MUH 2019 Exam 1 Study Guide
***All the questions coming from these chapters are from the discussion questions of the Daily Participation worksheets, so I’m only going to answer those. The questions are numbered as they are on the participation sheets.
Chapter 1: Irving Berlin in Tin Pan Alley
5. Briefly outlining (through text and/ or diagram) the standard AABA Tin Pan Alley song form, noting the distinctive features and contrasts between each section.
- This form consist of four sections of equal length If you want to learn more check out What is the language of business?
- AABA form= Anglo American verserefrain form + Song form of 19th century song o Verse Serves as intro, sets dramatic tone, and then dies out If you want to learn more check out How do we measure nutrients?
So this would be the very beginning of Rudolph where the singer starts off with naming the other reindeers.
o RefrainMain melody/ song
So this would be the main chorus of Rudolf (Rudolf the red nose reindeer had a very shiny nose…)
o A sections (main melody/song patterns)
o A section repeated, but with different lyrics
o B Bridge (contrasting music and different lyrics)
o A or A’ return to A music with slight melodic changes
6. Describe Berlin’s process of songwriting. How does it seem to be different than the process today? How is the role composing a popular song different from a composer of classical music?
- Berlin would usually start with a title, phrase, or melody, hum it out to something more definite, write lyrics as they came to him, and then in the last stage work with another song writer and/ or arranger to get the finished product of the music and words.
Don't forget about the age old question of What are the five components of negative feedbacks?
- This process is different from today’s process because nowadays some artists have songwriter/ arrangers who write the entire song for them. There are also some artist who go through the song creating process on their own, without any outside aid.
- Composing a popular song differs greatly from composing classical music as popular songs have a very set general form, while classical music is freer with a variety of composition forms.
7. According to Berlin, wat was the advantage of one person composing both the lyrics and music to a song?
By having one person compose both the lyrics and music you don’t have to worry about making your lyrics fit into someone else’s music, and vice versa. With one person doing both the lyrics and music It allows the two to more easily, and more smoothly come together. If you want to learn more check out What is the history of psychology?
8. According to Hamm, what is the problem with “taking the notated form” of Berlin’s songs as “the primary text?” How does this dilemma reflect broader discussions of popular vs. classical music?
- Taking the notated form as the primary text was problematic because what was written (the notated form) could differ greatly from what was written. The reason for this is during the performance thing could be, and usually were added or removed.
- This dilemma reveals another key difference between popular music and classical music: Popular music is changed a lot on the spot, while classical music is usually not changed on the spot, and is performed as notated
Chapter 6: Blues People and the Classic Blues
3. How does Baraka contrasts classic blues from country blues? What earlier genres of musical entertainment does he cite as major influences on classic blues?
- According to Baraka, country blues was more personal and for the individual as it served as means to get them through a tough time. Classical blues on the other hand was more professional and was used as a way to formally entertain others, and therefore make money.
- Earlier musical genres that have influenced classical blues include ragtime, popular theatre, and minstrelsy.
4. What is minstrelsy? Why does Baraka see it as an important part of the development of African American music? Furthermore, how does Jones’ historical overview o minstrelsy demonstrate the complexities of racialized appropriation and stereotyping present in the genre? If you want to learn more check out What is the focus of the study of taxonomy?
- Minstrelsy were traveling shows that attempted to imitate the life of African Americans. ****Black face was commonly used to add the authenticity of the performance
- The minstrelsy were important to the development of African American music because it put them more into the social realm, and as a result “lowkey” advertised/ promoted them, and consequently advertised their music. We also discuss several other topics like Was the tylenol killer ever found?
- The black face commonly used during the shows represented racialize appropriation. The shows also demonstrated stereotypes as blacks were portrayed as how they were seen by whites, not necessarily how they really were.
5. According to Baraka, how does Ma Rainey represent a transition between earlier “primitive” blues and the classic blues?
- Ma Rainey represented this transition because her singing was a combination of both. Her singing had aspects of both primitive, and classic blues, allowing a smooth transition between the two.
6. What are some explanations pondered by Baraka for the apparent gender difference between singers of the classical blues vs. the country blues?
- Classical blues and gospel music are very closely related, and since women were more frequent church goes (where gospel is sang), they were also usually classic blues singers - Country blue singers were usually men, as most country blues singers were wanderers, farmers, and other “male” jobs.
7. In what way does Baraka see the blues as occupying a unique place in African American identity? How does he see this music as a unique marker of the African American experience? Moreover, do you agree with his assertions?
- The Blues are all about the experiences of African Americans, and since experiences greatly shape identity, then yes, I agree with Baraka that blues occupies a unique place in African American identity.
- Again, Blues is all about the experience and involvement of African American, therefore the Blues serve as a Polaroid, bookmark, and a unique marker of the African American experience.
Chapter 12: The Producers Answer Back
12a: Simon, Bill, “Indies’ Surprise Survival: Small Labels’ Ingenuity and Skill Pay Off” 1. What factors led to the commercial success of many independent record labels at this time?
