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Article

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 ...

Article

Elizabeth Aldrich

American television program. Bandstand premiered in Philadelphia in September 1952, hosted by Bob Horn. Dick Clark became host and producer in July 1956. The show achieved a nationwide audience when it was picked up by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and retitled American Bandstand in 1957. ABC moved it to Los Angeles in 1964 and carried the show until 1987. Syndicated broadcasts continued until September 1989.

American Bandstand, which featured teenagers dancing to the top rock and roll and rhythm and blues tunes of the day, brought popular music and dance into millions of households each weekday afternoon. In a popular feature called “Rate-a-Record,” Clark often asked the participants to evaluate the songs, giving rise to the phrase “I’ll give it a 95 because it has a great beat and it’s easy to dance to.” American Bandstand also included dance contests, and each program featured appearances by at least one popular musical act. The artists, who appeared, lip-synching to their latest hits, represented the most popular performers of the era. Although exclusively white in its early years, many of the artists popularized African American music and dance forms. For 37 years, teenagers watching the show absorbed a myriad of the latest dance crazes, including the twist, the locomotion, the stroll, the hustle, the mashed potato, the fish, the madison, disco, and the hand jive. Although virtually every urban area had an imitation show, including ...

Image

Disc jockey Dick Clark, at podium at upper left, is surrounded by teen-age fans on his nationally televised dance show "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia, Pa. on June 30, 1958. Clark, the show's 28-year-old host, plays rock and roll records during the show that features dancing.

(AP Photo)

Article

Stephen D. Winick

Government agency and archive. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress was created by the US Congress in 1976 to “preserve and present American Folklife,” the first time US federal law mandated the conservation of folk culture. The Center soon acquired the Archive of Folk Culture, which had been established by the Library of Congress’s music division in 1928. Through the efforts of such leaders as Robert W. Gordon, John Lomax, Alan Lomax, and Joe Hickerson, the archive had acquired thousands of hours of field recordings, and provided access to them in a public reading room as well as through books and record albums. By 1978, when it became part of AFC, it was already the largest ethnographic archive in the United States, as well as the source for many popular pieces of music, including Aaron Copland’s Hoedown, Johnny Cash’s “Rock Island Line,” and the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley.”...

Article

Katherine Meizel

American television show. Developed by the music executive Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment, American Idol is one of more than 40 “Idol” programs that have been televised around the world, each designed for a particular nation or region. The show was first broadcast on British television as Pop Idol in 2001, before airing in the United States on the Fox Network the following year. American Idol itself has been broadcast in more than half of all sovereign states.

Its format draws on forerunners including Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, Star Search, Popstars, and The Eurovision Song Contest and invites viewers to vote, typically by telephone or text message, in the election of a new pop star. Candidates vying for a recording contract are chosen by producers through a series of open auditions. When the voting episodes begin, contestants’ live weekly performances are critiqued by a panel of judges. Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul served as the initial panel of judges for ...

Article

Lori Burns and Jada Watson

[Myra Ellen]

(b Newton, NC, Aug 22, 1963). American alternative-rock singer-songwriter, pianist, and record producer. She emerged in the early 1990s amid a resurgence of female singer-songwriters and has been one of the few well known alternative-rock artists to use the piano as her primary instrument. She attended the preparatory division of the prestigious Peabody Conservatory but left the school at the age of 11. She began to play her own music in nightclubs at 14, chaperoned by her father, who was a preacher. After Amos moved to Los Angeles in her late teens to pursue a recording career, her band Y Kant Tori Read released a self-titled album (Atl., 1987). Although this was unsuccessful, Atlantic Records retained her six-album contract.

Amos’s debut solo album, Little Earthquakes (Atl., 1992), earned her critical acclaim for her vocal expressivity, pianistic virtuosity, and fearless exploration of a wide range of personal themes, notably female sexuality, personal relationships, religion, sexual violence, and coming of age. The album ...

