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Music In Society: The Evolution Of Rap Music In America

1378 words - 6 pages

Vasudha Goel

Ms. Hummel

AP Writing C

21 March 2014

Lit Review- General Topic: Music in Society; How has rap music’s influence evolved in American society since its creation, and how has its lyrics

By the beginning of the next century, French and Russian ideas were taking hold. The new composers sought to include more ethnic influences in their music. “Those ethnic elements fell into three main areas that dominated much serious music during the 20th century. The first was American Indian, real or imagined. Chants, melodies, and primitive fantasies and dances were considered Indian elements. The most important example of this style was the Indian Suite for orchestra by Edward MacDowell. ...view middle of the document...

In 1914, W.C. Handy published the "St. Louis Blues," the first blues song. “The best-known early blues singers were women, who usually appeared with jazz bands during the 1920s. Although their original audiences were black, the blues soon developed a following among whites. Several decades later, the urban blues was developed by big bands in cities like Chicago, Kansas City, and Memphis, led by African-American musicians. Offshoots from the blues included "boogie-woogie," a piano style, and "soul music," a blend of blues, jazz, and gospel. The most important soul singers of this time included Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin.
Jazz was the most long-lasting and influential music to come from the African-American background. Both blacks and whites developed and popularized jazz. One of the most important jazz artists was Louis Armstrong, who was known for his improvisation on the cornet and trumpet.”
Jazz had been marked by improvisations among the musicians so that the same piece might take on different forms. New forms developed, including disco in the 1970s and rap in the 1980s. By the beginning of the 21st century, the different forms of rock remained dominant in American music.
The final major movement in American music is country. “Country music grew out of the folk music of rural Southern white culture, especially the Anglo-Celtic. Overshadowed during the 1960s and 1970s by rock and roll, country underwent a rebirth during the 1980s. By the 1990s, country music had attracted a significant audience in both the United States and around the world.”
Citation: Watts, Tim. "American music." In American History. ABC-CLIO, 2000-. Accessed March 18, 2014.
As the century 20th progressed, the definition of folk music expanded to include the song styles - particularly the blues - of Southern blacks.””
In the 1960s, awareness of folk songs and musicians grew, and popular musicians began to draw on folk music, which became a form of popular music itself, popularized by singer/songwriters such as Bob Dylan. Music writers looked for new ways to describe the diverse array of musical styles still being sung and played in communities across America. “Roots music" is now used to refer to this broad range of musical genres, which include blues, gospel, traditional country, zydeco, tejano, and native American pow-wow.
Songs are an important cultural form through which people assert and preserve their own histories in the face of changing social conditions. Spirituals sung by African-American slaves; protest songs sung by 1960s youth suggest how music has been a response to historical and cultural conflict and an expressive vehicle that encouraged collective action. Contemporary singer-songwriters from many different ethnic backgrounds use music as a way to call attention to injustice. It draws on the lived experience of ordinary men and women, who were and often still are defined and limited by cultural...

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