A Cappella
Describes group or choral singing without instrumental accompaniment.
Beats two and four of a four-beat pattern, the accenting of which creates rock’s basic rhythm.
Beat Subdivisions (even & uneven)
The subsections into which a single beat is divided. An even subdivision involves two equal notes; an uneven subdivision involves three equal notes, often with the first two notes tied together, making a long-short subdivision.
Blue Notes
Notes that are lowered a half -step or less. Early blues musicians lowered the third and seventh scale degrees, and bebop musicians lowered the fifth degree as well.
Blues Harp
A harmonica used to play blues; a technique called cross harping makes use of a harp played in a key one step or a fifth below that of the song, in order to have blue notes automatically available to the player.
A glass or metal tube that fits over a guitarist’s ring finger of little finger and stops the strings of the guitar when it is slid up or down the instrument’s fingerboard. Originally, the glass tube was the neck of a bottle that had been broken off and sanded down for use by blues guitarists.
The practice of singing in which a solo vocalists, the caller, is answered by a group of singers. The practice is also used with instruments, but its origins are vocal.
Front Line
The group of lead melodic instruments such as those used in early New Orleans jazz bands, usually including a cornet (or trumpet), a clarinet, and trombone.
“musical Storytellers.” poets in Africa who memorized and sang the story of their people’s history.
Spontaneous performance of music that has not been written or planned out in advance, based on a progression of harmonies, which can involve a certain amount of interplay among several musicians.
An expressive and elaborate melodic improvisation sung on a single syllable.
The practice of bribing disc jockeys to induce them to play particular recordings on the air.
A type of music that used “ragged time,” or syncopated rhythms; primarily piano; not jazz because lack of improvisation; particularly popular between 1890 and 1915.
A short melodic or rhythmic pattern repeated over and over while changes take place in the music played along with it.
Rhythm Section
The group of musical instruments that maintain the beat pattern and the harmonic flow of a piece of music. They include: bass, drums, and guitar or keyboard instruments.
Slapping Bass
A name given to rockabilly bassists’ practice of slapping the strings against the fingerboards of their instruments as they played.
American folk hymns and other religious songs that originated in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries and developed into gospel music.
String Bending
A guitar technique used by many blues and rock guitarists in which the player pushes or pulls the string temporarily out of alignment, causing the string to tighten and the pitch to be raised.
1. Fast repetitions of a single note.
2. Loud-soft undulations on a pitch; not to be confused with vibrato.
Twelve-bar Blues
The classic blues from, structured in three four-bar phrases, which follows a particular chord progression based on four bars of a tonic chord, two bars of a sub-dominant chord, two bars of a tonic chord, one bar of a dominant chord, one bar of a sub-dominant chord, and two bars of a tonic chord. There are many variations of this basic progression of harmonies.
Two-beat bass
A style of bass playing often used in country music in which the bass plays the root note of the chord on the first beat of each bar and the fifth of the chord on the third beat of each bar.
Congo Square
French Quarter, LA. Under the French and Spanish, slaves were commonly allowed Sundays off from work
They set up a market, sang, danced, and played music in the square
1803 the Louisiana Purchase brought the territory under American control
African music was suppressed by Protestant colonies
Music performed had not been heard by white America
Practice ended before Civil War
guitar or stand up bass
low notes in arrangement
guitar w/ bigger strings
musical term
performed by low male singers
non professional
do something because you love to do it
respected more because love to perform
not trying to make money
singers wave to the pitch of voice
slight bending of note up and down
when an artist records a song by another group
original artist is supposed to get credit and money from publishing associations