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Category Archives: Music

Famous Musicians of Harlem Renaissance

The African-Americans gained new-found freedom through the renaissance and expressed it through the form of music and jazz. The musicians and singers formed The Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom, which didn’t just attract the black crowd, but also the white people as much, making African-American music a rage in the 1920s.

Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington (29th April, 1899 – 24th May, 1974)

Ellington was an African-American music composer, pianist, band leader, and the 20th century’s best-known artist. He brought many great artists together and formed one of the most well-known orchestral units in the history of jazz musicians. He recorded for many famous American record companies and acted in several films as well. Ellington earned 13 Grammy awards from 1959 to 2000 for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Best Jazz Performance By A Big Band, etc. He was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame awards for several performances, including Mood Indigo (1931), It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing – 1932), Cocktails for Two (1934), amongst many others. Among the many honors he received for promoting music, a new coin featuring him was launched by the United States Mint on 24th Feb, 2009. Ellington led his band and toured America constantly, until his death in 1974.

Lil Hardin Armstrong (3rd February, 1898 – 27th August, 1971)

Hardin was a jazz pianist, composer, singer, and even led a band for a while. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in a deeply religious family that did not approve of popular music and the blues. She was only allowed to learn and practice Christian hymns, spirituals, and classics on the piano at home. However, she nursed a deep desire for music that was different from what she was learning. She started working in different musical orchestras as a pianist, like the Dreamland, which belonged to Mae Brady, a violinist. In her career, she performed in many concerts, solo, as well as in collaboration with many other fellow artists. Some of her works include Struttin’ With Some Barbecue, Don’t Jive Me, Knee Drops, Just For a Thrill, etc. She died while performing a live televised memorial concert for Louis Armstrong (her former husband), on 27th August, 1971.

William ‘Count’ Basie (21st August, 1904 – 26th April, 1984)

Basie was born in New Jersey, and was an accomplished award-winning jazz pianist and composer, among many other things. He formed the popular band Count Basie Orchestra, and was considered as one of the most important jazz band leaders of his time. He is attributed with bringing many artists into the limelight, like the tenor saxophonists, Lester Young and Herschel Evans and trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison. He acted in movies such as Sugar Chile Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and His Sextet (1950), Cinderfella (1960) and Blazing Saddles (1974). He won nine Grammy awards for the Best Jazz Performance by a Group (1958), Best Jazz Performance By A Soloist – Instrumental (1976), and four Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. Among the many honors bestowed on Basie, the most recent include his induction into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007), and a Count Basie 32-cent postage stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office in September 1996. Basie died of pancreatic cancer on 26th April, 1984, and is recognized as a legend of his time.

James Price Johnson (1st February, 1894 – 17th November, 1955)

James Johnson, also known as Jimmy, was born in New Jersey, and was an African-American pianist and composer. As a young boy, he studied classical music and ragtime. Johnson was a composer at par, and is attributed for the creation of a keyboard-bending genre known as stride piano. The craze generated by his original dance tune called the Charleston has never been matched till date. He could not only combine ragtime and jazz piano styles, but also transcend between them with effortless ease. Besides Charleston, his other famous dance number or theme tunes were If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight), You’ve Got to Be Modernistic, Baby Don’t Cry, Keep off the Grass, Old Fashioned Love, A Porter’s Love Song to a Chambermaid, Carolina Shout and Snowy Morning Blues. He created music for symphonic pieces, light opera, waltzes and ballet. He created the background scores for memorable movies like the Casablanca (1942), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Alex & Emma (2003) and Perfect Stranger (2007). The U.S. Post Office honored Johnson by issuing a James P. Johnson 32-cent commemorative postage stamp on 16th September, 1995. Amongst many other recognitions and honors that he received, the most recent was his induction into the ‘ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame’ in 2007. He died in Jamaica, New York State, on 17th November, 1955.

