arranged in the manner of Western marching tom-toms. The melody is played by a single musician on a diatonic set of angklung rattles and doubled on a gambang xylophone. A small suling flute is added along with maracas and Western marching cymbals. The ensemble is played by youth groups in parades, at community centres, and sometimes in organized competitions in which female dancers and MCs are included. Its repertoire includes material adapted from Javanese ...

Article

KISS  

Michael Ethen

[Kiss]

Rock group. Its foundational lineup comprised bassist Gene Simmons (b Chaim Witz, Haifa, Israel, 25 Aug 1949), guitarist Paul Stanley (b Stanley Harvey Eisen, New York, NY, 20 Jan 1952), drummer Peter Criss (b Peter George John Criscuola, New York, NY, 20 Dec 1945), and lead guitarist Ace Frehley (b Paul Daniel Frehley, New York, NY, 27 April 1951). Core members Simmons and Stanley founded the group in 1972, and embraced Criss and Frehley by early 1973. It is difficult to discount their attempts to shock audiences with grotesquerie, studded black leather, platform boots, and individualized Kabuki-like facial makeup. Their concerts showcased pyrotechnics and hydraulics, theatricalized gore, and wooden choreography in contrast with their appealing, well-crafted power pop sound. Supported by loyal fans (“the KISS Army”), the band endured despite a tortuous personnel record of firings, re-hirings, and willful departures.

Neither of their first two albums with the upstart Casablanca record label was commercially viable. KISS broke through in ...

Article

Laba bu  

Margaret J. Kartomi

revised by Andrew C. McGraw

[labe buu]

Ensemble of two to four end-blown buffalo horns (bu) and two or three single-head drums (laba), of the central Ngada region of Flores, Indonesia. The horns range from 30 to 40 cm long and each produce one note. The drums, called laba bhegu in Ngada, range from 75 to 80 cm long and 15 to 20 cm in diameter and have a horsehide head affixed to a bamboo body with rattan lacing. They are beaten by a standing musician using two wooden sticks. The ensemble, now rare, formerly performed as soldiers went to war or for ceremonies commemorating war. More recently the ensemble accompanies a war dance performed by men and women....

Article

Nancy Yunwha Rao

Instrumental ensemble founded in 1984 by Susan Cheng in New York’s Chinatown. It features Chinese instruments including erhu, yangqin, zheng, pipa, daruan, sanxian, sheng, and dizi. Its members have included Wu man , Tang Liang Xing, and Min Xiao Fen, among others. Performing at museums, schools, and other venues, it has specialized in silk and bamboo music of southern China but has also performed contemporary music. Its concerts from 1990 to 2002 included excerpts or full-staged performances of Cantonese opera. At its height the ensemble performed 100 concerts a year; in the early 2010s it was averaging 50–60.

Music from China has commissioned and performed many new works. By 2011 it had premiered 132 new works by 81 composers, including the winners of its annual international composition competition. In 1987 Chen yi and Zhou long joined Music from China as music directors and composed many significant works for the group. From ...

Article

Donna Lee Kwon

Originally from Korea, p’ungmul (wind object) is a vibrant form of percussion band music and dance that features the changgo (hourglass drum), the puk (barrel drum), the sogo (hand drum), the ching (large gong), and the kkwaenggwari (small gong). A complete ensemble also includes a double-reed instrument called the t’aep’yŏngso, flag bearers, and character actors called chapsaek. Based in agricultural village life, this music is also referred to as nongak (farmer’s music) and as such is recognized as Important Intangible Cultural Asset no.11 in South Korea. Led by the head kkwaenggwari player, a typical South Korean band ranges from thirty to fifty members, although similar bands in the United States or Canada are often smaller. A distinguishing feature of p’ungmul is the practice of playing the instruments while dancing in various formations. Although all of the members incorporate footwork and rhythmic up-and-down movements, some performers (usually the sogo players) specialize in acrobatic flip-turns and other dazzling moves. Colorful costumes consist of white shirts and pants, contrasting vests or jackets, and banners of red, blue, and yellow that hang over one shoulder and tie at the waist. Performers traditionally wear eye-catching headwear ranging from paper hats decorated with huge flowers to tight-fitting headpieces fitted with long ribbons that are twirled and flipped into a variety of spectacular patterns. According to native beliefs, ...

Article

Terry E. Miller

[bin bādy]

In Cambodia, the primary classical ensemble played at court ceremonies, some Buddhist festivals, to accompany the large shadow theatre, masked drama, and dance drama. Both the ensemble and its name are closely related to similar ensembles in Thailand (piphat) and Laos (sep nyai/piphat). Ensembles vary in size from minimal (five instruments) to large. A basic ensemble consists of ...

