section 2 POP ROCK

section 2 POP ROCK - Jump blues wasnt the only R&B style to...

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1950s. It was during this time that harmonizing vocal groups, some of which later became known as doo-wop developed out of previous pop models such as the Mills Brothers, the Ink Spots, and gospel groups like the Golden Gate Quartet.As already mentioned, African-American popular music has dual roots in sacred and secular music and, until the 1940s, the prevailing view was that holy music should not be tainted with secular “music of the devil.” In the 1940s, gospel vocal techniques were beginning to merge with urban blues and also found their way into the and the Five Keys, were originally gospel groups. The term doo-wop also conjures up images of amateur vocal groups singing on street corners for the sheer enjoyment of music. Certainly those singing in churches and in small clubs. Frequently these groups, both amateur and professional, were “discovered” by a record producer who supplied the money to record, released one or two records, and then faded back into obscurity, often earning no royalties from the recording. This was not always the case, but it happened often enough. A good example is the Chords, who were discovered by a music professional who arranged for them to record “Sh-Boom” in 1954 for Atlantic Records. After the song became popular and was covered by the Crew Cuts, and the Chords faded back into obscurity. Musical Characteristics The major characteristics of the doo-wop style include a falsetto lead singer, a prominent bass voice, and, most importantly, backup vocalists singing riff-style accompaniments using scat syllables. Falsetto means “false Schafer2129_C03.QXD 7/31/07 11:03 AM Page 77 voice”and describes the artificially high male voice used in this style and in Motown (see Chapter 8). Scat singers improvise jazz solos using nonsense syllables instead of words. The musical form of early doo-wop was usually the twelve-bar blues form; however, recordings after 1956 tended to have a thirtytwo- bar AABA form with I-vi-IV-V chord changes. In AABA, each letter represents an eight-bar melody and helps identify the repetition scheme: 4 x 8 bars = 32 bars. Musicians use Roman numerals to represent the relationship of the chord to the key (pitch level) of the song. In the key of C, I-vi-IV-V would be C major/A minor/F major/G major. The most important musical characteristic of this style, the scat syllables, had been used for vocal improvisation since the late 1920s, when Louis Armstrong recorded “Heebie Jeebies.” Later in the 1940s, swing and bop musicians record of 1946 was “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop”by Lionel Hampton’s jump blues band. This use of riff-style scat syllables is an extension of two of the African musical
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section 2 POP ROCK - Jump blues wasnt the only R&B style to...

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