What Culture Inspired The Syncopated Rhythms Heard In This Selection

Hiawatha and The Indian Intermezzo

Written by Paul Maybery At the start of the nineteenth century, the need for Indian songs and the so-called “intermezzo” was becoming a cultural phenomenon, with the demand for them increasing in popular music. Neil Moret’s “Hiawatha,” published in 1901, laid the groundwork for subsequent works. A few more instances of this sort of song developed during the following decade when the genre reached its zenith about 1905. Percy Wenrich’s “Silver Bell” (1905), Charles L. Johnson’s “Iola” (1906), and Kerry Mills’ “Red Wing” (1907) are among the most well-known of these works of literature.

Nevertheless, these “intermezzi” only developed and flourished in a later century, which coincided with the enormous popular music explosion that occurred in Tin Pan Alley.

Both of them were concerned with the newly introduced syncopated rhythmic aspects of African-influenced music that had recently been introduced.

While the song words themselves deal with traditional Indian issues, it is difficult to locate any indication of true Indian musical material, such as archetypal minor keyed melodies or rhythmic drum patterns, in the songs themselves.

  1. The use of ragtime elements may be found in at least one of the passages.
  2. He died in 1952.
  3. Farwell founded the WA-WAN Press in 1901, which he called after an Omaha tribe ceremonial that affirms peace and friendliness and was inspired by Dvorák’s approach to folk material and moved by the conviction that American classical music needed to embrace native music.
  4. HIAWATHA Popular tunesmiths Neil Moret (a.k.a.
  5. Daniels), Kerry Mills, Percy Wenrich, and Charles L.
  6. Arrangements for piano, orchestra, and band were created and published by their respective publishers.
  7. Daniels claimed that the composition was inspired by a train excursion through his sweetheart’s birthplace of Hiawatha, Kansas, during which he met his wife.

It is designed in the same march-type style and structure that was adopted by the last cakewalk, which you can see here.

In 1903, the Whitney-Warner Publishing Company of Detroit paid Daniel’s $10,000 for the rights to the tune.

It was also included in the inaugural edition of Boosey’s “New Supplementary Band Journal” in London, which included an arrangement of it as well as a piano sheet music version.

Bodewalt Lampe for Sousa’s Band in two different versions, and it was performed on one of the band’s tour dates in the early 1900s.

Others, including the Columbia Orchestra and the Edison Concert Band, recorded versions of “Hiawatha” between 1904 and 1908; the Columbia Orchestra returned to the song in 1921, while the Edison Concert Band recorded arrangements of “Hiawatha” between 1904 and 1908.

The most well-known of his compositions is “Red Man,” which appears in the 1911 Concert Suite “Dwellers of the Western World.” Sousa’s efforts were extremely respectful to the Indians, and they demonstrated a high level of decency and compassion for this vibrant and diverse society.

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING PERFORMANCE While it is not necessary to read a treatise in order to appreciate this music, it may be beneficial to recollect some characteristics of style that have grown prominent in band music since the start of the twentieth century.

A major melodic and parallel harmonic material was performed in the cornets and upper woodwinds, which was complemented by the typical bass and rhythmic side figures of the left hand, played by the low and middle brass of the band.

TIME PACE: While there was no one tempo for each piece of music, the pace of the music needed to support the style and mood of the piece of music being performed.

What will work is mostly determined by the circumstances and the talent of the individual.

As basic as those accompanying rhythm patterns may seem, I have discovered that when they are represented by well-balanced chords in the mid-range instruments (alto and tenor voiced instruments), the pieces come alive and reach out to the listener, bringing them into a pleasant experience.

IMPORTANT SHAPES: The grasp of note shapes can help you get a lot of the look of the early twentieth century without spending a lot of time practicing.

Staccato is thought to be a translation for “detached” or “separated.” In the context of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was also understood to mean halving the duration of the notes.

A note’s form may be represented graphically by the first and most frequent ” “, which has larger volume at the beginning and a natural decrease throughout the course of it’s length.

If a band want to swiftly adapt to the style of the era, addressing these fundamental note shapes would be the most expedient method of accomplishing that goal.

If you can resist this urge, the results will be better, and the overall arrangement will be more aesthetically cohesive as a result.

In general, we have proof from old wax cylinders and early 78 phonographs that a considerably shorter form was used in the recording industry.

Some believe that such a brief and sharp manner was mainly employed for recording purposes, and that a sound more in line with contemporary practice was used for live concert performances.

The sort of vibrato that is utilized is the subject of the same debate.

A straight tone, some argue, was ineffective when utilized in early pre-electronic recording because it was too monotone.