“Harlem was not so much a place as a state of mind, the cultural metaphor for black America itself” ~ Rhapsodies in Black, Henry Louis Gates Jr., 1997.

The Harlem Renaissance cultural movement started between 1920 and 1930, and was spearheaded from the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, hence the name. It was also known by various other names like the New Negro movement and the New Negro Renaissance. It marked the beginning of African-American literature along with its music, theater, art and politics.

One of the many effects of the 1930s Great Depression was the regression of the Harlem Renaissance cultural movement. However, in a short period of ten years, it left behind a legacy that still influences some of the greatest music, even today.

Reasons Why Women Love to Date Musicians

Women, what is it about men with picks in their grasp and drums at their feet, that we can’t help? How can it be that we’re so goddamn pulled in to anybody holding or strumming a guitar? Why do we give men who can read music quite a lot more acceptance?

They are Kids at Heart
Just because they write serious, soul searching songs, doesn’t mean they are going to behave like grown-ups 24/7. These masterminds love engaging in their favorite sports, playing video games, or listening to various types of music to unwind. They will always poke fun and joke around with the guys, and there’s rarely a boring moment when around them.

They Have Great Concentration Power
Musicians concentrate until they are done with a particular segment of music. Concentration is in their genes, and it percolates to their private lives too, making them devoted lovers. About the common view that men fall through their eyes and women through their ears, musicians are able to make an exception; they tend to process both auditory as well as visual cues, thus making women believe musicians listen and understand them more.

They Write Songs and Serenade
Musicians don’t need to be sad to compose tunes. They can be cheerful, exhausted, and in love. They think of such capable verses, that, if the songs are for you, you’ll be swept off your feet. Exaggerated? In no way, shape or form. While some might compose tender verses, others would compose verses that won’t sound good to you, but the words will have intense meaning. Despite how baffled or uncomplicated the lyrics are, you have an entire tune devoted to you.

The Fantastical Lifestyle
Any man who has dedicated his life to an instrument will never live like a stock broker or techie. They are the crème de al crème when it comes to fascinating and unusual lifestyles. You might get to peek into the fantasy world they have created when they have nothing to do but spend days in bed writing songs.

They are Hot
Of course, musicians are hot! These men are experts in the art of seduction, and know how to make the ladies swoon.

Free Movers and Packers
Need a pickup and some muscle to move your stuff? Here they are. You’ll have a free transporting service with the band van and the dudes with muscles to heave and move your stuff. Though, don’t expect them to help you arrange it for you.

Free Backstage and VIP Passes
When you are dating a musician, you are invited to all his gigs. You even tend to get free backstage and VIP passes to share with your friends. You don’t need to even pay for the tickets. And, you may be called onstage!!!!

Free Music Lessons
Have you always wanted to learn a musical instrument? Dating a musician will just help you out there.
They are Confident

Ladies search for a man who is sure about himself and his activities. Another reason why they love musicians is that, a larger part of artists have a general quality of certainty. Why? Because they have had experience performing before others, exposing their feelings and interests to the crowd, and satisfying them with their specialty.

Jazz musician famous

Jazz music is characterized by its liveliness accompanied by strong and complex rhythms. It originated during the early years of the 20th century in the African-American community. Instruments like the saxophone, piano, trumpet, and clarinet are typically used in jazz music. The basis of jazz music has much of its roots present in blues and improvisational music. The lyrics are about every day events and feelings.

Popular American music of the time such as soul, funk, and R&B, played a very important role in changing the feel and theme of jazz music along the years. This is another reason why, jazz has evolved tremendously over the years and can be credited to have led to the creation of other music genres. This Buzzle article mentions some of the famous jazz musicians of all time.

