rock notes 10-4 to 10-27

rock notes 10-4 to 10-27 - October 4, 2010 Rocket 88 Some...

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October 4, 2010 “Rocket 88” • Some cite this song as the first recorded example of “rock ‘n roll.” • Some disagree • Electric guitar, which is prominent in this example, would end up being an important part of the rock sound. • Playing “electrically’ means not only playing louder, but utilizing certain effects unique to the electric guitar. o An example of this is distortion or “fuzz.” c Early examples of distortion were often the result of accidents in which the guitar amplifier was in some way damaged, but the player or producer decided they liked it and recorded it that way. During the recording of "Rocket 88", one of the early rock and roll songs, Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm guitarist Willie Kizart used an amplifier that had been damaged in transit (fell of the back of a station wagon), resulting in an early recorded example of guitar distortion. o Solo instrument on “Rocket 88” is saxophone, which suggests an example of R+B. o Another “rock” aspect of this example is the use of imagery and subject matter of the lyrics o Rocket 88 was a car made by Oldsmobile. Cars are a popular subject for rock ‘n roll lyrics. o Invokes imagery of the American suburban dream c Wife at home c Big car o Rocket image also references the space race between U.S. and U.S.S.R in the 1950s as well as cold war nuclear weapon proliferation o All of these references could be understood by both white and black listeners “Shake Rattle and Roll” • Big Joe Turner (known as a blues shouter) • More overtly controversial lyrics • This aspect of R+B was a big influence on the formation of rock “Shake Rattle and Roll” • Bill Haley and the Comets • Used steel guitar (an instrument common in country music) • Sax playing was less improvisational • Less emphasis on soloing • Bill Haley was an important figure in disseminating this music to white audiences • Comet in the name is another reference to a car (and also conjures images of space travel). “Doo-Wop” • Another influential style on rock • Style of male gospel quartet • Virtually no stylistic difference between black and white artists • Backing vocals sing syllables to imitate instruments • Slow or fast “Earth Angel” by the Penguins • Slow Doo Wop • Back ups use syllables • Beat is divided unevenly (swing) • Bass line goes beyond time keeping and adds melodic interest (another example of this is “My Girl” by the Temptations) “Charlie Brown” by the Coasters • Fast Doo Wop • Funny subject matter • Written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller (who worked in the Brill Building and also wrote songs for Elvis) • Note melodic aspect of bass playing is also present in this example “Chicago Blues” final pivotal style in the development of rock • Muddy Waters called it the “Mother of rock ‘n roll.” • Instrumentation is similar to rock band • Use of electric sounds • Similar forms/progressions • Has “Hard Edged” sound
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This note was uploaded on 07/10/2011 for the course MUS 1301 taught by Professor Marshak during the Spring '11 term at Minnesota.

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rock notes 10-4 to 10-27 - October 4, 2010 Rocket 88 Some...

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