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1. Compare and contrast the following styles of black pop in the 1970s
Be sure to provide examples of songs and musicians. Consider both musical sounds and cultural/social aspects of the 3 musical styles. What do the similarities and differences of these styles say about popular music in the 1970s.
- Reflection of Rastafarian Religion
- Associated with Dreadlocks and Marijuana
- Musical Characteristics built on Ska and RockSteady
- Can be seen as a parallel consequence of 1950s and 60s black pop
- Similar in many ways to 70s black pop, and this is due in large part to the common influence of earlier styles of black popular music
- Goes mainstream b/c of film The Harder They Come and Eric Clapton's cover of Marley's "I Shot the Sherriff"
- Bob Marley and the Wailers "Get up, Stand UP."
- Social Characteristics:
- Started in gay clubs, became focal point of gay liberation
- Associated with cocaine
- Unrestrained sexuality in dance
- Glitter Attire
- DJ species of pop artist
- Musical Characteristics:
- Pop-oriented dance music
- most important charactistic is the relentless, throbbing, insistent funky bass-driven pulse in unsyncopated 4/4
- Produced in studio using synthesizers and drum machines
- Lush strings orchestrations, predominant use of the percussion instruments, vocal charts
- Disco returned authority to producers
- Brill Building/Motown models used to make records
- Went mainstream with film "Saturday Night Fever"
- The Trammps "Disco Inferno"
- Most important element: rhythmic groove
- Rhythm section instruments prominant, especiall bass
- Horns used for riffs, not melodies
- Minimalism: simple 2 and 4 bar repeating phrases that create a trance-like effect.
- Vocalists employ shrieks, screams, grunts,
- Polyrhythmic layering
- Earthiest form of black pop to date
- Sly and the Family Stone "I Want to Take You Higher"
2. Compare the punk and new wave movements of the 1970s. Be sure to give song examples in your answer.
A. How were both musical styles received by the recording industry?
- Because of the sometimes aggressive and dangerous images associated with punk, American record labels were quick to tone down the style, producing a style they dubbed "new wave"
- Late 70s, the sudden excitment drew interest from US record companies. Fear of punk bands kept them from signing CBGB's bands
2. B) Who are the important musicians and bands associated with both music genres?
- MC5, New York Dolls, Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, The Clash
- New Wave:
- Talking Heads
- The Cars
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- Elvis Costello
2. C) How do the musical styles and images for both differ?
- reckless disdain for convention
- aggressive and dangerous images
- about the attitude, not the music
- typically, untrained musicians, fearless performers, disenchanted youth
- New York Dolls: "Back in the USA"
- New Wave:
- a friendlier punk
- poppier, less offensive, clever lyrics
- more of an artsy aesthetic statement
- Talking Heads: "Once in a Lifetime"
3. Discuss the development of MTV into a full-fledged network in the 1980s.
A. How did musicians such as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna use videos to tie visual imagery and personae into their music?
- MTV allowed new ways of projecting their music and the images that went with it.
- Jackson's videos showcased his enormous dancing skill, which made his videos a cut above the rest
- Madonna used videos to bring up imp. social issues. She cast herself as a sex object in order to call it into question.
- Prince developed his image as a sexually charged and somewhat androgynous figure
3. B) What were some of the general criticisms of MTV in regard to music and imager?
it tended to privilege the visual aspects of artists over the musical ones
5. Trace the development of rap in relation to hip-hop culture from the 1970s to a mainstream musical style of the 1980s.
A) What are the imp. musical elements and performance techniques associated with rap music, and what inds. contributed to these developments?
- Scratching-popularized by Grandmaster Flash
- Afrika Bambaataa credited with giving the name "hip-hop" to the culture
- Hip-Hop DJs such as Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash can claim credit for innovations in mixing that would affect most rap.
5. B)How did rap music break into the mainstream?
Sugar Hill Gang released "Rapper's Delight." It went to nmber 4 on R&B charts that year and number 36 on pop charts.
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