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MU 227 Notes through Week 3

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by: Emily Notetaker

MU 227 Notes through Week 3 MU 227

Emily Notetaker
Cal Poly
GPA 3.175

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Lecture notes for MU 227 through Week 3.
Popular Music of the USA
Dr. Kenneth Habib
Music, popular, USA, united states, mu, 227
75 ?




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1 review
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"Better than the professor's notes. I could actually understand what the heck was going on. Will be back for help in this class."

Popular in Popular Music of the USA

Popular in Music

This 10 page Bundle was uploaded by Emily Notetaker on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Bundle belongs to MU 227 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by Dr. Kenneth Habib in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 137 views. For similar materials see Popular Music of the USA in Music at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.


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Better than the professor's notes. I could actually understand what the heck was going on. Will be back for help in this class.



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Date Created: 01/21/16
Key: Vocabulary Term Point Emphasized MU 227-01 by Professor Winter 2016 Dr. Kenneth Habib Pre-Midterm Lecture Notes Introduction to the Course I. What is Music? a. Sound is involved b. A form of expression c. Aesthetics – The study of beauty, a branch of philosophy i. What is beautiful? What is the standard? II. “Cross Roads” by Eric Clapton and Cream (British) a. Eric Clapton and Cream were part of the British Invasion (later in course) i. British Invasion – Brits covering rhythm and blues b. 12 bar blues c. Guitar, bass, drums, vocals d. Two guitar solos III. “Cross Road Blues” by Robert Johnson (American) a. “Cross Roads” by Clapton is a cover of Robert Johnson’s song i. Cover – A re-doing of a song originally done by someone else b. Clapton made a lot of money off of Johnson’s song i. Is that ethically right? ii. Johnson was discriminated against as an artist because of his race IV. Concepts a. Appropriation – Use of one culture’s music by another, often without permission b. Hegemony – Domination of one culture by another culture c. Indigenous – Native V. Revisiting Listening Analysis a. We listened to: i. “Cross Roads” by Cream and Eric Clapton ii. “Cross Road Blues” by Robert Johnson iii. “Cross Roads” by Turtle Island String Quartet 1. Note: A quartet is 2 violins, viola and cello b. We asked: i. What kind of music is this? How do we know? c. We considered: i. The cross road of music culture: England/UK/Western Europe, West Africa, the US 1 Ethnomusicology I. Introduction a. Ethnomusicology – The historical combination of musicology and anthropology i. Multiple definitions: 1. Study of music culture 2. “Anthropology” of music 3. Study of living music cultures 4. Study of indigenous, folk and popular music cultures b. Congealed in the 1950s c. The concept of cultural insiders and outsiders i. People born into a specific culture can understand things outsiders can’t Definition and Theory I. What is Music? (Revisited) a. Sound, organization and aesthetics b. Music is ”humanly organized sound” – John Blacking, 1978 (British ethnomusicologist) c. “Music is a universal need but ‘music is not an international language.’ It consists of a whole series of equally logical but different systems.” – William Malm quoting himself, 2003 II. What is Popular? a. Inferior, not high culture b. Well liked by many people (consider sales, concert attendance) c. Deliberately setting out to win favor; mass mediated (mass marketed) d. Made by people for people (as in folk music/culture) III. What is Culture? a. Social process of intellectual, spiritual, aesthetic development b. A particular way of life of people or a group c. Beliefs and practices of people, period or a group, particularly intellectually and artistically IV. What is Popular Music? a. Not reducible to economic success (but money does matter) b. Conceptualization of terms (popular, music, culture) develop and change historically c. Sometimes considered to exist between poles of art/classical music and folk music V. Classical/Art-Folk Dichotomy in the USA a. Formal v. Informal b. Elite v. Ordinary c. Exclusive v. Inclusive d. Trained Specialist v. Anyone e. Literature