41-60 of 93 results  for:

  • Popular Music x
  • Musical Concepts, Genres, and Terms x
  • Musical Form x
Clear all

Article

Will Fulford-Jones

A 20th-century pop music style. It fuses jazz and jazz-influenced melody and improvisation with the more simple, driving rhythms and bass lines of funk as characterized by James Brown and Parliament. Early jazz-funk albums included Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew (1969), which also incorporated many rock elements. In the 1970s many American jazz artists such as Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock and Lonnie Liston Smith added funk elements to their sound; in the late 70s and early 80s, British groups began to explore jazz-funk, with bands such as Light of the World and Hi Tension softening the hard-edged rhythms of funk and incorporating more jazz elements. By the late (1980s and (90s the definition had narrowed: jazz-funk lost many of the jazz inflections that had characterized its beginnings. It became a more spartan, simpler music, more heavily reliant on a standard 4/4 rhythm track, repetitive bass guitar groove and, frequently, a rhythm guitar line more heavily influenced by disco than in the 1970s. Protagonists of this development included the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai and the Hammond organ-based James Taylor Quartet. Additionally, from jazz funk came Acid Jazz, at first a record label but soon an umbrella term used to describe the more adventurous jazz-funk artists, such as Galliano....

Article

Jive  

Paul Oliver

Black American urban popular music of the 1940s. The word has many meanings in black American usage, and may derive from the Wolof word jev, meaning ‘to talk disparagingly’, a usage it retains in the USA. It is also applied to witty or deceitful speech, to a form of stylized jitterbugging or athletic dancing, and to marijuana. In black American music it was especially applied to the lightweight, rhythmic form of ‘hokum’ blues popular in the 1940s during the swing era. Although the words of jive songs were often insinuating, witty, sophisticated or sly, the music was associated with ‘good times’. Its principal exponent was the much recorded singer and alto saxophonist Louis Jordan, whose You run your mouth and I’ll run my business (1940, Decca), The chick’s too young to fry (1945, Decca ), Let the good times roll (1945, Decca ) and Saturday Night Fish Fry...

Article

Paul Oliver

revised by Art Menius

An instrumental ensemble style developed by African Americans from the urban South in the 1920s and 30s as a popular novelty entertainment. The eponymous jug was a bass instrument into which a player made buzzing sounds with the lips so that the jug could act as a resonator. Louisville produced some of the earliest jug bands to record, including the Dixieland Jug Blowers, which employed two jugs on “Skip Skat Doodle Do” (1926), and Clifford Hayes’ Louisville Stompers. Despite some jazz connections through Johnny Dodds and Clarence Williams, the jug is mainly associated with blues groups. Will Shade’s Memphis Jug Band and Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers were pre-eminent among Memphis jug bands. The former’s “K.C. Moan” and the latter’s “Going to Germany,” minor masterpieces of the genre from 1929, feature an interplay of harmonica or kazoo against strings and jug. Cannon is perhaps the best known of the banjo players who seemed essential to the Mississippi Valley jug bands of the 1920s. The style of Jack Kelly’s South Memphis Jug Band was more simplistic, as is demonstrated by “Highway no.61 Blues” (...

Article

Jungle  

Will Fulford-Jones

A form of 20th-century club dance music. It is a fusion of the spartan, extremely low bass lines of dub reggae, the frantic, syncopated snare drum breakbeats of hardcore (themselves originally sampled from American hip hop and electro music) and, on occasion, rapping similar to that found on ragga records. However, it is defined by its rhythmic patterns coupled to an extremely fast tempo of around 160 beats per minute, a third faster than most house music. Jungle originated in the UK in the early 1990s at the Rage club with DJs including Grooverider and Fabio. The predominant rhythms of the original ‘hard jungle’ music were, in turn, the driving influence behind drum ’n’ bass, which on the surface sounds extremely similar. However, drum ’n’ bass is in fact a slightly less frenetic music still using complicated syncopated rhythms, but with a greater reliance on melody and an increased use of non-diatonic chordal washes similar to those found in some ambient techno music. By ...