Article

Roxanne R. Reed

Gospel ensemble. The Angelic Gospel Singers, or the Angelics, were an African American female gospel quartet based in Philadelphia. Founder, lead singer, and pianist Margaret Allison (1921–2008) a native of McCormick, South Carolina, moved with her family to Philadelphia as a youth. Allison joined the Spiritual Echoes in 1942 and learned vocal arranging, composition, and accompanying techniques. Allison’s family was affiliated with the Pentecostal Church, but stylistically her gospel sound was closer to that of the southern Baptist church and gospel tradition. Allison left the Spiritual Echoes in 1944 to form the Angelics. Joining her were fellow former Spiritual Echoes members Lucille Shird and Ella Mae Norris. The third member was Allison’s sister Josephine MacDowell. The quartet’s sound mimicked that of popular male quartets such as the Fairfield Four and the Dixie Hummingbirds with controlled harmonies and simple accompaniment. The Angelic Gospel Singers commonly performed with the Hummingbirds. As a group, the Angelics performed primarily on the Pentecostal Church circuit. Their rendition of Lucie Campbell’s “Touch Me, Lord Jesus” (...

Article

Ryan R. McNutt

Canadian indie rock band. With captivating live performances and acclaimed recordings, the Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist group stood at the forefront of indie rock’s ascendency in the 2000s, growing from internet fanbase to festival-headlining slots over the decade. Often augmented by friends and touring members live, the core band consists of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, with Will Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld, and Jeremy Gara.

Formed in 2001 in Montreal, Québec—where the Texas-born Butler brothers attended school and met Chassagne, the daughter of Haitian immigrants—Arcade Fire quickly earned a local cult following that exploded upon the release of Funeral, its 2004 debut (Merge Records). An ecstatic review on the popular music website Pitchfork is often cited as the catalyst, though the band capitalized on that enthusiasm with its theatrical live show. Soaring melodies and anthemic, singalong hooks earned the album endorsements from David Bowie, David Byrne, and U2, all of whom have since performed with the band....

Article

Sarah Adams

Archives and manuscripts constitute the “raw materials” of music history, since the foundation of much humanistic scholarship is based on the interpretation and re-interpretation of primary and secondary sources. Music archival collections and manuscripts may be found both within and outside musical organizations, such as conservatories, academic institutions, libraries, historical societies, museums, businesses, performing arts organizations, research centers, radio and television stations, government archives, and church archives.

This article will cover the single manuscript and paper-based archival traditions in the USA. For media-based archives, see Archives, sound recording and moving image. For details of specific collections see Libraries and collections; for jazz archives see Libraries and archives in GroveJ.

Archives are defined as groups of documents produced by an institution, an organization, an individual, or a family in the course of daily activity, and preserved for enduring value. They are typically kept together as organized bodies of records and are maintained in their original order. The term archive also refers to the repository where archives are located; it is often also used to describe a specialized collection....

Article

Repositories for the permanent retention, preservation, and access of sound recordings (e.g., CDs, LPs, audio cassettes, cylinders, digital audio files) and moving image media (e.g., motion-picture film, kinescope, videotape, digital video files); often included along side of these collections are the mechanical playback devices for such media. The history of archives of this kind in the United States reveals trends towards the amalgamation of sound and moving image materials into single units based either on format (e.g., Library of Congress’ Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division) or academic discipline (UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive). Traditionally the distinction between a library and an archive is essentially one of purpose and a material’s publication status: whereas libraries collect published materials for use by general patrons within and outside the library, archives generally accession and preserve unpublished materials, allowing restricted access for research purposes. However, with the development of the Internet, digitization technologies, and online modes of distribution, the distinction between library and archive hosted sound recording and moving image collections has become more fluid with both kinds of institutions posting published and unpublished audio and video files online with varying degrees of accessibility. Parallel advances in preservation technologies have also enabled archivists to digitize analog sound recordings and moving image recordings that is thought to ensure long-term, if not permanent, access to the content housed on the original analog carriers....

Article

Areíto  

Sean Bellaviti

[areyto]

The term variously refers to a large-scale ceremonial/celebratory event, the music-dance practices performed on these occasions, and a “song” based on the recitation or singing of ancient histories (e.g., genealogies), laws, and possibly specific song lyrics. The tradition was practiced by the Taíno (Arawak) peoples living in the Greater Antilles prior to and shortly after the Spanish Conquista (Conquest). Our knowledge of areíto is very limited, based primarily on the accounts of early European chroniclers (namely Pané, Las Casas, and Oviedo) and archaeological evidence. While no documentation of the specific poetic and musical practices exist today, areíto likely involved the use of specific musical instruments and sound makers (such as the mayohuacán [a slit-drum], rattles, and perhaps maraca), musical techniques (e.g., antiphonal singing) and dance routines. As a community-based group activity, areíto is variously described as a ceremony, celebration, funerary rite, or form of recreation, or as serving specific pedagogical functions....