Taking a look back over the previous 50 or more years, we can see how the development of a more sumptuous sound vocabulary employed by brass, wind, and percussion musicians in nearly every genre has reinforced this point of view.

Unfortunately, there are no sound recordings from that time period available to listen to.

There is a good resource for listening to vintage recordings of band music.

I’ve heard the obvious complaint that the sound quality isn’t very good on a number of occasions.

Many of those factors, such as the note form and duration, have already been discussed.

Many times, the choice of dynamics does not correspond to the printed score.

Due to the fact that we rarely know what a band’s exact tuning pitch was during the recording session, altering the speed of the antique phonograph is more of an informed estimate than a matter of scholarship or science.

What evidence do we have?

A number of other bands were recorded at a high pitch, which might be as much as 30 cents above the A=440 standard.

YOUR UPCOMING PROJECT: Why not browse through the Chatfield Brass Band Library’s online database, pick an intermezzo or something else that catches your attention, and begin your journey into the amazing world of vintage band music?

It will take a little effort, but just imagine where it will go in the long run.

A project like this would be the perfect “ticket” for a break for artists who are now enrolled in postsecondary studies.

While not every performance of antique music needs to be an exercise in “historically informed performance,” it does need a bit more team work on the part of the performers.

Nonetheless, with a rudimentary mastery of some of the fundamentals, the older and “traditional” styles found in the band’s enormous repertoire may and can come to life with spectacular results.

Tell It Like It Is: A History of Rhythm and Blues

  • Continue to the main content At the 2011 Folklife Festival, the Dixie Cups were on hand. Walter Larrimore and Ralph Rinzler photographed this scene. Archives of Folklore
  • The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Smithsonian Folkways have both archived African American music from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Smithsonian Folkways, which we are using to prepare for the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Freedom Sounds Festival. A version of this story first appeared in the program book for the 2011 Folklife Festival in New York City. Author Mark Puryear was the curator of the Rhythm and Blues program that year, and he is currently the curator of the Freedom Sounds program. It was in 1964 that The Dixie Cups, a female vocal trio from New Orleans, crooned out an upbeat version of “Chapel of Love” that pushed The Beatles off the top of the pop charts and into second place. The next year, the trio produced “lko lko,” a song written by James “Sugar Boy” Crawford and first published as “Jock-A-Mo” in 1954. The words of the song tell the meeting of two groups of Mardi Gras Indians. Since then, this song has been recorded by musicians ranging from the Grateful Dead to Cyndi Lauper, and its irresistible New Orleans rhythms have continued to inspire new generations of music lovers. In addition to their direct and indirect responsibilities in bringing rhythm and blues (R B) into the mainstream awareness, The Dixie Cups’ career demonstrates the lasting capacity of this music to transcend geography and musical category and become a representative sound of the United States of America. Considering the history of R B and the range of what it encompasses—socially, financially, and artistically—it appears to be anything but a homogenous movement. It recounts a complicated narrative with several strands and experiences. Described as an amalgam of jump blues, big band swing, gospel, boogie, and blues, it was first developed during a thirty-year period that spans the era of legally sanctioned racial segregation, international conflicts, and the struggle for civil rights. It is a distinctly African American music that draws from the deep tributaries of African American expressive culture. Thus, it reflects not only the shifting social, political and cultural landscapes of American race relations, but also urban life, popular culture, and popular entertainment in mainstream America. Its formal qualities, stylistic range, marketing and consumption trends, and worldwide currency are all influenced by this. The genesis of R & B as a musical genre highlights the genre’s dual marginalization as a type of African American music while also serving as a lynchpin in the development of a diverse range of American popular music genres, most notably rock ‘n’ roll, in the twentieth century. For understanding the social and cultural settings of R B’s growth, three historical processes are important. These include: the migrations of African Americans to metropolitan areas in the aftermath of World War I and World War II, and the civil rights struggle. Listen to “The Roots of Rhythm and Blues,” a playlist curated by Smithsonian Folkways. Featuring recordings recorded by Henry Hines and Al White for Lynn’s Productions, this 1966 compilation presents a musical snapshot of some of the bands that were popular in clubs, fraternities, and schools throughout the 1950s. The album was released in 1966. Archives of Ralph Rinzler’s Folklore “Make My Life a Worthwhile Experience” Roots: Rhythm and Blues (Folkways Records, 1971)
  • The Queenettes from Roots: Rhythm and Blues (Folkways Records, 1971)