Art Tatum
The God: Of Piano
(October 13, 1909 – November 5, 1956)
In 1989, he was posthumously bestowed the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Arthur “Art” Tatum, Jr. was born with cataracts which left him completely blind in one eye and spared very little sight in the other. Both his parents were musicians and he was raised listening to gospel music. Arthur Tatum, Sr. was a guitarist and played at the Grace Presbyterian Church and Art’s mother, Mildred Hoskins played the piano. Since Art was raised in a musical family, music came quite naturally to “Art”, who played by ear and learned songs by simply listening to them a few times. Tatum learned music and braille at the Columbus School for the Blind. Tatum was also taught by the visually impaired piano instructor, Overton G. Rainey, who discouraged his students from playing jazz and stopped them from improvising, and instead, insisted on focusing on traditional classical piano.

Tatum found a slot at the Toledo radio station WSPD, where he was called “Arthur Tatum, Toledo’s Blind Pianist”. Eventually he got his own show at the radio station. By the age of 19, he was performing at the Waiters’ and Bellmens’ Club which began to be visited often by artists such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, who wanted to hear this new musical sensation. Tatum was hired by Harlem Renaissance singer Adelaide Hall, who took him on her tours and recorded some of her songs with him. By then he had become well-known in the music circuit and had gained immense respect for playing “Tea for Two” at the cutting contest at Morgan’s bar in 1933 in New York. In 1941, he recorded the song “Wee Wee Baby Blues” with Big Joe Turner, which became one of the most popular songs of that time! Art Tatum died from uremia which was caused by kidney failure.

Joe “King” Oliver
The King
May 11, 1885 – April 8, 1938
“If it had not been for Joe Oliver, Jazz would not be what it is today.” – Louis Armstrong
Joseph Nathan Oliver was born in Louisiana and came to work in New Orleans. Joe “King” Oliver was one of the most prominent cornet players, bandleader, and composer of jazz music. He began his career by playing in brass and dance bands in New Orleans and also played at places in Storyville, the red-light district of the city. Oliver left for Chicago with his wife and daughter after the racial segregation. Jim Crow laws made it difficult for Oliver to find jobs. In Chicago he began working with fellow musicians from New Orleans, and these included clarinetist Lawrence Duhé, Bill Johnson, Paul Barbarin, and Roy Palmer. He became the bandleader for Duhé’s band and began performing at some of the biggest clubs in Chicago. Oliver’s popularity as a brilliant and versatile cornet player spread like wildfire and soon the band was touring in Oakland and San Francisco. During this time, people started calling him “King Oliver” and so he changed the name of his band to King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band. Oliver had taken a great liking for cornet player Louis Armstrong, whom he taught and mentored for several years.

During the 1920s, Oliver increased the number of musicians in his band, which now had nine members. They called themselves, King Oliver and his Dixie Syncopators and were performing written arrangements that incorporated more and more jazz solos. However, Joe “King” Oliver’s career as a cornet artist took a downturn because of his incessant gum infection, which made it extremely difficult for him to perform. Instead, he began managing the band while he hired other artists to play the cornet during shows. Despite being such a reigning success in the jazz world, Joe “King” Oliver died a pauper. Having lost all his life, saving to a Chicago bank that shut down, he spent the remaining years of his life working as a janitor at Wimberly’s Recreation Hall in Savannah. He was diagnosed with arteriosclerosis and eventually succumbed to this condition.

Louis Armstrong
The King of the Trumpet
August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971
In 1972, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to jazz music.
He was an American jazz trumpeter and singer. He was born in a poor family and had to spend his youth in poverty. His father abandoned the family when Louis was a kid. Louis attended the Fisk School for Boys where he was exposed to Creole music, a form of American folk music that evolved in the 1800s. To make a living, Louis began working as a paperboy and sold food to restaurants in order to make ends meet. Louis dropped out of school at the age of 11 and joined a group of boys who sang on the streets to make money. Armstrong used to do odd jobs for the Karnofskys, a Lithuanian-Jewish family that had immigrated to New Orleans. The Karnofskys looked after Louis and encouraged his musical talents. At the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, Louis began developing his cornet-playing skills. The visiting professor, Peter Davis provided musical training to Armstrong at the home. Soon, Armstrong’s skills began to mature and he began to be recognized by the locals for his cornet playing.

