Appalachian Music and Culture By Caroline Daniell MUS 1234
How to Define Appalachian MusicThe Region of the Appalachian Mountains include: Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Kentucky West Virginia Virginia Pennsylvania Parts of Ohio and Maryland(underlined = region of focus of this ppt) http://www.geology.iupui.edu/Researc h/BioMineralLab/Ocoee/overview.html
How to Define Appalachian MusicInfluences included: Celtic ballads Anglo-Saxon African American Music Gospel
Fun Fact!The formation of the Appalachian Mountains appealed to poorer people looking for cheaper, unwanted land such as the accordion-like steep ridges, full of foliage entanglements like mountain laurel, and therefore difficult to transverse, alongside valleys and hollers full of generally agriculturally useless soil.
History of Appalachian Culture and MusicImmigrants from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and Wales attempted to recreate the instruments of their homelands. Some exact copies, some approximations. Difficult terrain kept inhabitants somewhat isolated which kept music and culture highly preserved for many generations. Cumberland gap discovered in 1750 that led to fertile Kentucky bluegrass country enabling music and culture to also flourish.
History of Appalachian Culture and Music ContdTwo Periods Traditional Music- Early 18th century- 1900,Ballads and Dance, from Anglo-Celtic Immigrants, todays version known as Bluegrass “Old Time Music”- 1900-1930, blends of traditional with parlour and vaudeville, African- American styles, and Minstrel Show tunes
Traditional Music Based on Anglo-Celtic folk ballads and instrumental dance tunes Many times sung unaccompanied Tonal, nasal quality, like the accents of these regions also do Celtic variations to reflect American locations, contexts, and occupations with American Christian influence
Bluegrass versus Old Time Music OT songs are about whiskey and food. BG songs are about God, mother and the girl who did me wrong. If the girlfriend isn’t murdered by the third verse, it ain’t Bluegrass OT bands have nonsense names like “Hoss Hair Pullers” “Fruit Jar Drinkers” and “Skillet Lickers”. BG bands have serious gender-specific name like “Bluegrass Boys,” “Foggy Mountain Boys,” and “Clinch Mountain Boys” http://bluegrasswest.com/wordpress
Bluegrass Versus Old Time Music Contd The most common OT keys are major and modal (i.e. minor). BG uses major, mixolydian, Dorian and minor keys A BG band has between 1 and 3 singers who are singing about an octave above their natural vocal range. Some OT bands have no singers at all. A BG band has a vocal orchestrator who arranges duet, trio and quartet harmonies. In an OT band, anyone who feels like it can sing or make comments during the performance. All BG tunes & songs last 3 minutes. OT tunes & songs sometimes last all night.
Legends of Appalachian MusicBill Monroe Father of Bluegrass-invented the style and name Formed the Blue Grass Boys in 1940s Bluegrass Hall of Honor and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Medal of the Arts Check out an awesome tune by Bill and the Blue Grass Boys! Blue Moon of Kentucky
Legends of Appalachian MusicThe Carter Family Recorded over 300 old-time ballads, traditional tunes, country songs, and gospel hymns Original members were Mother Maybelle Addington Carter(guitar and sang harmony), Sara Dougherty(dulcimer, alto lead) Alviln Pleasant(A.P.) Carter(fiddle My Favorite Carter and sang bass) Family Tune: Will the Circle be Originated in mountains of Virginia Unbroken and eventually landed in the Grand Ole Opry in Knoxville, Tennessee
Legends of Appalachian MusicRalph Stanley Born in Stratton, VA Banjo player, clawhammer style Formed Stanley Brothers with his brother Carter http://www.last.fm/music/Ralph+St anley Focused on Gospel-like until Carters death in 1966, then Ralph sang grieving and haunting melodies such as Man of Constant Sorrow
Legends of Appalachian MusicEarl Scruggs Born into a very musical family in North Carolina Played unique style of Banjo, with 3 fingers, since age 10 Invited to play in BlueGrass Boys with Bill Monroe and on the Grand Ole Opry Joined with Lester Flatts to form Foggy Mountain Boys Recently passed away March 28, 2012
Instruments used in Appalachian Music Guitar Mandolin *Notice limited percussion instruments* Fiddle Banjo Dulcimer Spoons Bass
Guitar Often primary instrument Sets melody of song Single or Multiple used Strummed and Picked Body sometimes used as percussion or count in
Fiddle AKA Violin in classical music Bowed and sometimes Plucked 4 or 5 Strings
Dulcimer Also known as: Appalachian dulcimer, lap dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, dulcimore, dulcymore, harmony, harmonium, and hog fiddle Played on lap Multiple variations Strummed and picked
Banjo Essentially a cross between a snare drum and a guitar 6 strings High tones Unique three finger picking style My Uncle!
Spoons and Household Instruments Spoons-played between hands and thigh Washboard-strummed Jug- blown like a flute Percussion sources
Mandolin Smaller, 12 string instrument Played high on chest Higher tones Unique Picking style
BassStanding Bass used in Appalachian music Plucked, not Bowed Sets back beat instead of percussion
Dancing Styles to Appalachian Music Based on Celtic dancing styles Follow the music A form of percussion for the music − Clogging − Flatfooting − Buckdancing − Square dancing
Clogging Based on Celtic dancing Clogging is a rhythmic, percussive dancing style that goes with Appalachian music. Can be done individually or in a group or square dance (as seen in video below). The dancers respond the the caller as he announces the next moves. Clogging
FlatfootingOne of the styles of dance that involves a lot of irregular steps and shuffle with no hopping or springing found in cloggingCheck out this example! Flat Footing
Why did I chose Appalachian Music?This type of music was the music of my homeland and ancestors. My family is from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. I grew up listening and participating in Bluegrass Jam sessions with my father and Uncle and their band, attending festivals. I even got a chance to meet Ralph Stanley!This music is near and dear to my heart.I hope you have enjoyed the history and experience of Appalachian Music, both Bluegrass and Old Time. − Caroline Daniell