The Great Migration

  • The expansion of twentieth-century African American urban neighborhoods in places such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Memphis, and Detroit, which served as geographical anchors for how these processes played out across the country, is intimately linked to the creation of R B. Migration from the Southern areas of the United States was responsible for the growth of these urban settlements during a period of two decades. When the cotton industry collapsed owing to boll weevil infestation, and the need for industrial workers in Northern cities increased during World War I, the first of these migrations, known as the Great Migration, occurred between 1916 and 1930. Many elements of African American expressive culture, particularly music, were able to make successful transfers from rural to urban surroundings and into the marketplace as a result of this movement in population from rural to urban. Discriminatory housing and employment policies, such as restrictive covenants and segregation, faced by African American inhabitants in major metropolitan regions were widespread. People in these residential neighborhoods, which were concentrated in places such as Chicago’s South Side, Harlem in New York City, or the area around Central Avenue in Los Angeles, represented a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds and were served by a variety of business and commercial entertainment venues such as clubs, lounges, and theaters. African American artists were required to gain engagements on the restricted Theater Owners’ Booking Association circuit since a majority of the theaters were owned and run by White company owners and operators. Several large national organizations working to support the social and political concerns of African Americans, such as the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (1909), the National Urban League (1910), and later, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (1925), advocated for institutional change on a variety of topics, including everything from voting rights to the labor movement. The expression of cultural pride became more prevalent as communities came together, with music becoming an increasingly important medium. In the 1960s, the Funk Brothers from Detroit worked as studio musicians for Motown Records. Between 1959 and 1972, they were instrumental in defining the sound of some of the most well-known rhythm and blues records. Michelle Arbeit and Ralph Rinzler contributed to this photograph. Archives of Folklore
  • The first commercially successful recording by and for African Americans may be traced back to Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” in 1920, which was a financial triumph unmatched at the time. The marketing category “race records” was created by the music recording business to define this market. The word “race records” was derived from the African American vernacular term “race man” which was used during that time period to show racial pride and unity. In the wake of Mamie Smith’s success, the music industry used the term “race records” to refer to virtually all forms of African American music, including jazz, blues, and religious music, and produced recordings by Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, and other female vocalists in a similar blues style, with musical accompaniment from piano, horns, wind instruments, banjo, and percussion. Certain genres, such as blues, big band, and gospel, were represented on recordings classified as “race records,” and they would go on to create the basis of R & B music. The blues piano and guitar duet Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, whose breakthrough song “How Long, Long Blues” featured Carr’s suave vocals, would go on to inspire R & B musicians such as Charles Brown and Ray Charles. While playing boogie-woogie piano in Chicago, Jimmy Yancey, Clarence “Pine Top” Smith, and other pianists established the rolling bass lines that would later be emulated by R B pianists like as Amos Milburn and others. Listen to “African American Gospel Music,” a playlist created by the Smithsonian Folkways Institute. The tune “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” by pianist and composer Thomas A. Dorsey, which has become a classic, is regarded as a watershed moment in the development of gospel music. Dorsey created gospel music in Chicago, where he collaborated with soprano Sallie Martin to create religious song forms by fusing blues and gospel components together. After World War II, swing bands such as Chick Webb’s had an impact on performers such as Louis Jordan, who blended swing horn solos into the jump blues towards the end of the decade. Visitors of the 2011 Folklife Festival get up and dance on the dance floor. Samantha Hawkins and Ralph Rinzler contributed to this photograph. Archives of Folklore
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The Second Migration and Rhythm and Blues

The early development of R B coincided with the second exodus of African Americans from the Southern and rural parts of the United States, which happened during and after World War II and coincided with the creation of R B. Between 1941 and 1950, the African American population of Western cities increased by 33 percent, with approximately 340,000 African Americans from states such as Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma settling in Southern California to find work in the region’s expanding defense industries during this time period.

  1. A vast audience hungry for social connection through music and entertainment may be found in these increasing African American metropolitan neighborhoods with enhanced economic means.
  2. For example, the rapid growth of L.A.’s African American population resulted in the development of a thriving entertainment scene that stretched down Central Avenue and supported no less than eight record labels specialized in R B by the end of the decade.
  3. perform at the 2011 Folklife Festival in New Orleans.
  4. Archives of Folklore Listen to “RhythmBlues,” a playlist from the Smithsonian Folkways Institute.
  5. The native of Arkansas was a former member of Chick Webb’s swing band, which dominated New York City’s Savoy Ballroom through the 1930s.
  6. Featuring three horns and a rhythm section, Jordan’s ensemble ranged in size from six to seven players.
  7. There were vocal call-and-response passages between Jordan and the band, as well as the usage of African American vernacular vocabulary and comedy in the songs.
  8. Southern artists, particularly those from Texas who had relocated to Los Angeles, had no less of an impact on the development of R B as their northern counterparts.
  9. With calm blues compositions like as “Drifting Blues,” which he wrote in the vein of Nat King Cole, Brown became well-known.