Article

David Buckley

A mildly patronizing term coined by the British music press in the early 1970s to describe the new wave of experimental bands emanating from Germany in the late 1960s. After the critical success of Julian Cope’s book Krautrocksampler (London, 1995), the term has now lost most of its pejorative connotations and has come to describe an important musical movement. The Krautrock bands were united by the common ideology of wanting to create a uniquely German pop culture after those decades post-World War II when Anglo-American culture was pre-eminent. Much of this new music was underpinned by a violent catharsis, a sometimes unacknowledged sense of wanting to purge the past and to establish a new youth cultural formation through experimental music. The movement had disparate musical elements consisting of the metronomic melodies of Kraftwerk, the most influential German band of the time, the rhythmic experimentalism of Can, and also the work of Neu!, Ammon Düül, Cluster and Harmonia. Perhaps the most extreme band was Faust, whose music was minimalist, often based around one or two chords or riffs played at very high volume. Faust made metonymy the raison d’être of their performance. Echoing the work of the Dadaist and Futurists of the early 20th century, Faust also used various shock tactics such as using road drills to destroy concrete blocks on stage. At a time when American pop had entered its soft rock phase and British music was characterized by the technical virtuosity of the progressive rock music, the experimental Krautrock groups presaged many of the future directions of pop. Rap, hip hop, ambient, industrial and techno music are all indebted to the Krautrock movement....

Article

Kimberly A. Kattari

A term used to describe hip hop and rap music produced by Latino artists in the United States. Since the 1970s, Latinos have been involved in the development of hip hop alongside African-Americans, for this music often deals with urban issues that both groups face, such as crime, discrimination, and poverty. While female artists have been successful in Latin pop, this has not been the case with Latin hip hop and reggaeton, which is generally dominated by male artists.

Some Latin hip hop sounds very similar to African-American hip hop; the only notable difference is that the artist is Latino. In other cases, Latin hip hop artists have rapped in Spanglish (a mix of English and Spanish), sung about issues that specifically affect Latinos and their communities, and incorporated Latin American and Caribbean musical styles. Rather than being defined by one specific style, Latin hip hop is a heterogeneous type of music that often reflects regional differences. With large Latino populations, New York and Los Angeles have been the most instrumental regions in the development and maintenance of Latin rap....

Article

Michael Birenbaum Quintero, Jason Stanyek, Melissa Gonzalez, Jorge Arévalo Mateus, Mario Rey, Sydney Hutchinson, Lois Wilcken, Roberto Avant-Mier, John Koegel and Edgardo Díaz Díaz

Latinos comprise the largest ethnic minority in the United States, including both new arrivals and communities that predate the nation itself. Latinos’ various musical forms and practices have had profound, if understudied, repercussions on music in the United States. Both the breadth of Latino music and the difficulties of generalizing about it are reflected in the ambiguities of the term “Latino music” itself, which can include the musics performed or consumed by native or immigrant populations from a variety of racial, class, and national backgrounds, or even stylistic elements independent of Latino participation at all.

The term “Latino music” tends to refer to either the musics of the US–Mexican borderlands from Texas to California which is consumed by the overwhelming majority of US Latinos who are of Mexican descent, or the music of Latinos of primarily Caribbean origin on the East Coast which, under the confusing rubric “Latin music,” has also been influential on mainstream US popular music. “Latino music” can also include Argentine tango, various Brazilian genres, styles brought by more recent Latino immigrants such as Dominicans and Colombians, and even music from Spain, Portugal, or the Francophone Caribbean....

Article

James Lincoln Collier

A term coined in the 1950s by the writer on jazz Stanley Dance to describe the work of contemporary musicians working in the swing idiom of the 1930s and 40s. However, it is now more widely used for any jazz improvised on chord sequences in the essentially solo style developed by Louis Armstrong and others in the late 1920s. Some writers have broadened it further to apply to jazz-rock and other fusion styles, but most would exclude the free or aleatory jazz of the avant garde, rock-based jazz, and dixieland and other traditional forms. ...

Article

A style of jazz, developed in the late 1950s, in which modal scales (or their general characteristics) dictate the melodic and harmonic content. The leading exponents were Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Modal jazz rarely adheres strictly to the classical modes (Dorian, Phrygian, etc.), but it creates their flavour, or in some cases that of other non-diatonic scales, such as those of Spanish or Indian music. The term ‘modal jazz’ has also been applied, somewhat misleadingly, to performances based on the major or minor modes. The style has attracted musicians partly because it is relatively undemanding by comparison with those based on chord progressions. Because it is free of frequent harmonic interruption it can more easily create an unhurried and meditative feeling. Many performances are based on a two-chord sequence or a drone. The absence of frequent chord changes alone is sometimes regarded as defining modal jazz.

GroveJ (‘Improvisation’, §4(vi))...