He got his first job as a musician at the Henry Ponce’s dance hall, where he was trained by the legendary drummer, Black Benny. Joe “King” Oliver was one of the most driving inspirations of Armstrong’s career, since the “King” was not only a mentor but also a father-figure for the budding musician. Armstrong never stopped improving and kept learning from many great musicians throughout his career. He began playing with the band, Fate Marable who toured on steamboats. During this period, Armstrong learned a great deal about dealing with written arrangements and described this time as, “going to the university”. In 1922, Armstrong was invited by Joe “King” Oliver to join his famous Creole Jazz Band in Chicago. He began performing in solos and freelanced in various bands. He made several recordings and appeared in many films. “Hello Dolly!” was one of his best-selling records. “Stardust”, “What a Wonderful World”, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” were just a few of his many famous records. Along with the playing of horn and jazz during his early years, his pebbly voice became a rage among music lovers.

Nat “King” Cole
The King: Singer and Pianist
March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965
In 1990, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nathaniel Coles was born in Alabama and moved with his family to Chicago, when he was four years old. His father, Edward Coles worked as a baptist minister and his mother, Perlina Coles played the church organ. Nat learned to play the instrument from his mother and also took music lessons, which introduced him to Western classical music, gospel, and jazz music. He grew up listening to Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, and other jazz legends performing at the clubs near his neighborhood. Nat began his career as a teenager and formed a band along with his brother, Eddie, who played the bass. In 1936, the band made its first recording and began performing at some clubs in Chicago. He began to be called “King Cole” after the rhyme “Old King Cole”. Nat also played the piano for Eubie Blake’s tour, however, the tour was stopped in Long Beach.

Cole decided to stay back and returned to Chicago to play at esteemed venues such as the Edgewater Beach Hotel. During 1930, Nat formed a trio band “King Cole Swingers” along with guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Wesley Prince. They found stable earnings at the Long Beach Pike. The band was signed by Otis René of Excelsior Records, who wrote and produced the song “I’m Lost” with Nat’s band. The record sales soared and brought Nat into the limelight. Thereafter, in 1943, the band signed a contract with Capitol Records and even financed the construction of the record company’s distinct circular office. His song “Straighten Up and Fly Right” sold 500,000 copies and he went on to make many more hits such as “The Christmas Song”, “Unforgettable”, and “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer”. He also made an all-jazz album titled, After Midnight.

Peggy Lee
The Queen: Singer, Songwriter, and Composer
May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002
Apart from a Lifetime Achievement Award, she has won two more Grammy Awards.
Norma Deloris Egstrom was born in North Dakota and was the second-youngest of eight children. Her mother died when Norma was only four and her father, married a second time. Norma’s stepmother was cruel and would mistreat her often. This caused her to take up part-time jobs and focus more on her singing, so that she could leave her house for good. Norma was sponsored by a local restaurant to sing at a radio show, where she was not paid but was given food. She also sang at the KOVC radio at Valley City in her hometown.

Ken Kennedy, the radio host of WDAY changed Norma’s name to Peggy Lee. She was offered to sing at The Butterfly Room; the Ambassador Hotel East nightclub in Chicago. It was here, that she was approached by the “King of Swing”, Benny Goodman to join his orchestra. She replaced Helen Forrest in 1941 in getting the job at the Goodman’s orchestra. Penny’s song “Somebody Else Is Taking My Place” reached No.1 in 1942 and became a hit single. In 1943, she sang a rendition of Lil Green’s song “Why Don’t You Do Right?” which sold more than a million copies and catapulted her into stardom. She is remembered for her songs, “Mañana”, “Lover”, “Mister Wonderful”, and “Fever”. In 1999, the Songwriters Hall of Fame made Peggy Lee an inductee.