v. Aural Transmission (USA) f. Difficult v. Easy to Understand g. Professional v. Socially Functional h. Impersonal v. Personal i. Little Audience Participation v. A Lot of Audience Participation j. Large Audience (beyond region) v. Small Audience (community) VI. A Preview into the Jazz Unit a. “It Don’t Mean a Thing” – Ella Fitzgerald i. Is it folk or classical/art music? ii. The actual music is hard, but it’s very folk with audience participation VII. Issues with Labels a. Labels can be problematic, if useful b. Terminology can be elitist and loaded c. What is high art? Low art? d. Does the term classical imply that something is not a “classic”? i. It does by the nature of categorization e. Does folk imply that others are not folk? i. “All music is folk music, I ain’t ever heard a horse sing a song.” – Louis Armstrong VIII. Critical Theory and Culture Industry a. Terms are coined by theorists, Theodor Adorno (European Jew, 1903-1969) and Max Horkhelmer (1895-1973) b. Critical Theory – Social theory aimed at critiquing and changing society. Contrasts with the traditional aim of only understanding and describing society. This spawned from Adorno and Horkhelmer’s experiences (Holocaust, WWII). c. Culture Industry – Produces popular mass culture through standardized cultural goods (music, film, print) to foster passivity and manipulate society d. Muzak – A company established in 1934 to produce “music” that increases work production and manipulates buying habits e. Popular culture is political i. If you resist or continue the status quo, you are taking political action f. Other – A created “other” i. For example, in WWII, Americans “otherized” the Japanese American population IX. Theoretical Perspectives (Raymond Williams, 1998) a. Cultural Studies - Popular music is the site of struggle between forces of resistance by subordinate social groups and forces of incorporation by dominant groups b. Postmodern View – Popular music is no different than high culture. It can be reason to celebrate the end of elitism based on arbitrary distinctions of culture or be reason to despair at the final victory of commerce over culture i. Standards become individual Organology I. What is Organology? a. The study of musical instruments i. Classifications – why? 1. Considerations include design, construction, relation to performance, etc. b. Iconography – Representation, symbolism and mythology of instruments and associate cultures II. Modern European Styles a. Sachs-Hornbostel System – classification of instruments by nature of the source of sound production b. 4 main catagories: i. Aerophones – Winds ii. Chordophones – Vibrating chords iii. Idiophones – The instrument itself vibrates to create noise iv. Membraneophones – A stretched surface over the instrument (drums) Form and Analysis I. What is Form? a. “Constructive or organizing element in music” – Grove Music Online b. Determined by repetition c. Organization of a piece into sections determined by various musical elements d. Systems stem from internal organization that gives rise to a category i. For example, 32-bar song form, 12-bar blues II. “Georgia on My Mind” – Ray Charles a. 32-bar song form b. AABA i. B is the bridge The 4 Elements of Musical Sound I. Pitch – The frequency of sound waves (Hertz) II. Rhythm – Time of sound wave III. Loudness – Amplitude of the sound wave (volume, dynamics) IV. Timbre – Harmonic spectrum of sound waves Genre, Industry and Technology I. Interrelated Rules Defining Genres a. Formal and Technical – aesthetics, instrumentation, technical features b. Semiotic – What music signifies, how it’s communicated i. Semiology, the study of signs. c. Behavioral – Among artists and audiences regarding performance stance i. For example, suits or jeans, t-shirts or ties d. Social and Ideological – Issues of gender, race, age e. Legal Rules – Copy writing, manufacturing, marketing II. Interrelated Factors in Popular Music Development a. Mass Mediation – Reliance on music industry, promotion of global culture and destruction of community culture i. For example, sheet music, recordings, broadcasts b. Economics: i. Industry – Technology, middlemen, publications, consumers ii. Rise of the Middle Class: Income to spend, free time to listen III. Before Recording Techology a. Music was only heard in live performance b. Music was mass mediated via sheet music in visual form IV. Recording Technology a. Mass mediation and its accompanying cultural artifacts b. Requires buying products to listen to music c. Impacts many