- Low costs for recording, and promotions.
o These low costs allowed them to take more risks and therefore discover more things
o Low costs also meant they had to sell less records to break even and make a profit - Easily able to access new artists / sounds
Shaw, Arnold, from Honker and Shouters: The Golden Years if Rhythm and Blues
2. What social limitations helped create central importance of athome record play for music consumption of the African American community at this time?
- Segregated broadways theatres, movie houses, and clubs forced African Americans to seek entertainment at home, such as at home blues records plays
Chapter 16: The House that Ruth Brown Built
5. What does Ruth Brown’s account of her experience working at Atlantic reveal about the power relationships between musicians and recording companies at this time?
- Ruth Brown’s account shows that the recording companies held all the power. - Ruth Brown couldn’t veto songs, she got legally cheated out of her paycheck, and the recording companies overworked her voice.
Introduction to the Study of Popular Music
- Theodor Adorno, the Frankfurt School
o His opinion of popular music and culture industries
Quotation listening Partially caused by popular music, and encouraged distracting listening, passivity as it required little work
Passive listening effects Resulted in passiveness and laziness (because it required little effort), and created a childish audience
Connections to Political control/ subjugation Popular music served as political propaganda (rise of Nazis), and popular music industry could be used as a tool for subjugation (controlling) the masses
***Also believed that popular music was a cheap escape from boredom The Music Industry Key Themes
- Vertical vs. horizontal integration
o Vertical integration The company controls each step
o Horizontal integration All the companies coming together (usually one large one buying out smaller ones) to form a monopoly
- Regulation of copyright Regulating exclusive rights to that work.
o Includes reproduction, distributions, covers, public display, and public performance
- Mainstream vs Margins of Industry (Major vs Independent)
o Mainstream appeals to widest possible audience
o Margins Appeal to marginalized (opposite of mainstream) people
Major vs Independent record labels
∙ Majors More into mainstream music, all about the money, and
are musically conservative
∙ Indies (independents) More into margin music, all about
creativity, and are very supportive of the artist
Tin Pan Alley
- Structure and business model
o Composers/ songwriters Wrote and composed music
o Publishers Published the sheet music
o Song pluggers Promoted songs via performance to increase the sheet music sale - Tin Pan Alley standard song form
o “My Blue Heaven”
Form Typical AABA verse refrain Tin Pan Alley format
Thematic content Returning home to a rewarding domestic relationship - Themes of song lyric content
o Privacy previously restricted to elites, but now becoming a new reality for middle class. Also saw the home as a place for courtship, and family
o Romantic love Reflected in both lyrics and delivery (people sing in first person) - Vaudeville vs. crooning vocal style
o Vaudeville theatrical style of vocal sound productions, used older technology Al Jolson Playful tone, exaggerated performance, lots of facial
o Crooning Originated from romantic songs, soft and tender tone (via use of electronic microphone), not theatrical, intimate setting/ personal serenade, and people were sung to, not sung at
- Irving Berlin
o Career &importance Most creative Tin Pan Alley song writes
- Songwriting process Berlin would usually start with a title, phrase, or melody, hum it out to something more definite, write lyrics as they came to him, and then in the last stage work with another song writer and/ or arranger to get the finished product of the music and words.
Race Record and Blues
- Definition of “the blues”
o Musical form 12 bar blues
o Marketing category Used the term “blues” instead of “race records” to draw in more costumers
o Folk traditions
- Country vs. Classic blues country blues was more personal and for the individual as it served as means to get them through a tough time. Classical blues on the other hand was more professional and was used as a way to formally entertain others, and therefore make money.
- Similarities/ Differences between race records &hillbilly records
Originated in American South
Rooted in long standing folk music traditions
Foundation for forms of popular music that emerged after WW2
Blended rural styles &popular culture
Industry targeting alternative markets
Distributed across country by new media
Race Records performed by and for African American listeners
Hillbilly Music (AKA “oldtime music) was performed by and intended for southern white listeners
- The 12 bar blues form 3 line AAB Text, with a basic 3 chord pattern - Classic Blues
o W.C Handy “father of the Blues” and greatly influenced by ragtime &souse marches, sheet music hit, recorded with a brass band. **composed “St. Louis Blues”
o Bessie Smith Super successful classic blues singer. Used “bent” notes St. Louis Blues/ form (LISTENING)
∙ A section lament, gives specifics of “St. Louis woman” situation
∙ B section Kind of like the bridge, not a 12 bar blues structures,
mini abab section, change to minor key
∙ C section (called A section, but it’s different from A, so in reality
- Country Blues
o Origins, musical, and social characteristics
Origins Mississippi Delta, sung during intensive cotton farming
Musical characteristics Dynamic and flexible, “jumpup” (songs to dance to)
Social characteristics Music of impoverished black workforce
o Robert Johnson
