The music of the united States reflects the country’s multi-ethnic population through a diverse array of styles. Among the country’s most Internationally-renowned genres are hip hop, blues, country, rhythm and blues, jazz, barbershop, pop, techno, and rock and roll. After Japan, the united States has the world’s second largest music market with a total retail value of 3,635. 2 million dollars in 2010 and its music is heard around the world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some forms of American popular music have gained a near global audience.
Native Americans were the earliest inhabitants of the land that is today known as the United States and played Its first music. Beginning In the 17th century, Immigrants from the united Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Germany and France began arriving in large numbers, bringing with them new styles and instruments. African slaves brought musical traditions, and each subsequent wave of immigrants contributed to a melting pot. Much of modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the late 1 9th century of African American blues and the growth of gospel music in the sass.
The African American basis for popular music used elements derived from European and Indigenous music. The united States has also seen documented folk music and recorded popular music produced In the ethnic styles of the Ukrainian, Irish, Scottish. Polish, Hispanic and Jewish communities, among others. Many American cities and towns have vibrant music scenes which, In turn, support a number of regional musical styles. Along with musical centers such as Philadelphia, Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, and Los Angels, many smaller cities such as
Suburbs Park, New Jersey have produced distinctive styles of music. The Cajun and Creole traditions In Louisiana music. The folk and popular styles of Hawaiian music. And the bluegrass and old time music of the Southeastern states are a few examples of diversity in American music. Characteristics The music of the United States can be characterized by the use of syncopation and asymmetrical rhythms, long, irregular melodies, which are said to “reflect the wide open geography of (the American landscape)” and the “sense of personal freedom characteristic of American life”.
Some distinct aspects of American music, like the call-and-response format, are derived from African techniques and Throughout the later part of American history, and into modern times, the relationship between American and European music has been a discussed topic among scholars of American music. Some have urged for the adoption of more purely European techniques and styles, which are sometimes perceived as more refined or elegant, while others have pushed for a sense of musical nationalism that celebrates distinctively American styles.
Modern classical music scholar John Hearten Stubble as contrasted American and European, concluding that the music of the United States is inherently distinct because the United States has not had centuries of musical evolution as a nation. Instead, the music of the United States is that of dozens or hundreds of indigenous and immigrant groups, all of which developed largely in regional isolation until the American Civil War, when people from across the country were brought together in army units, trading musical styles and practices.
Stubble deemed the ballads of the Civil War “the first American folk music with discernible features that can be considered unique to America: the first American’ sounding music, as distinct from any regional style derived from another country. ” The Civil War, and the period following it, saw a general flowering of American art, literature and music. Amateur musical ensembles of this era can be seen as the birth of American popular music.
Music author David Owen describes these early amateur bands as combining “the depth and drama of the classics with undemanding technique, eschewing complexity in favor of direct expression. If it was vocal music, the words would be in English, despite the snobs who declared English an unsinkable language. In a way, it was part of the entire awakening of America that happened after the Civil War, a time in which American painters, writers and ‘serious’ composers addressed specifically American themes. During this period the roots of blues, gospel, Jazz and country music took shape; in the 20th century, these became the core of American popular music, which further evolved into the styles like rhythm and blues, rock and roll and hip hop music. 1 . Social Identity Music intertwines with aspects of American social and cultural identity, including through social class, race and ethnicity, geography, religion, language, gender and sexuality. The relationship between music and race is perhaps the most potent determiner of musical meaning in the United States.
The development of an African American musical identity, out of disparate sources from Africa and Europe, has been a constant theme in the music history of the United States. Little documentation exists of colonial-era African American music, when styles, songs and instruments from across West Africa commingled in the melting pot of slavery. By the mid-19th century, a distinctly African American folk tradition was well-known and widespread, ND African American musical techniques, instruments and images became a part of mainstream American music through spirituals, minstrel shows and slave songs. Wrought blues, Jazz, rhythm and blues, and then rock and roll, soul and hip hop; all of these styles were consumed by Americans of all races, but were created in African American styles and idioms before eventually becoming common in performance and consumption across racial lines. In contrast, country music derives from both African and European, as well as Native American and Hawaiian, traditions and yet has long en perceived as a form of white music.