Article

Elijah Wald

[Narco-corrido]

Corridos (Mexican heroic ballads) related to the drug traffic between Mexico and the United States. The term narcocorrido became common in the late 1980s or early 1990s; such songs, however, have existed since the 1920s, when Prohibition spawned a wave of corridos of tequileros, or bootleggers. In the 1930s and 1940s, corridos such as “Carga blanca,” a hit for Los Alegres de Terán, dealt with smugglers of other drugs, but the modern trend began in the mid 1970s, when Los Tigres del Norte recorded “Contrabando y traición” and “La banda del carro rojo,” huge hits which were made into popular movies and followed by multiple sequels and imitations. These hits helped to revive the corrido form. Some scholars have argued that because many narcocorridos are fictitious they should not be considered alongside the older, historically based corridos. Narcocorridos continue to be based on true stories, however, and their listeners regard them as continuing the tradition of celebrating brave men and women, albeit in an illegal business....

Article

Lawrence Gushee

A style of small-ensemble jazz that originated shortly before World War I, became internationally known through recordings in the 1920s, and underwent a revival in the 1940s ( see Traditional jazz ). It now exists as an interrelated group of performance styles with fixed instrumentation and relatively restricted repertory. Some writers distinguish it from ...

Article

Charles Garrett

Article

David Buckley

A term encompassing a range of pop music styles from the mid-1970s onwards. ‘New wave’ and ‘punk’ were initially synonyms used interchangeably between 1975 and 1977. However, Malcolm McLaren (manager of the Sex Pistols) used ‘new wave’ to draw a comparison with the left-field anti-establishment practices of the French Situationist movement of the 1960s. From early 1978, new wave began taking on a more specific meaning as a generic description of certain styles of post-punk music. Groups as diverse as the Stranglers, the Boomtown Rats, Blondie and Talking Heads were promoted as ‘new wave’ acts in that they had developed beyond punk’s guitar-based fetishisation of incompetence; thus, acts such as Elvis Costello and the Attractions carried some of punk’s angry attitude alongside a more well-crafted, politically informed lyricism. The Stranglers, who had in fact preceded punk, used keyboard runs inspired by progressive rock and unusual time signatures, while Talking Heads used disco and ethnic musics. New wave reaffirmed more traditional methods of promotion and visual presentation: whereas the rhetoric of punk had been constructed around subverting the star system and usurping gender stereotypes, Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and Deborah Harry (Blondie) became sex symbols. Musically varied, new wave acts spawned many artists who built long-lasting careers, with the Police emerging globally as the most commercially dominant....

Article

Helena Simonett

[Música Grupera]

Mexican popular musical genre. The Spanish term onda grupera (literally “the group wave”) refers to the “group phenomenon,” one of Mexico’s commercially most successful forms of popular music. Grupos (groups) are ensembles with electric guitar, synthesized instruments, and a lead vocalist which play easy-listening Mexican and international pop ballads, as well as cumbias (a typical Mexican style not to be confused with its Afro-Colombian source). Grupos are characterized by a common-denominator style or “bubblegum sound” rather than a distinctive Mexican regional style or flavor. Among the top bands are Los Bukis, Los Temerarios, Liberación, and Los Fugitivos.

Grupo is both a hybrid and a transnational genre. It has its origins in the 1960s Mexican pop ballad/rock groups that imitated English and American rock groups. The Mexican rocanroleros (rock ‘n’ rollers) Los Teen Tops and a number of rock groups signed on to the Peerless label. Despite a lack of access to the Mexican mainstream media, ...

Article

John Cline

A term coined by the radio DJ and author Irwin Chusid in 1996 to describe a loosely related set of recordings that do not fit well within any pre-existing generic framework. The art critic Roger Cardinal first used the term “outsider” in 1972 in relation to visual art. His usage translated into English the French artist Jean Dubuffet’s term art brut, which arose from Dubuffet’s interest in the artwork of criminals and the mentally ill. The term “outsider art” was in wide circulation during the 1970s and 80s, when many examples of what became now known, after Chusid, as “outsider music” were first being analyzed by collectors of outré records; Lester Bangs mentioned two key outsider musicians, Wild Man Fischer and Jad Fair, in his essay “A Reasonable Guide to Horrible Noise” (1981). V. Vale explored similar terrain in the early 1990s. Outsider music does not involve any definite stylistic qualities; criteria for inclusion are generally either negational or relational. Much outsider music exhibits idiomatic characteristics of established genres, ranging from opera (Florence Foster Jenkins) to country music (the Legendary Stardust Cowboy), although in an idiosyncratic fashion. Other examples defy precedent, leaving the critical listener understanding initially only what the music is not (as with Fischer’s a cappella compositions). The term “outsider” is, almost by definition, controversial. From Dubuffet to Chusid, it has concurrently carried connotations of both psychological pathologies and an assumption of a purity of expression at the boundaries of culture....