T-Bone Walker, a Texas-born blues guitarist who spent his early years playing with jazz bands in South Central Los Angeles bars, was a pioneer in the usage of the electric guitar and the development of a single-line soloing technique based on jazz horn lines that has influenced guitarists to this day.

With hit songs such as “Chicken Shack Boogie,” Amos Milburn, a boogie-woogie pianist from Houston who became well-known in clubs around Los Angeles’ Central Avenue and who recorded for the independent Aladdin Records label and whose recordings were firmly based in the blues and boogie-woogie style performed in Texas, gained popularity on the West Coast and beyond (1948).

  • Eric Griffis, David Barnes, and Holden Young shot the footage, which was edited by Michael Headley.
  • R B was first performed with a core of acoustic instruments in the 1940s, but from the late 1950s onward, the band became “plugged in” and electric.
  • Even sluggish R B ballads have a discernible rhythmic pulse, and up-tempo songs may incorporate polyrhythmic arrangements to provide rhythmic depth to the overall composition.
  • That which keeps R B’s developing sounds current is the creative blending and combining of antecedent song forms—such as blues, gospel, swing, and other harmonic structures—with new developments.

The 2011 Folklife Festival included the Stax Music Academy, which represented the newest generation of R & B performers. Michelle Arbeit and Ralph Rinzler contributed to this photograph. Archives of Folklore

A Wider World

While R B music was not openly political from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, its appeal across racial lines functioned as an emotional and psychological tie that brought together young people of all races and ethnic origins in the United States of America. By the late 1950s, social and cultural shifts were taking place that laid the groundwork for the coming together of civil rights activity and ethnic consciousness in the decade to come in the next decade. Under the leadership of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was established in 1957, used a strategy of nonviolent mass resistance and protests to fight the inequities of long-sanctioned racial segregation in the Southern United States.

  • The Black Nationalist agenda of Malcolm X proposed a counter-strategic approach to nonviolent resistance to racial injustice, and it was this ideology that gave birth to the Black Panther Party.
  • During this period of the civil rights movement, as America’s attention was drawn to the moral ambiguities and social unfairness that existed inside society, R & B musicians and composers began to address topics that went beyond individual relationships and group camaraderie.
  • It was immediately followed by songs that were publicly associated with the civil rights, ethnic consciousness, and anti-war movements, among other causes.
  • Photograph by Dan Payn, courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives.
  • Bruce Cox, drummer for Fred Wesley and the New JBs, performs alongside them.
  • As R & B became more connected with the civil rights movement during this time period, record executives at both Motown and Stax would develop musicians and launch programs that were clearly intended to demonstrate their dedication to the empowerment of African American communities.
  • According to legend, after hearing Martin Luther King Jr.
  • In 1972, Stax musicians took part in an event in South Los Angeles called Wattstax, the earnings of which were dedicated to African American community organizations in the surrounding area.

“Only the Strong Survive,” “Wake Up Everybody,” and “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” among other songs, and their tagline, “there’s a message in the music,” PIR encouraged their fans to reflect on their own problems, as well as those that lay ahead.


The number one single on the R B charts in the United States for the first five months of 1967 was a love ballad called ” Tell It Like It Is,” which was passionately performed by Aaron Neville and reached the top spot for five months. The song was released in November 1966, less than a month after Stokely Carmichael delivered his now-famous “Black Power” speech in Berkeley, and it remained at the top of the charts until May 1967, when the Supreme Court was deliberating its landmark decision in Loving v.

  1. A love ballad in its purest form, it made no reference to any of the seething civil rights concerns of the moment, including neither the urban riots nor the permanence of segregation, both legally and in practice.
  2. The catalog included readings and recitations that reflected black consciousness, and the catalog’s intended readership included educational systems and religious institutions.
  3. The song had such widespread appeal that it ended up playing a crucial part in the development of mainstream popular music in the United States.
  4. The Nature of Culture, by Chirima La Contundencia (Colombia), is a work in progress.
  5. Mark Puryear was in charge of curating the program for the 2011 Folklife Festival.
  6. He graduated with honors from the University of Maryland, College Park, with an M.A.
  7. Become a member of our mailing list to receive updates from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Different Genres and Styles of Drumming

Communicating with one another is one of the most important things we do in our daily lives since it allows us to transmit and receive information, messages, and signals from one another. When it comes to communication, music is a unique medium. Music allows us to connect with one another in a variety of ways, from playing an instrument to listening, tapping, and singing songs with messages. Music may convey a variety of emotions, ranging from furious to sad to cheerful to simply cheesy. Music has such a tremendous effect on humans that it may even help them remember things.