Economic and social class separates American music through the creation and consumption of music, such as the upper-class patronage of symphony-goers, and the generally poor performers of rural and ethnic folk music. Musical divisions based on class are not absolute, however, and are sometimes as much perceived as actual; popular American country music, for example, is a commercial genre designed to “appeal to a working-class identity, whether or not its listeners are actually working class”.
Country music is also intertwined with geographic identity, ND is specifically rural in origin and function; other genres, like R&B and hip hop, are perceived as inherently urban. For much of American history, music-making has been a “feminizes activity”. In the 19th century, amateur piano and singing were considered proper for middle- and upper-class women. Women were also a major part of early popular music performance, though recorded traditions quickly become more dominated by men.
Most male-dominated genres of popular music include female performers as well, often in a niche appealing primarily to women; these include gangster rap and heavy metal. Diversity The United States is often said to be a cultural melting pot, taking in influences from across the world and creating distinctively new methods of cultural expression. Though aspects of American music can be traced back to specific origins, claiming any particular original culture for a musical element is inherently problematic, due to the constant evolution of American music through transplanting and hybridism techniques, instruments and genres.
Elements of foreign music arrived in the United States both through the formal sponsorship of educational and outreach events by individuals and groups, and through informal processes, as in the incidental transplantation of West African music through slavery, and Irish music through immigration. The most distinctly American music are a result of cross-cultural habitation through close contact. Slavery, for example, mixed persons from numerous tribes in tight living quarters, resulting in a shared musical tradition that was enriched through further hybridism with elements of indigenous, Latin and European music.
American ethnic, religious and racial diversity has also produced such intermingled genres as the French-African music of the Louisiana Creoles, the Native, Mexican and European fusion Techno music and the thoroughly hybridism slack-key guitar and other styles of modern Hawaiian music. The process of transplanting music between cultures is not without criticism. The rural peoples, in part to promote certain political causes, which has caused some to question whether the process caused the “commercial communication of other peoples’ songs… ND the inevitable dilution of mean” in the appropriated music. The issue of cultural appropriation has also been a major part of racial relations in the United States. The use of African American musical techniques, images and conceits n popular music largely by and for white Americans has been widespread since at least the mid-19th century songs of Stephen Foster and the rise of minstrel shows. The American music industry has actively attempted to popularize white performers of African American music because they are more palatable to mainstream and middle-class Americans.
This process has produced such varied stars as Benny Goodman, Mine and Elvis Presley, as well as popular styles like blue-eyed soul and rockabilly. Folk music Folk music in the US is varied across the country’s numerous ethnic groups. The Native American tribes each play their own varieties of folk music, most of it spiritual in nature. African American music includes blues and gospel, descents of West African music brought to the Americas by slaves and mixed with Western European music. During the colonial era, English, French and Spanish styles and instruments were brought to the Americas.
By the early 20th century, the United States had become a major center for folk music from around the world, including polka, Ukrainian and Polish fiddling, Shaken Jewish sleeker and several kinds of Latin music. The Native Americans played the first folk music in what is now the United States, using a wide variety of styles and techniques. Some commonalities are near universal among Native American traditional music, however, especially the lack of harmony and polyphony, and the use of evocable and descending melodic figures.
Traditional instrumentation uses the flute and many kinds of percussion instruments, like drums, rattles and shakers. Since European and African contact was established, Native American folk music has grown in new directions, into fusions with disparate tales like European folk dances and Techno music. Modern Native American music may be best known for powwow gatherings, pan-tribal gatherings at which traditionally styled dances and music are performed. The Thirteen Colonies of the original United States were all former English possessions, and Anglo culture became a major foundation for American folk and popular music.
Many American folk songs are identical to British songs in arrangements, but with new lyrics, often as parodies of the original material. American-Anglo songs are also characterized as having fewer pentatonic tunes, less reorient accompaniment (but with heavier use of drones) and more melodies in major. Anglo-American traditional music also includes a variety of broadside ballads, humorous stories and tall tales, and disaster songs regarding mining, shipwrecks and many songs.
