Essay: America Popular Music

Pages: 3 (822 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper

America Popular Music

The objective of this work is to discuss popular music in America today as well as to examine today's musicians. This work will historically place today's music in context and will discuss the style of music of today.

Popular music, "...reflects a kaleidoscope of contributions, a cross-fertilization of styles and a blending of dreams. It could hardly be otherwise in this nation of immigrants." (Starr and Waterman, nd) Just as America is the melting pot of many nations the many and various forms of music that traveled with people as they immigrated to America is integrated within the fabric of American music. Starr and Waterman state that the United States "is a perfect musical laboratory: take people from every corner of the globe, give them freedom to create. Distribute their effort: by sheet music, phonograph, radio- or, for the younger ready: by Blu-ray Disc, mp3, Internet stream. And what results! European ballads recast with African polyrhythmic textures or blended with a Cuban-flavored habanera (boldfaced terms are defined in the glossary) or a more "refined" rumba. "Cold" bop. "Hot" jazz. "Acid" rock. "Gangsta" rap." (Starr and Waterman, nd)

I. SOURCES of POPULAR MUSIC in AMERICA

Starr and Water man writes that American popular music was "almost entirely European in character...until the middle of the 19th century..." (nd) Because the English language was dominant in the United States the music of the Europeans "established early on a kind of mainstream around which other styles circulated." (Starr and Waterman, nd) Influencing early popular music were Irish, Scottish and Italian songs." (Starr and Waterman, nd) French settlers influenced music in North American and the Caribbean and millions immigrated from Ireland and Germany followed by waves of migration which included Cajun fiddling, Jewish klezmer music and the Polish polka, all contributing to the popular mainstream music.

According to Starr and Waterman: "The genesis of African-American music in the United States involved two closely related processes. The first of these was syncretism, the selective blending of traditions derived from Africa and Europe. The second was the creation of institutions that became important centers of black musical life -- the family, the church, the voluntary association, the school, and so on." (Starr and Waterman, nd) Certain features of African music form the core of African-American music and, by extension, of American popular music as a whole." (Starr and Waterman, nd) Included in African-American music that was integrated into the American music are the following:

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