Roots of Popular Music

Timeline created by lukulele94
In Music
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    The Mistrel Show

    Until the very popular Vaudville show, Mistrel Shows were Americas most popular form of entertainment. Actors would dress in 'blackface' and perform racist jokes to get a laugh out of the audience. These shows included musical acts, skits, and dances as well as other things.
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    Stephen Foster

    Regarded as America's first important composer, Stephen Foster wrote many of the old tunes we still know today such as "Oh! Susanna." He composd over 200 songs in his career, he was most likely the first to make a living as a composer
  • "Jim Crow"

    "Jim Crow"
    The Character "Jim Crow" was a creation of Thomas Dartmouth Rice. He would adorn his face with the usual "blackface" and sing songs making fun of African Americans. The song sung by "Jim Crow" was the first international American song hit.
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    John Phillip Sousa

    John Phillip Sousa, "The King of Marches," was a great influence on brass band music in America. His marches had bright style that drew people in. His music used things like the "Oom-pah" tuba line.
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    Paul Dresser

    One of the most popular Tin Pan Alley composers.
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    Brass Bands

    Brass Bands were one of the most popular form of musical concerts in post civil war America. They had a sense of nationalism that really drew people in. The brass bands influenced many other types of music as well bringing bass lines to styles like jazz. They played popular dance tunes as well
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    Scott Joplin

    Scott Joplin was a leading name in ragtime. The self taught son of a slave was the composer of pieces like "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer." His music sold over a million copies because of his unique way of combining art music and ragtime.
  • Phonograph was invented

    Phonograph was invented
    Being invented in 1877, the phonograph quickly began to change the music world. It allowed people to hear music inside the home and started tipping the music business to recorded music sales instead of written music sales.
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    Vaudeville was a popular musical entertainment that overtook the mistrel shows in attendance. They were a theatrical performance style that was unlike a mintrel show in the way that there were many small acts instead of the whole cast staying on stage the whole show. The most popular way of popularising Tin Pan Alley songs.
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    Tin Pan Alley

    Tin Pan Alley was a stretch of 28th St. in Manahatten that housed the main music publishers in America. It was called that because of the song pluggers banging out the newest song on the piano at the storefront sounded like someone banging tin pans together.
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    Paul Whiteman

    Called "The King of Jazz," Whiteman played a popular, "honest" version of jazz. His group didn't have the original soloistic nature due to the fact it was popular during the early Big Band jazz era.
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    Ragtime was a form of music brought about by African Americans. It has more syncopation and removed the stiff Victorian ideals from American music. It made its way into every type of ensemble from brass bands to country string bands. It died out with the rise of jazz.
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    Blind Lemon Jefferson

    Born Blind, Jefferson played blues an became one of the first Country Blues stars.
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    George Gershwin

    A well known name, this composer helped bridge the gap between art music and popular music
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    Duke Ellington

    Duke Ellington clarified the bing band sound, brought an art music side to swing, and gave jazz class. He had a very popular band that performed many types of music.
  • Radio became popularised

    Radio became popularised
    Radio began rising in popularity in the 1900s. The radio had its big break during the Great Depression when consumers couldn't afford to purchase records.
  • Early Jazz Development

    Early Jazz Development
    In the early 1900s jazz began developing. It started when brass bands began to combine aspects of ragtime and blues as well as begin exploring improvisation.
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    Jazz is a genre that has its roots in African American bands in New Orleans. it continues to develop today.
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    The Blues

    At roughly this time the blues was being created by African American music makers. Originally on guitar played by one person, this style held no specific structutre except its AAB form. Tin Pan Alley standardised the length into 12 bars.
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    Hillbily Music

    Hillbilly music, around the same time as blues, became popular. It developed out of English flok music from the Briish Isles. It used stringed instruments like guitar, banjo, bass, and autoharp.
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    Folk music has always been there in the background inspiring many other genres sounds and feels. It stays acoustic and more melodic than some genres.
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    Count Basie

    The Basie band had simple swing. He started the band while stranded in Kansas City while recovering from Spinal Meningitis. He found swing there and loved it. There was an ephasis on solos. The piano parts were very sparce with accents from the drummer, a walking bass line, and quarter note from the guitar.
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    Benny Goodman

    Goodman was given the title "King of Swing" because the swing era is said to have been started by that group while on tour across country. He took arrangments done by Fletcher Henderson and gave them a smoothness and cleaness that middle class white America really liked.
  • Dixieland Jazz

    Dixieland Jazz
    The first style of jazz to pop up was Dixieland. Its main characteristics are the soloistic nature of the group. Usually under ten people, all members would more or less simitainiously solo in the same keys and styles.
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    Frank Sinatra

    Sinatra is a very big name in the genre of Crooners. He was part of The Rat Pack while trying to give the crooner a different name.
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    Les Paul

    Well known for his work with recording, Les Paul is a name known in the guitar world as well. He even has a model named after him.
  • First Jazz Recording

    First Jazz Recording
    The first recording of jazz was in 1917. Even though jazz originated in New Orleans the recording was done in New York by a white jazz band.
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    Nat King Cole

    First successful post-war black recording artist. He is sometimes referred to as the most musically talented of the crooners.
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    Big Bands

