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Akwid  

Elijah Wald

Musical group formed in 2002 in Los Angeles. The most successful exponents of the Southern California style known as “banda rap” or “urban regional” music, Akwid is a duo of brothers Francisco and Sergio Gómez. Born in Michoacan and raised in Los Angeles, the Gomezes made their debut in the mid 1990s as English-language rappers Juvenile Style, then switched to Spanish and renamed themselves Akwid (a combination of their deejay pseudonyms, A.K. and Wikid) in 2000.

Their first album gained only lackluster sales, but after they signed with a subsidiary of Univision in 2003, their second, Proyecto Akwid, sold a third of a million CDs. Its sound mixed traditional Mexican music—especially the West Coast brass band style known as banda—with rhythms and studio techniques adapted from gangsta rap. Other groups were attempting similar fusions, but where most had to rely on outside producers, Akwid controlled their own sound and created a particularly organic musical combination, driven by the thump of tuba samples and clever use of familiar ...

Article

Alabama  

David B. Pruett

Country music group. Acknowledged by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) in 1989 as the Artist of the Decade for the 1980s, Alabama is arguably the most celebrated country music group in the history of the genre. Three of the band’s members—lead vocalist Randy Owen (b Fort Payne, AL, 13 Dec 1949), multi-instrumentalist Jeff Cook (b Fort Payne, AL, 27 Aug 1949), and bassist Teddy Gentry (b Fort Payne, AL, 22 Jan 1952)—had been performing their unique blend of southern rock and country pop together throughout the American South since 1969. Beginning in 1974, the group began playing regular shows in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where drummer Mark Herndon (b Springfield, MA, 11 May 1955) became the group’s fourth and final member in 1979, one year before Alabama signed with RCA. The group’s first major label release My Home’s in Alabama (RCA, ...

Article

Deena Weinstein

Both an American Detroit-based hard rock band and the adopted name of its singer and main creative force Vincent Damon Furnier (b Detroit, MI, 4 Feb 1946). Cooper was the son of a minister and the nephew of the storyteller Damon Runyon, after whom he was named. He moved to Arizona, where he attended high school and formed the Nazz. This band eventually took the name Alice Cooper and developed an over-the-top, theatrical shock-rock style that influenced a host of other rock performers.

With snide and clever lyrics, Alice Cooper’s style was mainly hard rock, but some tunes were psychedelic and others would be suitable in a Broadway musical. After moving to Michigan, the band scored numerous hits in the early 1970s. Many of the songs were rebellious youth-focused anthems, including “Eighteen” (Warner, 1971) and “School’s Out” (Warner, 1972). Others centered on ghoulish menace or mere gothic gruesomeness like “Dead Babies” (Warner, ...

Article

Aliquot  

Howard Mayer Brown

revised by Clive Greated

A mathematical term meaning ‘contained in another a certain number of times without leaving any remainder’ (OED); for example, 2 is an aliquot part of 6. The wavelengths of the harmonic partials of a tone are thus aliquot parts of the fundamental wavelength. Aliquot strings are Sympathetic strings...

Article

Ebenezer Prout

revised by David Fallows

[all'8va] (It.: ‘at the octave’).

An instruction to play an octave above the written pitch if the sign is placed above the notes (sometimes specified as ottava alta, or sopra); if an octave lower is intended, this is indicated by placing the sign below the notes or by specifying with ottava bassa or sotta...

Article

Ebenezer Prout

revised by Robert Donington

(It.: ‘at the unison’).

An instruction that any parts thus shown are to be taken as one part, either at the same pitch or (where the range of the voice or instrument implies it) at the octave (or double octave) above or below. It is frequently abbreviated to ‘unis.’. In orchestral scores the term is used to show that two or more instruments whose parts are written on the same staff are to play in unison; in the later 19th century the words ...

Article

Peter Wright

(It.).

In the system of Proportional notation of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, another name for proportio dupla (time signature 2/1 or more commonly 𝇍), where note shapes diminish in relative value in the ratio 2:1. The tactus thus shifts from its normal place on the semibreve (alla semibreve...

Article

David Fallows

(It.: ‘broadening’, ‘spreading’; gerund of allargare, ‘to spread’)

An instruction to slow down the tempo and often to develop a fuller and more majestic performing style. But this is not always intended. Verdi, for example, almost invariably accompanied allargando with a decrease in texture or volume; thus the very end of the prelude to La traviata has the successive markings ...

Article

David Fallows

(It., diminutive of allegro)

A tempo (and mood) designation, normally indicating something a little less fast, and perhaps a little more lighthearted, than Allegro. But there is some evidence that in Paris around 1800 it was understood to be faster than allegro, most specifically in J.B. Cartier's L'art du violon (Paris, 1798) and in Renaudin's Plexichronomètre readings (see B. Brook La symphonie française, Paris, 1962, i, 318). It is found occasionally in Vivaldi and Domenico Scarlatti, but hardly at all in their precursors, even though Brossard mentioned the word in his Dictionaire of 1703. During the second half of the 18th century it came into special popularity, for the idea of a fastish tempo that should on no account show any sign of hurry was peculiarly appropriate to the galant style. Leopold Mozart (1756) said it should be performed ‘prettily, frivolously and jokily’ (‘artig, tändelend und scherzhaft’). When included in graduated lists of tempo marks it was normally placed between ...

Article

Terence J. O’Grady

revised by Bryan Proksch

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...