Popular Music of the 20th and 21st centuries

Revision cards covering all the topics within Popular Music. Currently unfinished

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Tom
  • Created on: 25-04-12 19:58

Blues

Rhythm and Metre

  • Usually in 4/4
  • Syncopation and rhythmic flexibility common in melody
  • Accompaniment uses swung rhythms and triplets

Harmony and Tonality

  • 12 bar blues - with variants
  • Triads often extended into 7th chords

Timbre and Dynamics

  • A rough, growling style of singing is common
  • This is sometimes imitated by the brass section
  • Popular instruments include: voice, piano, guitar, double bass, drum kit, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, harmonica
1 of 10

Blues - cont.

Texture and Melody

  • The melody can often sound quite improvisatory in style
  • It is frequently based around a limited range of notes and is fairly repetitive
  • Four-bar phrases common
  • Call and response may sometimes be used

Structure and Form

  • 12 bar blues pattern is repeated throughout the song
  • Each statement of the 12 bar sequence forms a verse
  • May contain 3 or more verses and an instrumental solo
  • Common for lyrics of each verse to consist of 3 phrases, in AAB form
2 of 10

Rock

Rhythm and Metre

  • Usually in 4/4
  • Often with a heavy emphises on the bacbeats or all four beats

Harmony and Tonality

  • Frequently based around chords I, IV and V
  • Power chords are common (root and fifth of a chord)
  • Heavy metal uses some dissonant intervals such as tritones

Timbre and Dynamics

  • Often dominated by powerful electric guitar sound
  • Singers are usually male and sing in a 'macho', rough style
  • In live concerts rock music is generally played at a very loud dynamic
3 of 10

Rock - cont.

Texture and Melody

  • Often a melody and accompaniment texture with:
    • Drums providing a strong pulse
    • Bass guitar adding a bass line
    • Rhythm guitar playing chords
    • Solo guitar providing counter melodies and solos
    • Vocalist singing the main melody
  • The vocal melody is usually repetitive and catchy
  • Guitar solos often feature virtuoso playing, with fast runs, pitch bends and special guitar techniques

Structure and Form

  • A verse-chorus structure is common, with a guitar solo in the bridge
4 of 10

R 'n' B

Rhythm and Metre

  • Usually in  4/4 with a laid-back tempo
  • A tight, syncopated rhythmic backing is programmed using a drum machine or sequencer

Harmony and Tonality

  • Mostly simple, diatonic harmonies

Timbre and Dynamics

  • The instrumental backing is usually made up from synthesised and sampled sounds
  • Singers are often female and have a smooth style of singing influenced by soul
  • Rapping will sometimes appear
5 of 10

R 'n' B - cont.

Texture and Melody

  • The melody and accompaniment texture is frequently made up of:
    • Rhythmic backing track
    • Synthesised bass line
    • Another instrument to fill in the harmony
    • A vocal melody
  • The vocal lines often use ornamentation and melismas
  • Melodies are usually simple and catchy

Structure and Form

  • Songs usually have a verse-chorus structure
6 of 10

Hip Hop

Rhythm and Metre

  • Usually in 4/4
  • The words of a rap are often quick and syncopated
  • Frequently uses backbeat rhythms - samples of syncopated drum solos
  • Complex but repetitive rhythmic patterns - produced by layers of sampled and looped sounds

Harmony and Tonality

  • Little use of harmony - emphasis on rhythm 
  • When harmony appears, it will often be a simple, looped chord pattern

Timbre and Dynamics

  • Instrumental backing made up of synthesised and sampled sounds
  • Over a rap there may be other vocal sounds such as shouts or singing
7 of 10

Hip Hop - cont.

Texture and Melody

  • Layered textures are built up from loops
  • The chorus is often based on a very simple, repetitive melody

Structure and Form

  • Songs usually have a verse-chorus structure, or a structure built up from layers of loops similar to dance music
8 of 10

Music Theatre (Musicals)

Key Features:

  • Consist of alternating sections of spoken dialogue and songs
  • Contain a variety of different types of song, such as:
    • Ballads (slow and emotional)
    • Patter songs (fast and comic)
    • Production numbers (involving most of the cast)
  • Songs are often sung in a theatrical way
  • Music depicts or complements the on-stage drama
  • The accompaniment is usually played by a band or small orchestra
  • Music is normally in a popular style - such as jazz or rock
  • The harmony is usually diatonic, but richer than in pop music
  • Melodies are designed to be memorable and catchy - contains lots of repetition 
  • Singers often use rubato to express the words
  • 32-bar song form is very common
9 of 10

Film Music

Musical ideas intent to convey:

  • A mood or emotion (such as love, sadness, excitement or fear)
  • Someone's character (such as evil, kind, funny or strong)
  • An event (such as as race, battle or storm)
  • A general atmosphere (such as birdsong-like music for a scene set in the countryside)
  • A certain place (such as using the French National Anthem for a scene set in Paris)
  • A particular time of history (such as Baroque music for the 17th century)
10 of 10

Comments

Grace

Discusses Blues music

Tom

The rest will follow

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »See all resources »