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L1Q1 - REQUIRED READING Chapter 1 REQUIRED VIEWING...

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REQUIRED READING: Chapter 1 REQUIRED VIEWING: Time/Life History of Rock and Roll , Volumes 1 and 2 (DVD Disc 1) PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES: Upon satisfactory completion of this section, you will have 1. explored the many convergent forces that gave rise to Rock 'n' Roll. 2. encountered the difficult social/artistic obstacles faced by the pioneers of rock. 3. understood the importance of Afro-American influences on Rock 'n' Roll. COMMENTS, STUDY NOTES, KEY CONCEPTS AND TERMINOLOGY: Although it was most strongly influenced by African-oriented musical traditions (such as Blues, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, and Gospel), Rock 'N' Roll arose only when those African traits were merged with Anglo-oriented Country & Western, Folk, Pop, and Protestant-religious influences. Keep in mind that Rock 'N' Roll is not solely an American art form--there have been important contributions from other countries, especially Britain and Jamaica. I believe the greatest aspect of this course is how the historical knowledge from the assigned readings is placed in vivid context by the Time/Life video series. You may find it interesting to look at the "Top 10 Rock/PopSongs" from this era (see the "Top 10 U.S. Singles" link on the class homepage). For example, in 1953 and 1954, there was no indication on the charts that the "crooning" tradition was ready to falter. In 1955, the only rock-style hit in the Top 10 was Haley's "Rock Around The Clock." Then in 1956-57, Elvis exploded to the #1 spot (and three of the Top 5). Just as Rockabilly was poised to completely dominate the charts, Presley, Holly, The Big Bopper, Berry, Little Richard,
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Orbison and Lewis were suddenly out of the picture-- replaced mostly by soft-rock teen idols. Note that the exploration of "The Elements of Music" (see "MusicalElements" link) is intended to introduce you to the basic terms/concepts that will be covered throughout the course. For Lesson 1, focus on "tempo" and "polyrhythm" (MusicalElements, p.1), " chord," "progression," " consonance" and "dissonance" (MusicalElements, pp. 3-4), the "Blues Forms" (MusicalElements, p. 10, especially the 8- bar Blues pattern ( I - - - IV - V7 I), and the comparative style chart for "Shake, Rattle and Roll" (MusicalElements, p.13). Other critical terms/artists to know for this lesson include: BLUES - Rural Blues ("Ma" Rainey) - Delta Blues (Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Sam Hopkins) - Classic Blues (Bessie Smith) - Urban Blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker) - Jump Blues (Louie Jordan, "Big Mama" Thornton, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner) - Chicago Electric Blues (Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Bo Diddley) - Backbeat (textbook, p.2) MAJOR RECORD LABELS OF THE 1950s-60s - RCA, Decca, Columbia, Capitol, INDEPENDENT RECORD LABELS (the driving force behind early Rock 'n' Roll) - Chess, Atlantic, Sun (Sam Phillips; The Million Dollar Quartet ) RACIST PROBLEMS WITH EARLY ROCK R & B/EARLY ROCK AND ROLL - New Orleans R & B (Fats Domino, Little Richard) - White "cover" artists (Pat Boone) - Rockabilly (Bill Haley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, - Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, etc.) - R & B artists influenced by Country & Western (Hank Ballard, Chuck Berry) FOUR PHASES OF ELVIS PRESLEY'S CAREER 1. Memphis/Sun Records
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