Article

Helena Simonett

[Chicago sound]

Mexican-American musical style. The pasito duranguense (little Durango step) or “Chicago sound” emerged in the early 21st century in the Mexican communities of greater Chicago. A number of groups, made up of mostly young Mexican immigrants, recreated traditional Mexican brass-band sound with synthesizers and drums to interpret Mexican rancheras and baladas (rustic and refined love songs) as well as more upbeat tunes that became known as “El pasito duranguense,” a couple-dance style mixing merengue and ranchera. Invested emotionally in the Mexican homeland by insisting in regional sound aesthetics, the music appealed to a new transnational audience but also gained considerable popularity in northern Mexico. Promotion of the bands in the United States included national TV campaigns, street marketing, and strong radio airplay on Spanish-language stations across the country. The “Chicago sound” made inroads into the 2003 Billboard Latin charts and topped the 2003 Billboard charts of “Regional Mexican” music. The ...

Article

Pop  

Richard Middleton, David Buckley, Robert Walser, Dave Laing and Peter Manuel

A term applied to a particular group of popular music styles. Originating mostly in the USA and Britain, from the 1950s on, these styles have subsequently spread to most parts of the world. In Western countries, and in many others too, they became the predominant popular music styles of the second half of the 20th century. Closely connected with the development of new media and music technologies, and with the growth of large-scale recording and broadcasting industries, mostly based in the West, pop music has generally been associated with young people. However, audiences have tended to broaden in the later part of the period. At the same time, new centres of production have emerged, including Japan, Africa and Australasia. By this time, in many parts of the world, pop music styles, derivatives and hybrids, could be regarded as the vernacular lingua franca.

The term pop music originated in Britain in the mid-1950s as a description for ...

Article

Bill C. Malone

[redneck rock]

A term used to describe a style of Country music combining country and rock techniques, developed during the 1970s. It is particularly associated with Austin, Texas, where an eclectic musical community experimented with such styles as folk, rock, jazz, western swing, Tex-Mex and mainstream country; the resulting amalgam was aimed at a young audience and widely publicized as an alternative to the Nashville sound, which was regarded as too homogenized. Progressive country music’s instrumentation is similar to that of mainstream country music. Its name came to imply an open cultural attitude, defined as much by the dress and lifestyle of the musicians as by their music: those who sported ‘hippy’ hairstyles and clothes as well as traditional cowboy costumes were seen to have forged an alliance between two highly diverging communities – the student population of Austin and the local ‘redneck’ culture. Exponents of the style included Marcia Ball, Doug Sahm, Michael Murphey and Willie Nelson. The Austin radio station KOKE extended the use of the term by applying it to the contents of its broadcasts, which reflected a flexible programming policy that avoided the usual emphasis on the Top 40; its format was copied by other stations. By the mid-1980s progressive country music had been absorbed into the mainstream of country music as exemplified by the careers of such performers as Nelson and Waylon Jennings....

Article

Max Harrison

A term applied to attempts, chiefly in the 1940s and 1950s, to renew the big band tradition of the 1930s; it is generally associated with the work of Stan Kenton. The movement sought more complex goals for the large jazz ensemble and especially a more advanced vocabulary; in the work of Kenton and his arrangers, like Pete Rugolo and Bob Graettinger, this was expressed almost solely in terms of extreme loudness and dissonant, often illogical harmonies. More successful in the 1940s was the work of Earle Spencer and Boyd Raeburn who produced several orchestral pieces (particularly those by George Handy, a pupil of Aaron Copland) that were fairly modern in temper and quite adventurous in their resources, though with an increasing tendency to densely overcrowded scores. Improvisation usually had little place in progressive jazz; its exponents produced much overtly commercial material and the contradiction between it and the more ambitious music was never resolved....

Article

Allan F. Moore

A development of UK pop music that began in 1967 with the sonic exploration of the Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever and the classical allusions of Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale, and continued as an active underground scene in many parts of Europe into the late 1990s. It was predicated on an achieved maturity of UK rock, divorced from American precursors, an ideology of free expression and a complementary striving for legitimation often founded on the appropriation of classical referents.

Features include the escape from the format of the three-minute pop single, e.g. Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven and Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick, references and allusions to, and borrowings from, art music as in Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Pictures at an Exhibition or Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and the integration of free jazz techniques shown in King Crimson's 21st-Century Schizoid Man and Van der Graaf Generator's Man-Erg. Lyrics often display a pretentious quasi-mystical quality, as in Yes's ...