other areas of life d. Performers become less important (or not?) e. Listeners become more passive (or not?) f. Instrument tone is now cloned and sampled (ethical?) g. Music is now deconstructed, reconstructed and adjusted i. Auto tune h. Sound (specifically those from nature, other cultures, other religions) is appropriated and recontextualized i. Is it ethical? ii. Plunderphonics – Plundering another culture (who likely cannot retaliate) because they simply can 1. An issue of priviledge V. Development of Recording Media Format a. Cylinders: i. Introduced by Thomas Edison in 1889 ii. Used by Columbia Records the same year iii. Like cans with open ends and grooves cut into them 1. Grooves are read by a stylus iv. Completely acoustic v. Sounded bad and didn’t sell well b. Phonograph Records (Analog) i. Vinyl grooves read by stylus ii. Originally acoustic, became electric iii. 78 RPM, around the late 1890s 1. A few minutes per side iv. LP – Long Play or 33 1/3 RPM 1. 1940s 2. About 25 minutes a side 3. More music, more money 4. By the 1950s the “album” became the main form of music consumption v. 45’s (45 RPM) 1. 1948 2. A few minutes per side 3. Became the main way to release singles and sell albums 4. Sounded good 5. Huge sales and business c. Magnetic Tape i. Plastic tape coated with a recordable substance ii. 1950s brought 4 and 8 track tapes iii. 1970s brought cassettes 1. Could be played in the car iv. Can be dubbed over – lost royalties (beginning of obtaining music illegally) v. Led to recording boom vi. Huge sales d. Compact Disks (Digital) i. Digital technology applied to music recordings became comerically available in 1982 ii. Designers reportedly set the capacity to hold Beethoven’s 9 Symphony, which is about 75 minutes iii. Sounded excellent, although some considered something lost iv. Huge sales, distribution and retail e. File Downloading (Digital) i. File sharing (legal) and piracy (illegal) ii. Repository can take many forms 1. Often multifunctional 2. For example, MP3 player, hard drive iii. Loss of cultural artifacts associated with a particular artist or piece of art (or not?) Tin Pan Alley I. Tin Pan Alley a. Place, industry and style b. Nickname for an area in NYC c. 1890s-1940s sheet music flourished d. Songwriters and publishers worked together e. Sheet music was used both in the home and professionally f. The name perhaps came from tinny sounding pianos g. Roles: i. Songwriters – Composers and lyricists often separate, work for publishers ii. Publishers iii. Pluggers – Pitch and sell sheet music h. Early version of payola – publishers bribed pluggers to sell their own music i. Contrasts with today’s notion of having multiple roles as an artist j. Stylistically catered to popular tastes to gain sales k. Homogenous stylist traits leading to sound or style l. Outside styles of music often appropriated and homogenized without due credit m. 32-bar ABAA song form (or song form) became common i. For example, “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles or “Over the Rainbow” by Julie Garland n. Connected with vaudeville, musical theater and eventually film o. Famous musicals on Broadway – NYC theater district p. Vaudeville (Mainstream popular music) i. Post Civil War to WWII ii. Variety shows – music, dance, burlesque, minstrelsy q. Minstrelsyth th i. 19 and early 20 century ii. Theatrical caricatures of African American life in song, dance and speech iii. Literally by whites in black face, later by black as well II. Irving Berlin a. Born Israel Baline in 1888 in Russia b. Came to USA when 4 or 5 years old c. Played piano in only one key, but had a moveable keyboard d. Song plugger e. 1911 international success with Alexander’s Rag Time Band f. From 1935 wrote songs for musicals i. For example, Top Hat (1935), Annie Get Your Gun (1940) g. Died in 1989 at 101 years old h. Published about 1500 songs, one of the most prolific songwriters th of the 20 century III. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” – Irving Berlin a. AABA form IV. George Gershwin (with brother Ira) a. Born in Brooklyn in 1898 b. Mostly self taught c. Song plugger d. Synthesized jazz and classical elements e. Famous for Rhapsody in Blue (1924), An American in Paris (1928), Porgy and Bess (1934-35), many popular songs f. Died in Hollywood in 1937 at 38/39 years old V. “Love is Here to Stay” by Billie Holiday (Gershwin) a. Not AABA Folk Music in the USA I. Folk Music Culture a. Broadly speaking: Indigenous vernacular music b. Broad categories: Native American, Anglo-American, African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American… c. Diasporic Tradition - Immigrant traditions transformed in different processes of acculturation i. For example, Irish potato famine, English colonization of “New World,” Native American subjugation, West African enslavement d. American folk music is as diverse as ethnic demographics e. Has been categorized by race (white or black) and geography (southern, east, west, urban, Appalachian) f. Billboard magazine is a weeklythrade publication, tracked by popular music since late 19 century g. In 1920s, Billboard dubbed vernacular black music “Race” and vernacular Anglo-American music “Hillbilly” h. Industry genre “folk” usually refers to stream of Anglo-American folk music i. Ballad – Narrative solo song usually transmitted orally, without authoritative original, and existing in variants. Not to be confused with different use of the term meaning slow song i. Not sheet music j. Variant – Lyrics, melody or tune found in more than one form with difference ranging from slight to great k. Adaptability and value placed on lyrics and variants make folk music the excellent vehicle for political discussion II. “Barbara Allen” a. Also “Bawbee Allan” and “Barbary Allen” b. Traditional ballad from the British Isles c. Countless lyrics and melodic variants d. Lyrics: Young man lies ill and in love with Barbara Allen, who comes to his bedside and scorns him as he dies in unrequited love e. Strophic or Uni-Sectional – Only A section f. Secular g. Homophonic texture – single melody h. Heptatonic – 7 tone scale i. BUT this song is Pentatonic – 5 tone scale III. On Sacred and Secular a. Alan Lomax i. Forerunner of ethnomusicology ii. Folklorist, field collector, activist, scholar iii. Producer/part of “music industry” b. Lomax: “My years of field work in this country convince me that at least half of or English-language musical heritage was religious. Indeed, until the rise of the modern entertainment industry most organized musical activity in most American communities centered on the church” – from The Gospel Ship: Baptist Hymns & White Spirituals from the Southern Mountains IV. “Wayfaring Stranger” performed by Almeda Riddle a. Also “Poor Wayfaring Stranger,” “I am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger” b. Traditional ballad from the British Isles c. Countless lyrical and melodic variants d. Lyrics: Spiritual theme of life on earth among trials and tribulations in wait for a brighter life e. AABA form f. Sacred – White spiritual, gospel, white gospel g. Perhaps originally secular and without B section h. Monophonic texture V. The Banjo a. African origin b. Ancestor come from West Africa with Slaves VI. Woody Guthrie a. Guitar says “This machine kills fascists” b. Born in 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma, died in 1967 in New York c. Precarious home-life as a child i. Alcoholic father ii. Mother committed to a mental institution when he was 1 d. Avoided school and obtained much of his education from reading in libraries e. Taught himself to play instruments including guitar f. Left home at 16 g. Lived as a hobo in 1930s, hopping trains traveling from town t town h. Performed as a street singer i. Wrote songs about injustices he saw in his travels j. Did not desire commercial success k. Opposed to copyright ownership l. Wrote “This Land is Your Land” m. Traveled from Oklahoma to California like others i. Dust bowl n. Wrote famous “Dust Bowl Ballads” o. Major influence on musicians to follow i. For example, Bon Dylan and Bruce Springsteen VII. “Do Re Mi” i. About corruption of border guards and escaping a dust bowl ii. Homophonic texture VIII. Pete Seeger a. Born in 1919 in Patterson, NY, Died 2014 in NY b. Son of Charles Seeger, distinguished UCLA musicologist c. Learned to play music young d. Traveled as a hobo e. Sang for union workers and rallies f. Befriended Guthrie g. Opposed to copyright ownership h. Wrote “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where have all the Flowers Gone,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” i. Founder of folk music magazine, Sing Out! j. Founded 2 important groups i. The Almanac Singers in 1941 ii. Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Millard Lampbell and Woodie Guthrie iii. Expressly political group IX. “Talking Union” by Almanac Singers a. Pete Seeger on banjo and vocals b. Talking blues delivery Current as of 1/21/16


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