  1. Music is a universal thing — everyone, from any location on the planet, may participate in music-making.
  2. Having said that, there are many different genres and sub-genres of music.
  3. The art of drumming is one of the most ancient forms of musical expression and musical communication on the planet.
  4. African, Latin American, and Indian rhythmic phrases would have been used in the playing of these instruments, along with call and response amongst the players of the instruments.
  5. Various types of drumming and percussion are found in each country, each originating in a specific region of the world, such as the Djembe in Africa and the Tabla in India.
  6. These percussion instruments from throughout the world are still widely known and performed today.
  7. Drum kits, of course, have gone through their own stages of evolution throughout the course of time.
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So we’re learning about different drum genres, right?

When starting off learning to play the drums, we often begin with rudiments (warm-ups) and strokes such as singles, doubles, and paradiddles, while employing rhythms such as crotchets (quarter notes), quavers (8th notes), 8th note triplets, and semiquavers as our starting point (16th notes).

The majority of the time, we play them on a practice/rebound pad or a single snare drum, but they are as powerful when played all over the drum set.

What ever type of drumming you choose to study, everything comes back to the warm-ups, rudiments, coordination drills, and sticking patterns that you learned in elementary school.

This sort of playing is extremely difficult and takes a great deal of patience and practice.

These sets of drums are also frequently doubled up in order to produce a more powerful sound.

They are composed of a variety of sizes that result in a variety of pitches.

They are also available in sets of two, three, five, and six.

This gives the image of discipline and combines the concept of playing in sync with other drummers, while also including elements of showmanship and musicality, since stick tricks are frequently integrated into routines and performances, as shown in the video below.

Players frequently double up on their instruments, which they wear with harnesses to let them to march and move around.

In addition to the standard components of a drum kit, an orchestral percussion section might include tuned percussion instruments such as the glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, and timpani, among others.

According to the piece of music or the arrangement of music that they are performing, other auxiliary percussion instruments are also employed in the orchestral setting.

From the triangle, tambourine, shaker, and claves to the bongos, congas, and even a full drum kit if the orchestra is performing a “pops” piece, there are many different auxiliary percussion instruments to choose from.

Let’s get this party started.

Almost all of these characteristics are included into the style of music or song that the drummers are playing in conjunction with.

These sorts of grooves are derived from old-school rockroll and may be found in a wide variety of musical genres today.

It is beneficial to improve our coordination by playing straight rock rhythms on the drum set with crotchets (quarter notes) and quavers (8th notes).

Our fundamental rock grooves are planned out and easy to read, with three components of the drum kit being used at a time: hi-hats/ride; snare drum; and bass drum (typically).

When it comes to drumming, there are a plethora of possibilities.

Several of our rock grooves and aspects within our rock drumming may be classified as belonging to other genres, such as pop, ballad, and alternative music.

Grooves in the Semiquaver/16th Note Syncopation Disco, dance, and hip-hop are supposed to be entertaining, whilst soul music is considered to be relaxing.

The hi-hats and the transition between the ride and the backbeat are where the syncopation and semiquaver (16th note) rhythms come into play for disco and hip-hop drumming (kick and snare).

Soul music tends to employ a diverse range of rhythms, including, but not solely, straight semiquavers (16th notes) and bounced/shuffled quavers (fourth notes), among others (eighth notes).

Music that is enraged Popular genres such as punk, grunge, hardcore, and heavy metal are examples of more aggressive music that has high levels of intensity.

Drummers typically use loose hi-hats, quick strikes on the bell of the ride, and double kicks on the bass drum to perform various kinds of playing (with either a double kick pedal or two bass drums tuned slightly different).

Grooves in the 12/8 time signature The vibe of the song is taken into consideration when blues artists compose their drum parts.

The shuffle can have a similar sound to swing.

Rather than playing straight quavers (8th notes), you may give them a little bounce to give them a shuffle-like vibe.

With the 12/8triplet grooves, drummers may explore and perform with a wide variety of striking tools like as sticks, brushes, and even spoons, among other things.

When it comes to jazz music, improvisation is quite important.

No one should turn down an opportunity to learn other techniques of playing rhythms and new sticking patterns.

Additionally, triplets are a fun rhythm to experiment with and incorporate into fills when playing jazz.

It is based on improvisation and includes a diverse range of jazz musicians who work together to create a cohesive sound for the music.

Despite the fact that time signatures are not a musical style in and of itself, different time signatures appear in many musical genres, including 3/4 (waltz), 6/8, 7/4, 7/8, 9/8, and 12/8.

Strange time signatures, on the other hand, have a jumpy quality when repeating a rhythmic phrase from the end beat of one bar to the beginning beat of the following bar: 5/4; 7/4; 7/8, to name a few examples.