Folk dances of British origin include the square dance, descended from the quadrille, combined with the American innovation of a caller instructing the dancers. The religious communal society known as the Shakers emigrated from England during the 18th century and developed their own folk dance style. Their early songs can be dated back to British folk song models. Other religious societies established their own unique musical cultures early in American history, such as the music of the Amiss, the Harmony Society, and of the Operate Cloister in Pennsylvania.
The ancestors of today’s African American population were brought to the United States as slaves, working primarily in the plantations of the South. They were from hundreds of tribes across West Africa, and they brought with them certain traits of West African music including call and response vocals and complexly rhythmic music, as well as syncopated beats and shifting accents. The African musical focus on Hitachi singing and dancing was brought to the New World, and where it became part of a distinct folk culture that helped Africans “retain continuity with their past through music”.
The first slaves in the United States sang work songs, field hollers and, following Christianization, hymns. In the 19th century, a Great Awakening of religious fervor gripped people across the country, especially in the South. Protestant hymns written mostly by New England preachers became a feature of camp meetings held among devout Christians across the South. When blacks began singing adapted regions of these hymns, they were called Negro spirituals. It was from these roots, of spiritual songs, work songs and field hollers, that blues, Jazz and gospel developed. 1.
Blues and spirituals Spirituals were primarily expressions of religious faith, sung by slaves on southern plantations. In the mid to late 19th century, spirituals spread out of the U. S. South. In 1871 Fish University became home to the Jubilee Singers, a pioneering group that popularized spirituals across the country. In imitation of this group, gospel quartets arose, followed by increasing diversification with the early 20th- entry rise of Cackled and singing preachers, from whence came the popular style of gospel music. Blues is a combination of African work songs, field hollers and shouts.
It developed in the rural South in the first decade of the 20th century. The most important characteristics of the blues is its use of the blue scale, with a flatted or indeterminate third, as well as the typically lamenting lyrics; though both of these elements had existed in African American folk music prior to the 20th century, the codified form of modern blues (such as with the ABA structure) did not exist until the early 20th century. 2. Other immigrant communities The United States is a melting pot consisting of numerous ethnic groups.
Many of distinctively American styles of foreign music. Some nationalities have produced local scenes in regions of the country where they have clustered, like Cape Veranda music in New England, Armenian music in California, and Italian and Ukrainian music in New York City. The Creoles are a community with varied non-Anglo ancestry, mostly descendant of people who lived in Louisiana before its purchase by the U. S. The Cajuns are a group of Francophone’s who arrived in Louisiana after leaving Acadia in Canada.
The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, being a major port, has acted as a melting pot for people from all over the Caribbean basin. The result is a diverse and synthetic set of styles of Cajun and Creole music. Spain and subsequently Mexico controlled much of what is now the western United States until the Mexican-American War, including the entire state of Texas. After Texas Joined the United States, the native Texans living in the state began culturally developing separately from their neighbors to the south, and remained culturally distinct from other Texans.
Central to the evolution of early Techno music as the blend of traditional Mexican forms such as mariachi and the corridor, and Continental European styles introduced by German and Czech settlers in the late 19th century. In particular, the accordion was adopted by Techno folk musicians around the start of the 20th century, and it became a popular instrument for amateur musicians in Texas and Northern Mexico. Classical music The European classical music tradition was brought to the United States with some of the first colonists. European classical music is rooted in the traditions of European art, ecclesiastical and concert music.
The central norms of this tradition developed between 1 550 and 1825, centering on what is known as the common practice period. Many American classical composers attempted to work entirely within European models until late in the 19th century. When Antonio DevoidГk, a prominent Czech composer, visited the United States from 1892 to 1895, he iterated the idea that American classical music needed its own models instead of imitating European composers; he helped to inspire subsequent composers to make a distinctly American style of classical music.
By the beginning of the 20th century, any American composers were incorporating disparate elements into their work, ranging from Jazz and blues to Native American music. 1. Early classical music During the colonial era, there were two distinct fields of what is now considered classical music. One was associated with amateur composers and pedagogues, whose style was based around simple hymns that were performed with increasing sophistication over time.
