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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 ...

Article

Allan F. Moore

A style of popular music that flourished during the 1960s. It originated in and is particularly associated with Britain, and depends on the electric guitar with its blues-pentatonic scale patterns and propensity for sudden shifts of movement between anguished held, bent notes and sudden runs. It attempted to counter the banality of the hit-parade material and of rock and roll (which by the early 1960s had lost its power to surprise) by retrieving what was felt to be emotionally more ‘authentic’ blues material. It was thus originally an underground movement originating in the London blues revival, itself an outgrowth of the trad jazz movement headed by Chris Barber. The blues revival was centred on clubs booked by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies, namely Wardour Street’s Roundhouse (from 1955) and West London’s Ealing Club (from 1962). By the early 1960s other clubs were popular: the Scene and the Flamingo in Central London and the Crawdaddy in Richmond....

Article

Bounce  

Kenneth Kleszynski

An American style of hip-hop music associated with New Orleans, Louisiana. Bounce is oriented toward dancing, with performers calling out dance steps or prompting replies from the audience. Musical characteristics include call-and-response based upon repeated hooks, chants (influenced largely by Mardi Gras Indians), and brass-band music (regularly used for samples). Bounce features highly syncopated grooves often based on the “Triggerman beat,” which is sampled from sources such as “Drag Rap” by the Showboys, “Brown Beat” by Cameron Paul, and “Rock the Beat” by Derek B. Much. Bounce is tied to specific New Orleans neighborhoods, its most common performance venues being clubs and large, outdoor, working-class parties. Lyrics often refer to these neighborhoods as well as cultural practices and explicitly sexual topics.

The term “bounce” appeared as early as 1968 on the Imperial album Urban Blues: New Orleans Bounce, referencing the city’s long association with dance music. The term’s usage in hip hop, however, can be traced to ...

Article

Britpop  

David Buckley

A term first used in the British music press around 1992 to describe the indigenous talent emerging in the wake of the commercial success of American grunge and ‘slacker’ youth culture. These groups, such as Suede and Elastica, performed playful, indie-inspired guitar-based pop. By 1995 intense media rivalry existed between Manchester’s Oasis and London’s Blur, as the two groups briefly brought back a sense of competition not seen in pop since the days of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Indeed, nostalgia was a key element of the Britpop boom, as rock artists reasserted ‘songwriterly’ values and traditional rock instrumentation in the aftermath of the hegemonic influence of acid house in the late 1980s. Significantly Britpop was used almost exclusively to describe white English musicians who played guitar-based, 1960s-influenced pop: Oasis were dubbed Britpop, but the black trip hop artist Tricky was not, despite his mainstream success. By 1996 new and more derivative groups such as Kula Shaker, The Verve and Ocean Colour Scene played what their detractors dubbed ‘Dad-rock’, a less threatening and more complex homage to 1960s and 70s icons such as Traffic and Paul Weller, which demonstrated that the initial energy of the Britpop scene was dying out. By the late 1990s the quintessential Britpop group Blur had taken to recording grunge-inspired music which resembled the sort of American music Britpop had once united against. Significantly none of the Britpop groups really broke into the lucrative American market....

Article

Meredith Oyen

Cantopop, Cantonese-language popular music, and Mandopop, Mandarin-language popular music, are the products of encounters and exchanges between Chinese, Japanese, and American music traditions. Both can be heard in Chinese communities and businesses in the United States today.

Mandopop dates back to the 1920s in the dance halls of jazz-age Shanghai. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the industry moved to Hong Kong, but by the 1960s, the growth of the Mandarin language movement in Taiwan helped Taipei become the new capital of Mandopop. The American military presence in Taiwan in the 1950s and 60s introduced new genres of American popular music to local artists, including rock and R&B.

While Mandopop moved to Taipei, Cantopop emerged in Hong Kong in the 1970s as a localized response to popular American, Japanese, and Mandarin-language music. As the date for the British handover of the colony to China neared, increasing numbers of Hong Kong residents immigrated to Canada and the United States, bringing along their musical practices and tastes. The growth of the Hong Kong film industry and the internationalization of its audience also contributed to the spread of both Mandopop and Cantopop to North America and around the world....