Duke Ellington
The Duke: Pianist, Composer, and Orchestra Leader
April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974
In 1966, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Edward Kennedy Ellington’s parents were pianists. His father, James Edward Ellington enjoyed playing operatic arias as a recreation, while his wife, Daisy Kennedy preferred playing parlor songs. Edward was given the title “Duke” by his friend Edgar McEntree, which stuck and become his stage name. Even though Duke began taking piano lessons from the age of seven, he would have preferred spending his time playing baseball. However, his interest in learning piano spiked intensely at the age of fourteen, after listening to the pianists at the Frank Holiday Poolroom.

By 1917, he had begun performing for dances with other artists in Washington D.C and had formed the group, The Duke’s Serenaders, which became increasingly popular. He eventually made a career move to New York, which did not work out for the band. Thereafter, he formed the group The Washingtonians. The group made their record debut with the song “Choo Choo (Gotta Hurry Home) and “Rainy Nights and Rainy Days” in 1924. It was only after Irving Mills became the manager in 1926, did the group taste real success. Their rendition of the song “East St.Lous Toodle-Oo”, and original songs; “Creole Love Call” and “Black and Tan Fantasy”, made Ellington’s Orchestra the official band of the Cotton Club, after King Oliver declined the job over money matters. It was Ellington’s orchestral ability to adapt according to the changing demands in music, from jazz to swing and beyond, that made him the most versatile jazz legend of all time.

Ella Fitzgerald
The First Lady of Song and The Queen of Jazz: Singer
April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996
She was the recipient of 13 Grammy Awards!
Ella Fitzgerald was also known as Lady Ella and is known for her powerful jazz and scat singing. As a child, she wanted to become a dancer and also enjoyed listening to jazz music. She lost her mother in 1932, after which she saw a downfall in life. Her school grades declined, she got into trouble with police for which she was sent to a reformatory, she escaped from there and was homeless. She rose from her trauma to make a singing debut in 1934. She made her stage debut at the New York Apollo Theater in Harlem, with Connee Boswell’s songs “Judy” and “The Object of My Affection”, which won her the first position and a cash prize of USD 25.00. In 1935, she performed at the Harlem Opera House with the Tiny Bradshaw Band. She soon joined Webb’s Orchestra, and recorded many hit numbers. She was signed by the legendary drummer Chick Webb, with whom she recorded the song “A-Tisket, A-Tasket”, and “(If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)”. After the death of Chick Webb in 1939, she began leading the band, which was renamed Ella and her Famous Orchestra. However, she opted for an independent career in 1942.

She was signed by Decca labels the same year, and got the opportunity to record with several famous jazz artists such as Norman Granz and Louis Jordan. Her song “Flying Home” is considered to be one of the greatest scat recordings of all time. In the year 2000, her extensive studio album, The Cole Porter Songbook was placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Her role in the film, Pete Kelly’s Blues, was one of her notable performances. She passed away in 1996 but is still remembered for her purity of tone, a voice range spanning three octaves and her scat singing. She is among the prominent and famous jazz vocalists of the 20th century.

Sarah Vaughan
The Divine One: Singer
March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990
The Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown album and the song “If You Could See Me Now” were honored by the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 and 1999.
At a young age of seven, Sarah started taking piano lessons and used to sing in the church choir. Her father, Asbury “Jake” Vaughan was a devout Christian and played the guitar and piano at the New Mount Zion Baptist Church. Sarah’s mother was equally talented and would sing often at church. Sarah took keen interest in music since childhood and was an excellent pianist and a gifted singer. She began sneaking to nightclubs at Newark in order to perform as a pianist and singer. She eventually dropped out of high school in order to immerse herself into music. After a series of performances in small clubs, Vaughan won the Apollo Theater Amateur Night competition in 1943 by singing the song, “Body and Soul”.