The Djembe from Africa, the Tabla from India, the bodhran and spoons/bones from Ireland, and even the rhythm stick/s played on a didgeridoo in Australia are examples of these percussion instruments.

Bossa nova, samba, mambo, cha cha, reggae, and calypso are just a few of the styles of playing that can be found in Latin music.

Bongos, congas, cowbells/ago-go bells/woodblocks, and timbales are examples of Latin percussion instruments. This is our goal at Sono School of Music: to introduce and teach all aspects of drumming to as many people as we possibly can. This encompasses everything ranging from:

  • Rhythm, timing, reading, rudiments, drum strokes, coordination, sticking patterns, freedom around the drum equipment, listening and reacting exercises From simple grooves and rhythms to sophisticated grooves and beats
  • Various techniques and genres of playing are available
  • There’s so much more

All of the rhythms you learn should provide you with ideas for what you can do while you are improvising on the spot. We also strive to encourage customers to explore the vast array of music that is accessible to them, as well as to discover what they really enjoy playing to and to work on repertoire of their own choosing. Everything you learn should help you get closer to reaching your own particular objectives in your own life. All of the components and drumming principles that we teach may be applied to a variety of musical genres.

After we have mastered certain drumming ideas, we may learn how to use them in the context of music that we enjoy listening to.

Afterwards, we place these grooves in the context of your favorite tunes.

Want to learn more about drumming?


During the 1950s and 1960s, doo-wop was a kind of rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll vocal music that was very popular. Doo-wop music was characterized by the presence of a tenor lead vocalist who sang the melody of the song, accompanied by a trio or quartet who sang the background vocal harmony. As the main vocalist sang, the termdoo-wopis was coined from the sounds generated by the ensemble as they provided a harmonic accompaniment for her. The origins of the doo-wop style may be traced back to the records of the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots, which were released in the 1930s and 1940s, respectively.

  • They established the tenor and bass vocalist as the preeminent members of the pop vocal ensemble, and their impact can be heard in rhythm and blues music as far back as the 1940s (on albums made by the Ravens), all the way through the 1950s, and far into the 1970s.
  • There was also a school of female doo-wop, which was best typified by the Chantels, the Shirelles, and Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, among others.
  • Who is the undisputed ruler of culture?
  • During the 1950s, teenage vocalists in metropolitan American towns such as New York City, Chicago, and Baltimore, Maryland, were more popular with doo-wop music, which owed a big part of its success to the fact that it could be delivered effectively a cappella.
  • Doo-wop groups liked to practise in places with a lot of echoes, so that their harmonies could be heard as clearly as possible.
  • Thus, many doo wop songs included vocal harmonies that were so wonderfully rich that they practically drowned out the limited musical accompaniment over which they were recorded.
  • Several doo-wop records from the early 1950s, such as the Orioles’ “What Are You Doing New Years Eve?” (1949) and “Crying in the Chapel” (1953), the Harptones’ “A Sunday Kind of Love” (1953), and the Penguins’ “Earth Angel” (1954), are excellent examples of this effect.
  • Cover records were produced by major record labels in the 1950s in accordance with the racial segregation that pervaded much of American society at the time.
  • Among the countless doo-wop recordings that met this fate were the Chords’ “Sh-Boom” (which was recorded by the Crew-Cuts in 1954) and theMoonglows’ “Sincerely,” both of which were released in 1954.
  • Doo-wop was popularized by a variety of white singing groups, mainly Italian-American ensembles that shared the same urban atmosphere as the African Americans who created the style.
  • The Elegants (“Little Star”), Dion and the Belmonts (“I Wonder Why”), and the Four Seasons (“Sherry”) were all notable practitioners of the “white doo-wop” sound during the 1950s and 1960s.

The musical strength of doo-wop has, in the end, gone from the original groups through Motown music of the 1960s and the Philly Sound of the 1970s, and it has continued into the urban contemporary music of the 1990s. Frederick Dennis Greene is an American actor and director.

Secrets of the Rhine: Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F major, Opus 90

According to a letter to his publisher sent in October 1883, Antonin Dvoák stated, “I have lately returned from Vienna, where I spent many pleasant days with Dr. Brahms, who had just returned from Wiesbaden,” a scenic town on the Rhine river in Western Germany. In the words of the Czech musician Anton Dvoák, a close friend of Brahms, “Anton Dvoák, photographed in 1882.” ” In both cases, the data-medium-file attribute is set to 1 and the data-large-file attribute is set to 1. loading=”lazy” src=” ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”242″ height=”300″ src=” ssl=1″ alt=”” the following values for srcset: ssl=1 242w, ssl=1 768w, ssl=1 827w, ssl=1 1280w 100vw, 242px (max-width: 242px) 100vw, 242px (max-width: 242px) Antonin Dvoák, photographed in 1882.

