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Feb_27-29 - Music 005 Notes on Folk Music Folk Music What...

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Music 005 Notes on Folk Music Folk Music What is it, or what is it not? o Not technically polished Transmission: oral rather than written (and thus not literate?) Not commercial (at least not initially) Fluid: it always involves improvisation The Blues Extremely influential o Jazz, rock The basic elements are very simple o 12-bar progression; pentionic scale (sort of) Why are the blues blue? o The “blue devils:: a sixteenth-century expression o Blue note- pitch-blends, slides, and other ways of musically inhabiting the space between the tones in the traditional scale Bessie Smith, “mean Old Bed Bug Blues” (1/2) o Traditional 12 bar progression o Three verses, three versions of the chord progression o Blue notes o Voice and two guitars o Call and response: the instruments respond to the voice Bessie smith (1849-1937) o Boren poor but didn’t stay that way o First record (1923) sold almost 800,000 copies o Expressive style, build on singing of what she knew o An infinite variety of pitch-inflection
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