This win gave her the opportunity to sing at the Apollo for a week and open for none other than, Ella Fitzgerald. During her small tryst at Apollo, she was discovered by Billy Eckstine, who recommended her to the pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines. Vaughan worked as pianist and toured extensively with Earl Hines’s Big band. However, she began to sing more often after the pianist and trombonist Cliff Smalls joined the band. She left the band to work with Billy Eckstine’s band and recorded the song “I’ll Wait and Pray”. In 1945, she left the band to start her solo career. She was signed by the record label Musicraft in 1945 and recorded several popular songs such as “If You Could See Me Now”, “I’ve Got a Crush on You”, and “Body and Soul”. She became a three-time Grammy Award winner. In 1989, she received the NEA Jazz Masters Award. During the same year, she began keeping unwell and was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died while watching a television movie that featured her daughter. She is remembered for her mellifluous voice and is a notable figure in jazz music.

Freddie Hubbard
Jazz Trumpeter
April 7, 1938 – December 29, 2008
He was honored with the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2006.
Freddie Hubbard started playing mellophone and trumpet in his school band. In 1958, he moved to New York and started playing with some famous jazz players like Philly Jones, J.J. Johnson, and others. In 1960, he came up with his first record as a leader, Open Sesame. In 1961, he made his renowned record, Ready for Freddie. He joined Art Blakey’s band, Jazz Messengers and recorded the albums Caravan, Free For All, and Mosaic with the entourage. He left the band in 1966, to make his own group and distinct sound, which won him the “New Start” award from Downbeat jazz magazine.

It was during the 1970s that Hubbard earned recognition as one of the biggest stars. He is famous for performing bebop, hard pop and post pop styles. His works during the 1970s like “Red Clay”, “Sky Dive”, and others are considered as some of his best works. In 1980 and 1989, he played at the Monterey Jazz Festival and recorded the song “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Part Two)” with Elton John. In 1992, he performed at the Warsaw Jazz Festival.

Charlie Parker
Jazz Saxophonist
August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955
He was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984.
Born on August 29, 1920, Charles Parker is one of the most prominent figures in jazz music. As a child he showed no talent in music. His father was a pianist, dancer, and singer. Parker drew inspiration from a young trombone player who trained him in the basic techniques of improvisation. Parker began playing the saxophone and soon joined his school band. In 1938, he joined Jay McShann’s territory band and made his first recording with the band. Charlie Parker battled with addiction through most of his adult life. His career rose and he became popular among music lovers. He earned recognition as a jazz saxophonist and a composer.

He was instrumental in the development of bebop, which is a jazz form qualified by a fast tempo, virtuoso technique and improvisation. In 1949, Parker recorded the album, Charlie Parker with Strings with a group of chamber orchestra and jazz musicians. Some of the popular songs from this album include, “Just Friends”, “If I Should Lose You”, and “Summertime”. His songs have set standards for several artists to seek inspiration from. He is also an iconic figure of the hipster subculture. He became addicted to morphine as a teenager, while being admitted because of an automobile accident. He substituted this addiction with heroin which contributed in his early demise. His death in 1955 meant the loss of one of the most influential people in the field of jazz music.

Django Reinhardt
King of Jazz Guitar
January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953
In 2010, a 10 Euro coin was issued on his 100th birth anniversary by the Belgian government.
Reinhardt was perhaps the most prominent jazz musicians from Europe. This French guitarist is credited for having created a new style of playing jazz guitar and has contributed to the development of Gypsy jazz and jazz standards. He is incredibly popular for his compositions such as, “Nuages”, “Minor Swing” and “Djangology”. Reinhardt played solos with the index and middle finger of his left hand because his third and fourth fingers were paralyzed. As a child, he played music to make a living and thus did not acquire sufficient formal education. Thus, since he could neither read or write music, he hired a professional to note down his improvisations, so that it could be made into a Mass for symphonies and for the Gypsies. Reinhardt was greatly inspired by Louis Armstrong and jazz music in general. He met the violinist Stéphane Grappell, with whom he formed the popular instrumental jazz ensemble Quintette du Hot Club de France. He eventually was able to perform with legendary artists such as Louis Armstrong, Benny Carter, and Dizzy Gillespie. He also performed as Duke Ellington and His Orchestra’s special guest in 1946.