  • I know how reserved he is about his work, even in the presence of his closest friends and other musicians, but he was not the same way towards me,” says the author.
  • If not in terms of grandeur and forceful conception, then surely in terms of beauty, I believe that this piece exceeds his previous two symphonies.
  • It has been a mainstay of the classical music repertory ever since that time.
  • Even though it is the shortest of Brahms’ four symphonies, it continues to be a fine illustration of the musical economy and organic growth that he had long nurtured in his work.
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A Secret Musical Code?

But, underlying the symphony’s technical perfections, there are strong emotional undercurrents. Dr. Brahms was a Romantic at heart, despite the fact that he preferred to hide behind a professorial mask of workmanship and tradition. Symphony No. 3 follows a dramatic narrative progression, and its use of cyclical technique (in which melodies from earlier movements “cycle back” in later parts) was more typical of program music than abstract symphonic music at the time of its composition. In public, the reclusive Brahms always claimed that his instrumental pieces were inspired by anything other than music, albeit on a few rare instances he provided his associates with intriguing hints as to his genuine sources of inspiration.

In the beginning of the symphony, three forceful chords are used to emphasize the notes F-A-flat-F: This basic musical motif serves as the foundation for virtually all of the melodic ideas in the symphony.

“frei aber froh”—”free but happy”—was identified as a musical code by Brahms’ friend and biographer Max Kalbeck.

Johannes Brahms, photographed around the 1880s or 1890s.

His unyielding quest for independence in both his professional and personal life was expressed in Brahms’ slogan, “frei aber froh.” Despite repeated attempts, he never married, potentially as a result of unresolved love for Clara Schumann, the dissolution of his parents’ marriage, a concern of being handicapped in his career as a result of having to support for a family, or just a dread of commitment.

  • As a result, his normal pattern included a series of passionate but platonic romances on brilliant, beautiful young singers, as well as frequent patronage of Vienna’s brothels, where his kindness and generosity were apparently valued by the staff, according to reports.
  • He died on December 31, 1997.
  • The only way he could fully describe his inner universe was via the incomprehensible language of music.
  • Despite the fact that the symphony begins in the key of F major, the note A-flat is really in the key of F minor, and thus gives the introduction a feeling of tension and instability.

Could this change have represented Brahms’s uncertainty or confused sentiments about his “free yet joyous” credo for the composition? Though he may have changed his mind for strictly musical reasons, it is possible that he did so.

Memories of the Rhine

The third chord also serves to establish the first movement’s energetic main theme, which is introduced by the third chord. When Brahms visited the Rhineland, it is likely that he was reminded of his formative years spent with the Schumann family in neighboring Düsseldorf. A passing line from Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony serves as the inspiration for the primary concept of this tune, which has a rushing and surging quality reminiscent of the opening movement of that work. Schumann’s introduction appears to be an uncomplicated, enthusiastic celebration of the famous river; Brahms’ theme for the “Rhine” on the other hand, is more laden with tension and power: the music lunges back and forth between F major and F minor, realizing the conflict implied by the opening chords.

  1. Soon after, the melody broadens and becomes more tranquil as it transitions to the second theme.
  2. It is taken from Tannhäuser’s “Siren’s Chorus,” which is a chorus of lovely women singing “Approach the shore!” immediately before the second theme comes.
  3. Are these references to Wagner intended to be a clue to some sort of hidden agenda, or are they just a compliment to an esteemed contemporary who had lately died away?
  4. The Lorelei rock as it looked in 1900.

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  • data-recalc-dims=”1″> The Lorelei rock as it appeared in 1900.
  • While in the area, it is likely that the scenery-loving Brahms paid a visit to the rock, and he was probably aware of the tale that the rock was the abode of Lorelei, a beautiful, siren-like sea spirit that lured passing fisherman to their deaths by singing to them.
  • Take note of the contrast between this section of Liszt’s song and the new tune that Brahms adds immediately following the Wagner allusion.
  • This lyrical theme for clarinet and piano grows smoothly and organically over a constant drone bass, lending the music a pastoral ambiance.
  • As though the clarinetist is improvising or noodling on a quick notion, each measure is a variation on the one that came before it.
  • The melody is then picked up by additional instruments, but it quickly falls apart as the music darkens and moves into the key of A minor.
  • Similarly, the music returns to the original 6/4 time signature, but the rhythms become increasingly unstable, filled with syncopations and surprising accents.
  • Following classical tradition, the music is repeated up to this point, providing listeners with the opportunity to get more familiar with the key themes of the movement before moving on.
  • You may see scans of the whole manuscript by visiting this link.

