Origins of the Popular Style

Origins of the Popular Style : Antecedents of Twentieth-century Popular Music

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The author examines the origins of popular music, tracing its roots in the musical traditions of earlier times. He looks at the Arab world of the Middle Ages, Europe and Britain and pays particular attention to Africa, covering speech, song and instrumental sounds, end-orientation and end-repetition, and note position versus note length. This is followed by a history of North American music with reference to both white and black influences, and to vocal music such as worksongs, sea shanties, spirituals, dance songs, ballads and blues. The theoretical foundation of popular styles is covered and there is a history of the development of the blues in Africa, North America and Britain. The author concludes with an examination of parlour music and ragtime. Throughout the work, reference is made to particular musical examples which are shown in the text.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 365 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 725.74g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 159 music examples, bibliography, index
  • 0193161214
  • 9780193161214

Table of contents

Introduction. Part 1 The historical background: Europe and the Near East, including the Arab world of the Middle Ages, British folk music; Africa, including the Afro-Arab culture, some fundamentals of African music; North America, including white and black music, instrumental and vocal music. Part 2 The theoretical foundation: the matrix; modality; wholeness; the beat. Part 3 The blues: the uniqueness of the blues, including blues in American music, blues mode and the twelve-bar form; African origins of the blues, including the talking blues, blues accompaniment, Afro-American rhythm; British origins of the blues, including proto-rock and roll; blues harmony, including the history of Gregory Walker, primitive harmony; the riddle of the twelve-bar blues. Part 4 Parlour music and ragtime: the parlour modes; parlour harmony; parlour rhythm; ragtime; some final reflections. List of musical examples. Works cited. Glossary. Index.
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