    Seperating the two, the big band era is just a little different from the swing era. They are similar in most ways, such as orchestration of bands, the use of the groups, etc. Big bands played many styles though. They did play a large amount of this new "Jazz" style but it was a safe, classicalised version of it. These bands also played a large amount of Tin Pan Alley music instead of original musc.
  • The terms"Race Music" and "Hillbilly Music" were set by Ralph Peer

    The terms"Race Music" and "Hillbilly Music" were set by Ralph Peer
    The terms were placed on records made by people of color in the early 1920s as a sales ploy by Peer. He went around the country recording music makers all over. Sales skyrocketed
  • Electric Recording (The Microphone)

    Electric Recording (The Microphone)
    Electric recording made it possible to change the orchestration of popular recorded music. It allowed singers to be heard and loud insturments be traded for things like acoustic guitar. This technology allowed Crooners to come into existence.
  • Crooners

    In the late 1920s, with microphones allowing singers to be heard, a style of singing called "Crooning" came into existence. The singers would give the recordings a more intimate sound and was very appealing to consumers.
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    Little Richard

    An entertaining performer, Little Richard played a rock n roll version of R&B. Using many blues beats and structures, he helped develop R&B.
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    James Brown

    Known as the "God Father of Soul," James Brown helped popularize the newest R&B style known as soul. This style was upbeat and heavily influenced by blues and jazz but also by Rock.
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    The Swing Era

    This decade of music brought about the first "rock stars" of music. This was big bands playing jazz inspired music mixed with aspects of blues. It used syncopation to drive the music and it had "swing" that people loved.
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    Elvis Presley

    A famous name in Rock 'n Roll, Elvis was a musician on the rockabilly side of rock. Country inspired, he brought the music to the television and popularity of the country.
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    Buddy Holly

    Buddy Holly, a famous name in 50s music, was the clean version to Elvis Presley's rock and roll. He died tragically in a plane crash.
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    Multitrack Recording

    This new form of recording music, pioneered by Les Paul, began when the first tape machine was created in 1948. Les Paul was given one to play with and he soon was multitracking.
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    R & B

    What was once called "Race Records" is now referred to as Rhythm and Blues. This is influenced by the increasing technology to shift through many styles and include many separate styles under the large name R&B.
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    Rock 'n Roll

    Starting in the 50s, this genre of music had heavy influences in almost all other styles currently available. The music takes form from blues but also inflection and instrumentation from country, latin, and jazz. This is the first genre that is hard to define because of its large use.
  • The Mambo Craze

    The Mambo Craze
    For a short time in the 1950s, America became mezmerized by the mambo. It became very popular with songs like Perez Prado's "Mambo No. 5."
  • The Cover Song

    In the 1950s, bands began cover other artist's songs. That is, playing a version of the other band's song. This has stayed a common practice through today.
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    The precurser to Motown, this genre used characteristics of R&B and also barbershop. Getting its name from the use of nonsense syllables like 'doo' and 'wop' as background parts.
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    Michael Jackson

    This pop artist is one of the most well known and influencial artists in the pop music world. He put an emphasis on his videos and albums as a whole.
  • Phil Specter

    Phil Spector, born in 1939, was a large influence on music. He pioneered the 'Wall of Sound" and used the "Teenage Symphony" recording technique for his new and large sound.
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    This genre gets its name from the label the majority of the artists appeared on called Motown. They all had a distinctive sound that was a mixture of doo-wop, R&B, and Rock.
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    The British Invation

    This is a time when a rather large amount of British music became popular in America with bands like The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones.
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    Soul is a style name that became used in around 1965. It included artists like Ray Charles but also those like James Brown known as the "God Father of Soul." It has a main characteristic of very emotional singing and the backing bands generally had a horn section with R&B rhythms.
  • Glam Rock

    Along with other forms of rock, Glam rock was very popular in the 70s. It was based on concepts and telling stories with music and costumes. David Bowie is an important name in the Glam Rock world.
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    As punk became a hugely popular genre there was a counter culture development called punk. This genre used similar sounds to the rock at the time but more heavily distorted as well as much more rough a sound in general. The vocals are almost yelling and the guitars very harsh.
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    This genre grew out of funk and soul as an alternative to Rock and Roll. It was music played at the dance clubs that became known as discos. It also had a heavy influence of electronic music as well.
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    Not sure of an exact end date I estimated where this styles popularity dropped. This genre acts as an extension of soul with more upbeat and energized rhythms compared to the already energetic soul. It has a very distinctive sound in the guitar and bass guitar.
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    Starting in the very late 70s, Alternative became widely used to describe many different sounds. Some sides of it are folk inspired while the other side is very heavily inspired by metal and heavier rock, either way, this genre is an 'Alternative' to the mainstream rock of the time. It has continued to grow through today.
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    Beginning in the early 80s, hip-hop is a genre that 'samples' other music and uses these as a backing track to new rap and melodies. This genre, taking on characteristics of almost every other style, became almost instantly popular.
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    Electronic Dance Music

    This is a genre that sprung up out of disco and other electronic genres. It is a music that focuses on investigating the sounds you could and can make on electronic devices. It continues on today in genres like Dubstep.
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    The country genre as we know it today has been around since 1990. There has always been country music from bluegrass to hillbilly music but this is when the current populaized version began to rise in popularity.