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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

[Cubop]

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.”

The mythologized origins of alternative country begins in 1990, when the Belleville, Illinois band Uncle Tupelo released their debut album, No Depression (Rockville Records, 1990), which featured a collection of punk-influence rock songs and ballads with a country influence, including the title track, an edgy cover of the Carter Family tune “No Depression in Heaven.” The album led to a discussion folder on America Online, also named “No Depression,” which in turn led to a bi-monthly magazine of the same name. Although Uncle Tupelo disbanded in ...

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 1989 album, Chill Out, took up this thread and was perhaps the first ambient house record. A seemingly random collection of samples (from the likes of Fleetwood Mac to Acker Bilk), it is best described as a 1980s pop culture version of musique concrète. Like much club dance music, ambient house music is largely electronic, but differs from other styles in that much of it is not intended for dancing: many of its records are arhythmic, and those that feature a rhythm track do so sparingly. It also often lacks a diatonic centre and features perpetual atonality and prolonged washes of chords played on a synthesizer. Other features include samples of wildlife and birdsong. The term ‘ambient’ was eventually applied, unconvincingly, to many other forms of dance music, such as dub and drum ’n’ bass. (For ambient music, ...

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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.

During the 1970s, the genre’s golden age, balada featured sophisticated orchestral arrangements and lavish studio production, a trend developed in Spain by producer Rafael Trabucchelli and arranger Waldo de los Ríos. In the 1980s, Miami became the most important balada production center, as the city grew into the main hub for United States marketing and distribution in Latin America. The Miami-based balada industry served as a gateway for Latin American artists hoping to extend their popularity beyond their country of origin to the rest of Latin America and the United States. Balada albums produced in Miami are not limited to slow romantic ballads, but also include up-tempo, dance-oriented songs. During its golden age, the majority of balada singers were males, who targeted a mostly female audience by appearing sensitive and vulnerable. Baladas were regularly featured in Latin American soap opera soundtracks, and many baladistas, such as José Luis Rodríguez, Chayanne, and Daniela Romo, starred in soap operas....

Article

Banda  

Helena Simonett

[Banda Sinaloense]

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 (1910–20) bandas populares (popular bands) developed pronounced regional characteristics, and the lineup in regional bands became increasingly more standardized.

Among the many regional bands, banda sinaloense (Sinaloan banda) stands out, as this type gained a reputation in the international popular music market at the close of the twentieth century. The ensemble dates back to the military bands of European colonists and to the brass music of German immigrants to Mexico’s northern Pacific coast in the mid-19th century. After its consolidation in the early 20th century, band membership in Sinaloa averaged from nine to 12 musicians playing clarinets, cornets or trumpets, trombones with valves, saxhorns, tubas, snare drums (...

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 1923, although many Southern radio stations had presented similar programs the previous year. The most important of the broadcast barn dances were the WLS Barn Dance (later National Barn Dance, Chicago, 1924–70) and the WSM Barn Dance (Nashville, from 1925), which as the Grand Ole Opry became the longest-running radio program in the United States; both were started by George D. Hay. Other programs included the Renfro Valley Barn Dance (WLW, Cincinnati, from 1937), the Tennessee Barn Dance (WNOX, Knoxville, TN, from ...

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 (see Blues, §4). Barrelhouse was played in regular 4/4 metre, whereas boogie developed as fast music largely of eight beats to the bar. Ragtime bass figures or the heavy left-hand vamp known as ‘stomping’ were often employed with occasional walking bass variations. Characteristic early recordings are Barrel House Man (1927, Para.) by the Texas pianist Will Ezell, The Dirty Dozen by Speckled Red (Rufus Perryman) (1929, Bruns.) and Soon This Morning by Charlie Spand (1929, Para.); Perryman and Spand worked in Detroit after leaving the South. Diggin’ My Potatoes (1939, Bb), by Washboard Sam with Joshua Altheimer on piano, and ...

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 ...