The other colonial tradition was that of the mid-Atlantic composers who worked almost entirely within the European model; these composers were mostly English in origin, and worked specifically in the style of prominent English composers of the day. European classical music was brought to the United States during the colonial era. Many American composers of this period worked exclusively with European models, while others, such as William Billings, Supply Belcher and Justine Morgan, also known as the First New England School, developed a style almost entirely independent of European models.
Of these composers, Billings is the most well- remembered; he was also influential “as the founder of the American church choir, as the first musician to use a pitch-pipe, and as the first to introduce a violoncello into church service”. Many of these composers were amateur singers who developed new forms of sacred music suitable for performance by amateurs, and often using harmonic methods which would have been considered bizarre by contemporary European standards.
These composers’ styles were untouched by “the influence of their sophisticated European contemporaries”, using modal or pentatonic scales or melodies and eschewing the European rules of harmony. In the early 19th century, America produced diverse composers such as Anthony Philip Heimlich, who composed in an idiosyncratic, intentionally “American” style and as the first American composer to write for a symphony orchestra. Many other composers, most famously William Henry Fry and George Frederick Bristol, supported the idea of an American classical style, though their works were very European in orientation.
It was John Knowles Paine, however, who became the first American composer to be accepted in Europe. Pain’s example inspired the composers of the Second New England School, which included such figures as Amy Beach, Edward McDowell, and Horopito Parker. 2. 20th century The New York classical music scene included Charles Grief’s, originally from Elmira, New York, who began publishing his most innovative material in 1914. His early collaborations were attempts to use non-western musical themes. The best- known New York composer was George Gershwin.
Gershwin was a songwriter with Tin Pan Alley and the Broadway theatres, and his works were strongly influenced by jazz, or rather the precursors to Jazz that were extant during his time. Gershwin’s work made American classical music more focused, and attracted an unheard of amount of international attention. Following Gershwin, the first major composer was Aaron Copeland from Brooklyn, who used elements of American folk music, though it remained European in technique and form. Later, he turned to the ballet and then serial music.
Charles Ivies was one of the earliest American classical composers of enduring international significance, producing music in a uniquely American style, though his music was mostly unknown until after his death in 1954. The United States has produced many popular musicians and composers in the modern world. Beginning with the birth of recorded music, American performers have continued to lead the field of popular music, which out of “all the contributions dad by Americans to world culture… Has been taken to heart by the entire world”.
Most histories of popular music start with American ragtime or Tin Pan Alley; others, however, trace popular music back to the European Renaissance and through broadsheets, ballads and other popular traditions. Other authors typically look at popular sheet music, tracing American popular music to spirituals, minstrel shows and vaudeville, or the patriotic songs of the Civil War. 1. Blues and (Christian) Gospel Music The blues is a genre of African American folk music that is the basis for much of odder American popular music.
Blues can be seen as part of a continuum of musical styles like country, Jazz, ragtime, and gospel; though each genre evolved into distinct forms, their origins were often indistinct. Early forms of the blues evolved in and around the Mississippi Delta in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The earliest blues-like music was primarily call-and-response vocal music, without harmony or accompaniment and without any formal musical structure. Slaves and their descendants created the blues by adapting the field shouts and hollers, turning them into passionate solo songs.
When mixed with the Christian spiritual songs of African American churches and revival meetings, blues became the basis of gospel music. Modern gospel began in African American churches in the sass, in the form of worshipers proclaiming their faith in an improvised, often musical manner (testifying). Composers like Thomas A. Dorset composed gospel works that used elements of blues and Jazz in traditional hymns and spiritual songs. Jazz Jazz is a kind of music characterized by swung and blue notes, call and response vocals, polymaths and improvisation.
Though originally a kind of dance music, Jazz as been a major part of popular music, and has also become a major element of Western classical music. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Early Jazz was closely related to ragtime, with which it could be distinguished by the use of more intricate rhythmic improvisation. The earliest Jazz bands adopted much of the vocabulary of the blues, including bent and blue notes and instrumental “growls” and smears otherwise not used on European instruments.