Article

M. Montgomery Wolf

[CBGB; Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers]

Nightclub founded by Hilly Kristal in New York in December 1973. It was located below the Palace Hotel, a flophouse on the Bowery in a rough and rundown section of the city. Following his own tastes, Kristal intended to host mostly acoustic Americana, but a few months later, the guitarist Tom Verlaine convinced Kristal to let his band Television play there. The club became a rare site of original rock in an era favoring either folk clubs or arena rock. It also became the physical center for the New York punk scene, which was emerging at the time, allowing Patti Smith, Blondie, the Ramones, and Talking Heads, among others, to hone their craft. Despite its dark, dirty interior, famously squalid bathrooms, and dangerous neighborhood, musicians loved CBGB for its fabulous sound system. By 1975 it had demonstrated the viability of original rock, and Max’s Kansas City, another club in New York, began booking local, unsigned acts. Max’s and CBGB remained the principal venues in New York for punk rock through ...

Article

J. Bradford Robinson

A sub-species of New Orleans jazz developed by young white musicians in the Chicago area during the mid-1920s. A number of these musicians were associated with the so-called Austin High School Gang (Jimmy McPartland, Dave Tough, Frank Teschemacher, Joe Sullivan and Bud Freeman); others, notably Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and Muggsy Spanier, were native to Chicago, while still others, such as Eddie Condon, PeeWee Russell and Red McKenzie, moved to Chicago early in their careers. Although only intermittently active in Chicago, Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer are also sometimes associated with this school. At first the Chicagoans merely copied the New Orleans style of King Oliver and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, but brought to it in some cases a superior instrumental technique (Goodman) and a more hectic and extrovert rhythmic basis (Krupa), together with a greater emphasis on solo playing. In general, however, they varied the basic features of New Orleans jazz rather than developing an independent style. With the suppression of Chicago’s speakeasy culture in the late 1920s most of these musicians moved to New York, where several of them became important figures in the swing style of the 1930s. (W.H. Kenney: ...

Article

Charles Conrad

The first American circus was presented in Philadelphia by English equestrian master John Bill Ricketts. The Philadelphia Federal Evening Post dated May 15, 1793 is the first known newspaper mention of circus music: “He dances on the rope, at the same time plays several pieces of music on the violin in concert with the band.” A little more than a year later, the same paper announced: “Mr. Ricketts has provided a Grand Band of Music, under the direction of Mr. Young.” The makeup of these bands are as yet unknown. An 1893 newspaper article quotes a player from the 1833 Bailey’s Circus as mentioning that “clarionet bands” (generally 7–10 piece bands of clarinets, natural horns, and serpent or ophicleide) were used. Local brass bands were employed in the 1830s, and with the advent of convenient railroad travel, bands began to tour with the circuses. The earliest “star” circus musician was keyed-bugle virtuoso Edward “Ned” Kendall....

Article

Allan F. Moore

A term identifying the incorporation of classical music referents into some rock, from the late 1960s onwards. The earliest notable example was Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967), whose scalic descending bass and close part-writing recalled late J.S. Bach. From there it spread to various British progressive bands such as Yes, whose re-orchestration of the third movement of Brahms's Symphony no.4 appeared on Fragile in 1971, the Concerto for Group and Orchestra of Deep Purple in 1970 and the work of arranger David Palmer with Jethro Tull, particularly in that group's regular concert performances of a Bach bourée. Even Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (1975) was perceived to overflow with the sentiments of Italian grand opera. Emerson, Lake and Palmer made use of East European material, transcribing Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Bartók's Allegro barbaro, Janáček's Sinfonietta, works by Tchaikovsky and later those of Copland and Ginastera. Subsequently heavy metal guitarists from Ritchie Blackmore to Yngwie Malmsteen would rely on Baroque violin figuration, particularly from Tartini, Vivaldi and Corelli, to inform their virtuosic techniques....

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Article

Ernest Lawrence Abel

Music of the Confederacy. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the South, like the North, had its musicians, song writers, and music publishers, although they were far fewer in number. Nevertheless, during the four years of the war, more than two thousand songs were published in the South alone; a new song for every day of the four-year conflict.

The Confederacy’s most prominent publishers were Armand E. Blackmar (New Orleans, Augusta), Joseph Bloch (Mobile), John W. Davies & Son (Richmond), B. Duncan and Co. (Columbia), Geo. Gunn & co. (Richmond), James A. McClure (Nashville), John C. Schreiner & Son (Macon and Savannah), Julian Selby (Columbia), and Philip P. Werlein (New Orleans). The earliest sheet music issued by these publishers was lavishly illustrated, but materials and paper were soon in short supply. By 1862 the paper was thinner, pages were smaller, and illustrations were omitted.

A considerable number of the published songs were understandably patriotic. The Confederacy’s unofficial national anthem was “Dixie”; ironically, it was written by a Northerner, Daniel Decatur Emmett, in New York in ...