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  1. You may see scans of the whole manuscript by visiting this link.
  2. Upon the return of the stormy music, the “Lorelei” theme is changed into a passionate and emotionally powerful rendition of the tune.
  3. Fragments of the Rhine motif reappear in the orchestra, leading to reprises of both the Rhine theme and the “Lorelei” theme in the final movement.
  4. The second movement, in the key of C major, opens with another lyrical theme for clarinet that has been compared to a German folksong by many.
  5. In each phrase of the clarinet melody, there is a figure that is repeated in the lower strings; its form is reminiscent of the “frei aber froh” motif, and the contrasting instrumentation implies that the piece is a kind of musical conversation between two people.
  6. It is the unusual succession of chromatic chords that leads to the conclusion of this sorrowful and harmonically wandering song for clarinet and bassoon.
  7. It is noteworthy because the gloomy second theme is absent from the reprise of the movement’s themes; instead, a magnificent, sunset-like section precedes the return of the weird chromatic chords, which is unusual for the composer.

The movement concludes with the clarinets slowing and slowing down the main themes over cryptic chromatic harmonies, gradually stretching them out.

Romani Melodies

The third movement shifts the focus away from the bucolic, sun-filled vistas of the first half of the symphony and toward a more urban, midnight feel. As the cellos enter the movement with one of Brahms’ most renowned melodies: a languid, sad waltz, the C major of the previous movement is transformed into C minor. Later, the violins pick it up again, and after an opposing phrase, the flute, horn, and other instruments conclude the piece. In his drawings for ‘To Gipsyland,’ an 1893 memoir written by his wife, Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Joseph Pennell depicts a group of Romani musicians.

The book chronicles her lifelong fascination in Romani culture, as well as her encounters with Romani people on her travels around Europe.

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  • Elizabeth Pennell, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, was a well-known author in her day.
  • Malcolm MacDonald, a Brahms expert, has stated that the ornamentation in the melody is an homage to Romani (gypsy) music.
  • In spite of the fact that Brahms’ affection for this style was most notably exhibited in his Hungarian Dances, other evidence of its influence can be discovered throughout his output, ranging from the obvious to the subtle.
  • Many people have compared it to the jazz of nineteenth-century central Europe, which could be heard most commonly at cafés, taverns, and on street corners, among other places.
  • Brahms’ contemporaries recognized the influence of Romani music in the centre portion of the third movement, which contrasts with the rest of the work.
  • The theme then reappears, first in the horn, then in the oboe, and last in the violins, to conclude the piece.
  • As the melody progresses, an accompanimental texture emerges, revealing that the music is in the key of F minor, which corresponds to the implication of the “frei aber froh” theme that opened the symphony’s first movement.

The lost theme from the second movement reappears at the start of the fourth movement, which serves as a coda to the movement.” data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ data-large-file=”ssl=1″ data-large-file=”ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” src=” ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”206″ src=” ssl=1″ alt=”” Set the srcset to: ” ssl=1 300w, ssl=1 402w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” styles=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″> The missing theme from the second movement reappears at the start of the fourth movement, which serves as a coda to the movement.

This motif is abruptly interrupted by the unexpected reappearance of the sorrowful subject from the second movement, this time in the form of a tenebrous and enigmatic chorale.

The cellos and horns introduce a heroic, contrasted second theme, but the music rapidly darkens with a series of painful pauses, which are followed by a sweeping new theme.

Throughout the dance, the music gets softer and softer until an explosion of sound heralds the return of the enigmatic chorale, this time as the tremendous climax of the piece.

The Phrygian theme then reappears, this time unraveling and slowing down till it slips into the key of F major.

It is blended with fragments of the Phrygian theme and the “frei aber froh” motif, which leads to a last surprise: the shimmering return of the Rhine melody at the end of the piece.

Contemporaries were taken aback by this peaceful conclusion; it is conceivable that no composer had closed a symphony in such a tranquil manner since the eighteenth century.

It appears that Brahms’ use of references, quotes, and thematic recurrences in his music begs for a narrative interpretation of some sort.

Despite the fact that his disdain for narrative programming may have been influenced in part by his wish to keep his deepest thoughts hidden, Brahms nevertheless desired listeners to be able to conceive their own responses to his works.

With its placid conclusion, this symphony provides us with a catharsis for the release of powerful emotions that find resolution in inner peace.

Calvin Dotsey is a writer and poet. Don’t miss Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 on May 10, 1113, 2018 at the Metropolitan Opera! Tickets and further information may be found at houstonsymphony.org.

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