Jazz’s roots come from the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, populated by Cajuns and black Creoles, who combined the French-Canadian culture that played for funerals and parades became a major basis for early Jazz, which spread from New Orleans to Chicago and other northern urban centers. 2. Country music Country music is primarily a fusion of African American blues and spirituals with Appalachian folk music, adapted for pop audiences and popularized beginning in the sass. The origins of country are in rural Southern folk music, which was primarily Irish and British, with African and continental European music.
Anglo-Celtic tunes, dance music, and balladry were the earliest predecessors of modern country, then known as hillbilly’s music. Early hillbilly’s also borrowed elements of the blues and drew upon more aspects of 19th-century pop songs as hillbilly’s music evolved into a commercial genre eventually known as country and western and then simply country. The earliest country instrumentation revolved around the European-derived fiddle and the African-derived banjo, with the guitar later added.
String instruments like the ukulele and steel guitar became commonplace due to the popularity of Hawaiian causal groups in the early 20th century. 3. R and soul R, an abbreviation for rhythm and blues, is a style that arose in the sass and sass. Early R consisted of large rhythm units “smashing away behind screaming blues singers (who) had to shout to be heard above the clanging and strumming of the various electrified instruments and the churning rhythm sections”.
R was not extensively recorded and promoted because record companies felt that it was not suited for most audiences, especially middle-class whites, because of the suggestive lyrics and driving rhythms. Bandleaders like Louis Jordan innovated the sound of early R, using a band with a small horn section and prominent rhythm instrumentation. By the end of the sass, he had had several hits, and helped pave the way for contemporaries like Wienie Harris and John Lee Hooker.
Many of the most popular R songs were not performed in the rollicking style of Jordan and his contemporaries; instead they were performed by white musicians like Pat Boone in a more palatable mainstream style, which turned into pop hits. By the end of the sass, however, there was a wave of popular black blues-rock and country-influenced R performers like Chuck Berry gaining unprecedented fame among white listeners. Soul music is a combination of rhythm and blues and gospel which began in the late sass in the United States.
It is characterized by its use of gospel-music devices, with a greater emphasis on vocalists and the use of secular themes. The sass recordings of Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and James Brown are commonly considered the beginnings of soul. Charles’ Modern Sounds (1962) records featured a fusion of soul and country music, country soul, and crossed racial barriers in music at the time. One of Coke’s most well-known songs “A Change Is Goanna Come” (1964) sass. According to Alembic, James Brown was critical, through “the gospel- impassioned fury of his vocals and the complex polymaths of his beats”, in “two revolutions in black American music.
He was one of the figures most responsible for turning R&B into soul and he was, most would agree, the figure most responsible for turning soul music into the funk of the late ‘ass and early ‘ass. The Midtown Record Corporation of Detroit, Michigan became highly successful during the early and mid sass by releasing soul recordings with heavy pop influences to make them palatable o white audiences, allowing black artists to more easily crossover to white audiences. 4. Rock, metal and punk Rock and roll developed out of country, blues, and R&B.
Rock’s exact origins and early influences have been hotly debated, and are the subjects of much scholarship. Though squarely in the blues tradition, rock took elements from Afro-Caribbean and Latin musical techniques. Rock was an urban style, formed in the areas where diverse populations resulted in the mixtures of African American, Latin and European genres ranging from the blues and country to polka and code. Rock and roll first entered popular music through a style called rockabilly, which fused the nascent sound with elements of country music.
Black-performed rock and roll had previously had limited mainstream success, but it was the white performer Elvis Presley who first appealed to mainstream audiences with a black style of music, becoming one of the best-selling musicians in history, and brought rock and roll to audiences across the world. Following the turbulent political, social and musical changes of the sass and early sass, rock music diversified. What was formerly a discrete genre known as rock ND roll evolved into a catchall category called simply rock music, which came to include diverse styles like heavy metal and punk rock.
During the ‘ass most of these styles were evolving in the underground music scene, while mainstream audiences began the decade with a wave of singer-songwriters who drew on the deeply emotional and personal lyrics of sass folk rock. The same period saw the rise of bombastic arena rock bands, bluesy Southern rock groups and mellow soft rock stars. Beginning in the later sass, the rock singer and songwriter Bruce Springiness became a major star, with antithetic songs and dense, inscrutable lyrics that elaborate the poor and working class.