MUAR 392 Chapters 5,6,7,8,9,10

MUAR 392 Chapters 5,6,7,8,9,10 - Friday CHAPTER 5 Blues...

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Friday, January 19, 2007 CHAPTER 5: Blues People and the Classic Blues From the 1920s-1940s, the music industry classified most of the music made by and directed toward blacks as “race music.” However, some black bands were marketed in the “popular” category (i.e. swing bands led by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Jimmie Lunceford, and close harmony groups like the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots). “Race music” category included blues, gospel tunes, piano boogie-woogies, small jazz groups, and funkier swing bands. The name “race music” probably carried pejorative connotations to the executives who coined it; however, it also carried positive meanings for blacks during this period in the Harlem Renaissance (1920s-1940s) to be a “race man” was to be active for equal rights and the recognition of black achievement and ability. The late 1920s witnessed the growing importance of newly composed gospel music in addition to secular music. Thomas Dorsey (“the Father of Gospel Music”) major force in the development of modern gospel music and its rise to prominence. Gospel music would play a major role in the development of “doo-wop” a capella singing, which in turn, would play a major role in rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Amiri Baraka wrote the first social history of black music, Blues People . Baraka was known as Leroi Jones at the time. From Blues People: The Negro Experience in White America and the Music That Developed from It ( Leroi Jones ): Classic blues ” was the result of more diverse sociological and musical influences than any other kind of black music called blues. Classic blues showed the black singer’s appropriation of a great many elements of popular American music, notably the music associated with popular theatre or vaudeville. Socially, classic blues and the instrumental styles that went with it represented the black’s entrance into the world of professional entertainment and the assumption of the psychological imperatives that must accompany such a phenomenon. Each man had his own blues and anybody could sing the blues. Classic blues took on a certain professionalism could be used to entertain others formally. Professionalism came from the black theatre: the black minstrel shows, traveling road shows, medicine shows, vaudeville shows, carnivals, and tiny circuses. Importance of minstrelsy The Traveling Coon and The Voodoo Man are two typical “Negro” songs performed by the white minstrels – parodies of certain aspects of black life in America. Black minstrel shows were also parodies (or exaggerations) of certain aspects of black life in America.
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However, the black minstrel shows poked fun at both blacks and whites, whereas the white minstrel shows only made fun of blacks. The minstrel shows introduced new dance steps
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2010 for the course ARTS muar 392 taught by Professor Simonot during the Spring '10 term at McGill.

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MUAR 392 Chapters 5,6,7,8,9,10 - Friday CHAPTER 5 Blues...

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