MUS118 Ch 2

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Outline of Chapter 2 from The Beat Goes On: Popular Music in America

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MUS118 Ch 2

  1. 1. Chapter Two Popular Music in the 19 th Century
  2. 2. Anglo-American – Americans of English, Scottish, Welsh, or Irish ancestry
  3. 3. Oral tradition: Passed on by ear
  4. 4. Breakdown – up-tempo fiddle tune for dancing
  5. 5. Fiddle tunes <ul><li>Music for barn dance not concert stage </li></ul><ul><li>Music considered “uncultivated” </li></ul><ul><li>Recurring chorus influenced popular music </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wttuP200fGM </li></ul><ul><li>Listen: “Old Joe Clark” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Minstrelsy 1840s <ul><li>Set in motion a revolution in American popular music. </li></ul><ul><li>Minstrel songs became part of fabric of American life </li></ul>
  7. 7. Folk elements – songs, fiddle, bones = new sound http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4NEr0SI3vc&feature=related
  8. 8. Blackface <ul><li>Performers smeared burnt cork on their faces to portray themselves as blacks </li></ul>
  9. 9. Minstrel Show <ul><li>3 main performers </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interlocutor – master of ceremonies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Endmen – Tambo (tambourine) and Bones (animal bones used as percussion) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Main Characters of Minstrel Show <ul><li>Jim Crow = country bumpkin/ uneducated </li></ul><ul><li>Zip Coon = city guy urban dandy </li></ul>
  11. 11. Importance of Minstrel Show <ul><li>First stage entertainment in America </li></ul><ul><li>Primary purpose to entertain – not uplift/educate </li></ul><ul><li>Minstrel show was catalyst for American popular song </li></ul>
  12. 12. Example - “De Boatman’s Dance” <ul><li>Verse/chorus, instrumentation, upbeat tempo </li></ul><ul><li>Pseudo dialect, little authentic African-American music </li></ul>
  13. 13. Stephen Foster (1826-1864) <ul><li>Most important 19 th- Century American songwriter </li></ul>
  14. 14. Parlor Songs <ul><li>Simple, genteel </li></ul><ul><li>Voice and piano </li></ul><ul><li>Amateur </li></ul>
  15. 15. Plantation Songs <ul><li>Hybrid – merger of minstrel/parlor </li></ul><ul><li>Parlor sentiment/ Minstrel theme </li></ul>Example – “Old Folks at Home”
  16. 16. African-American entertainers after the Civil War <ul><li>Jubilee Choirs – spirituals </li></ul><ul><li>African-American minstrels – incorporate spirituals = minstrel-spirituals </li></ul>
  17. 17. First Black Entertainers <ul><li>More popular in minstrel shows </li></ul><ul><li>Had to perpetuate the white stereo-types of plantation life – acting and blackface </li></ul>
  18. 18. Legacy of Minstrel Show <ul><li>Entertainment for masses – not to uplift/educate </li></ul><ul><li>Used vernacular speech/music </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis of middle-class song/folk = a new style </li></ul><ul><li>Use of dance music in mainstream – first instance </li></ul>
  19. 19. Cakewalk <ul><li>From minstrel show </li></ul><ul><li>High stepping/syncopated dance </li></ul><ul><li>Prize was a cake </li></ul>
  20. 20. Diversity in Popular Stage Entertainment after the Civil War <ul><li>Minstrel show made it clear that there was a market </li></ul><ul><li>Improvements in everyday life </li></ul><ul><li>Audience grew with immigration </li></ul>
  21. 21. Vaudeville – variety show <ul><li>Singers, dancers, comics, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>No sense of unity </li></ul><ul><li>Ca.1870: Replaced minstrel show as most popular form of entertainment in US </li></ul><ul><li>Remained until 1930s – Depression </li></ul>
  22. 22. Revue – loosely joined show <ul><li>Based on European operas </li></ul><ul><li>Watered down </li></ul><ul><li>Irreverent, unrelated acts </li></ul><ul><li>Thin plot all taken from minstrel show </li></ul>
  23. 23. Operetta – told stories of far-away places, long ago, exotic locations <ul><li>Fairy-tale settings </li></ul><ul><li>Lite classical music for cultural elite </li></ul>
  24. 24. Quickly Developing Popular Music <ul><li>2 decades before the Civil War = birth of popular music </li></ul><ul><li>3 decades after = birth of popular music industry </li></ul>
  25. 25. Tin Pan Alley <ul><li>Sound of song-pluggers sounded like tin pans crashing </li></ul>
  26. 26. Dance Rhythms in popular songs <ul><li>Waltz songs – ¾ time </li></ul><ul><li>Example – “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” </li></ul>
  27. 27. Band Music <ul><li>Concert band- most popular instrumental ensemble of late 19 th century </li></ul>
  28. 28. John Philip Sousa – 1854-1932 – “The March King” <ul><li>Precision/musicianship </li></ul><ul><li>Marches, popular tunes, originals, classical pieces, virtuoso soloists </li></ul><ul><li>Example: “The Stars and Stripes Forever http://lcweb2.loc.gov/natlib/ihas/service/patriotic/100010504/100010504.mp3 </li></ul>
  29. 29. Importance of Sousa and Foster <ul><li>Most famous works were immediately popular and remain popular </li></ul><ul><li>Finest examples in the genre </li></ul><ul><li>Music is uniquely American, with no African influence </li></ul>

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