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African American Traditional Music

African American Traditional Music - Traditional Pop Music...

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Traditional Pop Music in America January 22, 2008 African American Traditional Music Gospel o First Phase (1930-1950) o Thomas Dorsey , Father of Gospel o Cultivated in urban areas, directed at urban churches o Dorsey- trying to strike a common chord between religion and popular music o First phase dominated by solo singer Roberta Martin (1907-1969) Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972) o Voice and piano preferred format o Style influenced by the blues and jazz o Bending of notes, vocal slides, word repetition o Quoting of spiritual text o 1945-1950: style of gospel starts to change Gospel quartets also become popular Four-five singers dressed formally a cappella style: voices alone, no instruments Added rhythm section or percussive effects i.e., percussion, stand-up bass Stomping, clapping ex: Golden Gate quartet “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” African American spiritual in new context o 1950-1960: Second Phase of Gospel Gospel starts adopting electric instruments, just like in popular music Drew on emerging style of rhythm and blues “Jump music” Still a vocal genre Call and response technique Repetitive words Close harmonies Percussive effects ex: Chambers Brothers- R&B stars Pioneered cross pollination “Before I get to Heaven (I’ll Fly Away)” More emotional style of singing, more urgent African American Song o Tendency to disregard early traditions of AA traditional music
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o Most of this repertoire traced to the South **Important to trace geographical origins, sociological context o Slavery, Emancipation Proclamation, Jim Crow society- segregation laws o Among largest bodies of AA roots music: song tradition o
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