Article

Andrew C. McGraw

[selundeng, salunding, selonding]

Ancient Balinese gamelan ensemble associated with pre-Hindu villages. It comprises six metallophones with iron bars suspended over a shallow wooden trough, played with unpadded wooden mallets. Each instrument begins on a different tone of the seven-tone pelog system. The lowest instrument, referred to as the gong, has eight bars. The higher inting gede and inting cenik have four bars each and are played together by a single performer. The mid-range penem and petuduh have four bars each and are connected to form a single instrument but are played, like the Balinese reyong gong chime, by two musicians performing complex interlocking patterns. The higher nyonyong gede and nyonyong cenik have eight bars each and may each be played by one or two musicians. The nyonyong performers typically carry the principal melody in their right-hand patterns, doubled two octaves below on the inting. Ceng-ceng cymbals may be added when accompanying dance works. The ...

Article

Martin Hatch

The Society for Asian Music (SAM) was formed in 1959–60 in close association with the Asia Society. Prominent among its organizers were Paul Sherbert (president of the Asia Society), Willard Rhodes, professor of music at Columbia University (chairman of the board of SAM), and Henry Cowell, composer (president of SAM). At the society’s first public meeting, on 27 March 1960, more than 100 members enrolled. The stated purposes of the society were to “encourage and cultivate a greater understanding and knowledge of Asian music in the United States by means of lectures, discussions, concerts and recordings, and to make available in the United States authoritative books, articles, films, musical scores and similar materials” (EthM, v/1, 1961, 71–2). The initial performance sponsored by the society was the United States debut of Ravi Shankar. Subsequent to that, volunteer SAM members and Asia Society staff produced a series of monthly performances and lectures on Asian performing arts of such prominent Asian artists and scholars as Ali Akbar Khan, Chatur Lal, Kishibe Shigeo, T. Viswanathan, and ...

Article

Ernst Heins

revised by Andrew C. McGraw

[tanji]

Ensemble of Jakarta, Indonesia. It is an acculturated band whose music was heard formerly at festive occasions and processions in the streets of Jakarta, but by the 1970s only in the outskirts to the south and in the adjacent regions of Krawang (where it is also called orkes kompeni), Bekasi, and Tangerang. Similar ensembles have appeared in Palembang (South Sumatra) and Pontianak (West Kalimantan). The instruments of the tanjidor band are the Western clarinet, trumpet, cornet, euphonium (or tuba), trombone, bass and side drum (both called tambur), a small hand cymbal (kecrek) and large crash cymbal, both struck with metal beaters, and sometimes a small gong (kenong). The drums are typically struck with sticks, or by the hands when imitating Sundanese kendang. A helicon, tenor horns, saxophones, and violin may be added. The horns sometimes include locally constructed mouthpiece extensions that lower the fundamental pitches of the instruments. A singer may join when performing adapted ...

Article

Margaret J. Kartomi

revised by Andrew C. McGraw

[tuddukan, tuddukat]

Slit drum ensemble of three, sometimes four, instruments of different sizes and pitches, used in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. They are used for signalling as well as for musical purposes. The drums are housed in a small covered structure raised approximately three metres above ground level and are audible up to five kilometres away. Each drum consists of a long piece of palm or other tree trunk, the ends of which are narrowed so that the middle third is ovoid, with a long slit about the width of two fingers. The drums rest horizontally on sticks on the wooden floorboards, and the player beats the middle upper edge of the slit. The largest drum, called ina (‘mother’), can be about 300 cm long, with a middle diameter of about 30 cm. The other two are called toga siboito (‘small child’) and toga sikatelu (‘third child’, about 150 cm long). Some have carved decorations. There is no standard tuning but a set in central Siberut plays approximately ...

Article

Ray Pratt

The Vietnam War period can be dated from the establishment of the US Military Assistance Command in 1963 to the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese forces in 1975. References to the war and reflections on its meaning in popular music began to reach a wide listenership by 1965. Because millions of Americans were drafted to serve in the US military during the war period, its impact on individuals of military age, their social peers, friends, and families was almost as widespread as that of World War II.

From Johnny Wright’s “Hello, Vietnam” (1965) to Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of the Green Berets” (1966) to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” (1984), the meaning of the Vietnam War has been contested in American popular music and the larger political culture. Analysis of the ways diverse and divergent publics listened to, heard, or attempted to make meaning from (or through) music of the era depends significantly on perspective and historical context. Empirical study indicates that most listeners do not correctly decipher lyrics; instead, meanings are made by the ...