Playing style, vocal and guitar technique heavier, emphatic style, progressive rhythmic guitar technique (precursor to rock ‘n’ roll)m wide range of timbres &techniques
Mythic biography Life summed up in 22 songs, dies mysteriously Wrote “Crossroads Blues”
- Musical and sociocultural origins of the genre
o Musical origin folk songs, ballads, dance music of British immigrants, vaudeville, Anglo American ballads, and Tin Pan Alley sentimentality
o Sociocultural origin Self derogatory term used by rural southerners
- Importance of radio (radios only promotes Hillbilly songs, never race records) o Grand ol’ Opery Broadcast the most influential hillbilly radio show in the country
o Barn Dance Country variety show (string bands, solos, white gospel singers, harmonica players)
- The Carter Family
o “Gospel Ship” Recorded by Carter family, and show importance of sacred music in southern culture
General musical characteristics plain unadorned straight forward singing, viewed as authentic expression of religious faith, first group country act
- Jimmie Rodgers
o Rambler, travelin’ man persona represented lone rural worker who travels for jobs on the railroad or oil industry
o Blue Yodel no.2 “
Differences and similarities to country blues
∙ Similarities poetic &musical form, and performance style of
∙ Differences Guitar strictly as accompaniment, regular rhythmic
strums, and used less blues notes
‘High, Lonesome Sound’evoked by yodeling vocal style, and is
associated with southern rural music
Postwar Rhythm and Blues
- Context of American society and musical establishment in the 1950s
o Economic boom, uncertainty of cold war, new technology, vets returning home, and music being an escape and comfortable environment
- ASCAP (American society of composers and publishers) vs. BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) licensing legal battle: overview and implications on pop music o ASCAP vs BMI= Mainstream Vs. Marginal genre
o ASCAP excluded radio play, and race and hillbilly records. Also pressured radio networks to pay them more for playing their songs
o BMI created to counter ASCAP monopoly, accepted hillbilly and race record, also played blues, gospel, jazz, and R&B
o BMI wins as in 1941 radio network didn’t renew ASCAP licenses
- Jump band music 1st commercially successful form of R&B, flourished right after WW2
o Louis Jordan
LISTENING: “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” (12 bar blues)
***Jump band+ Kansas City Swing + Boogie Woogie= Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie
Precursors in Kansas City Swing closely linked to country blues, heavy improv
∙ William “Count” Bassie Band leader in Kansas City, Boogie
Woogie blues piano style
- Chicago urban blues
o Social context of the emergence of the genre Growth of black neighborhoods on Southside of Chicago, and new urban context for new African American music o Muddy Waters electric guitar, steady rhythm with blues inflections, rough vocal
style, and wrote about loneliness &frustration, and independence &sexual prowess.
o “Hoochie Choochie Man”
Roots in rural folk traditions and lyrical content
∙ Lyrical content Boasts of sexual power, references to Hoodoo
(southern folk tradition of magical charms &medicines)
∙ Musical characteristics loud &dense, with an insistent &steady
- Female R&B singers
o Ruth Brown Most important R&B singer
CareerVersatile musical style, experience unfair business practices with Atlanta
Importance for Postwar R&B Greatly influenced postwar R&B
Rise or Rock ‘n’ Roll
- Social/economic reasons and incentives for the emergence of the new genre o Social
To parents Rock ‘n’ Roll was really different from R&B, and therefore a safe genre, however it sounded a lot like R&B, which was what young
people were into
Gave teen a sense of identity
o Economic Teen now had an allowance and therefore could buy records - Alan Freed
o Importance to the start of the genre First one to use the term “Rock ‘n’ Roll for commercial and generational purposed.
Also promoted concerts by black artist playing to integrated audiences o Payola Illegal practice of accepting bribes in exchange for air play…ruined Alan Freed’s career. Smh lol
- Covers (usually white artist covering R&B songs)
o “Mystery Train” (both versions, contrast and changes in Elvis’ version) Originally produced by Little Junior &The Blue flames 12 bar blues form, pessimistic, typical R&B instrumentation
Covered by Elvis Irregular 12 bar blues, faster tempo, optimistic,
recorded with just bass &guitar, used blues notes &”Hiccupping” effect
Early Rock ‘n’ Roll musicians: The first generation
- Defining musical and social characteristics of these musicians
o Chuck Berry
Musical Used guitar (not piano)
Social Helped integrate audiences by singing about things all teens
o Little Richard
Musical Innovative, high falsetto singing, nonsensical lyrics, piano
Social Heightened ambiguous sexuality through captivating
performances appearance, also pioneered extroverted, outrageous rock
o Fats Domino
MusicalInfluenced by New Orleans musical traditions, est R&B artist, but even though market relabeled him his music stayed the same
- Chuck Berry
o Reasons for Chuck Berry’s success as rock ‘n’ roll artist Used a guitar and not a piano, and used lyrics that appealed to teens
o LISTENING: “Maybelline”
Song form, song text
∙ Form Chorus follows 12 bar blues, but verses do not. Instead
verses are one chord and do not contain harmonic changes
∙ Text Tells a story, and is sung somewhat quickly
- Little Richard
o LISTENING: “Long Tall Sally” (song form)
- Fats Domino
o Musical background/influences
“Blueberry Hill”One of the Tin Pan Alley standard, originally written by Glen Miller and Fats Domino covered it
Boogie woogie piano style Comes from NewOrleans influence