Miles Davis
The Prince of Darkness: Trumpeter, Composer, and Bandleader
May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991
He was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.
Miles Dewey Davis III, was born to a well-to-do family and was encouraged to play the piano by his mother. Davis began learning the trumpet at the age of thirteen from the musician, Elwood Buchanan, who insisted that Davis play without using vibrato. This strict training created the signature sound of Miles Davis, which was clear and round. He began playing professionally at the age of 16 during school vacations. Even though he was asked to join the Tiny Bradshaw Band, Davis’s mother prohibited him from leaving school. He began his career only after graduating in 1944 from East St. Louis Lincoln High School. Thereafter, he joined the Juilliard School of Music in New York for higher studies. By 1945, Davis was playing in Charlie Parker’s Quintet and toured extensively. However, he left the band in 1948 to become a freelance musician. He is credited with the creation of the “Cool Jazz” movement which he started with Gil Evans and several other musicians. The Miles Davis Nonet made the album, Birth of the Cool which failed miserably at that time. Nonetheless, this cool jazz album would inspire musicians in the years to come. Kind of Blue album by Miles Davis became the greatest selling album of jazz history. He has won a total of eight Grammy Awards for his contribution to jazz music.

Benny Goodman
The King of Swing: Clarinetist and Bandleader
May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986
He was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986.
Benny Goodman was born to Jewish immigrants from Russia and was the ninth of twelve children. His father was a tailor, who despite a meager income, enrolled Benny and his older brother for music lessons at a synagogue. Goodman was ten years old when he started learning music and began playing the clarinet for the Jane Addams Hull House club band for boys. By the age 16, he had joined the Ben Pollack Orchestra and began recording from 1926. He was signed by Vocalion records in 1929. Benny also became a successful freelancer in New York and had put together his own big band by 1934. His band included musicians such as drummer Gene Krupa, Fletcher Henderson, Bunny Berigan and Jess Stacy, all of whom helped in starting the “Swing Era”. The next five decades were spent in recording and doing shows all over the country and abroad. Goodman’s performance at the Carnegie Hall is still considered to be the first and the most significant moments in the history of jazz music.

Even though Goodman and his big band continued to gain meteoric success throughout the 1930s, their popularity reduced substantially during the 1940s. Swing music was being replaced by the peppy sounds of bebop and cool jazz. Goodman made a bebop album that was a huge success and was highly regarded in the jazz community. He is also remembered for having commissioned some major chamber music recordings such as, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, Premiere Rhapsodie for Clarinet, and Rondo from Grand Duo Concertante in E flat.

Count Basie
The Count: Jazz pianist, Organist, Composer, and Bandleader
August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984
The four-time inductee of the Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, has also won nine other Grammy Awards!
William James Basie was born in New Jersey. While he was taught how to play the piano by his mother, his father could play the mellophone. James wasn’t interested in studies and never studied beyond junior high school. Instead, he worked at the Palace Theater, where he operated lights and played the piano for silent films. In 1924, he moved to Harlem, where he joined musical groups and toured often. He began to be known as “Count” Basie during 1928, when he became popular while playing with Walter Page’s famous band, the Blue Devils. In 1929, he formed a band with the pianist and bandleader, Bennie Moten in Kansas City and stayed with the group until 1935. During this time, the band had unanimously voted Bennie out and had opted for Basie to lead the band, which was renamed Count Basie and his Cherry Blossoms. After Bennie’s death in 1935, Basie formed his own band., Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm and moved to Chicago.

Basie’s band performed at the Grand Terrace Ballroom on several occasions and recorded sessions with the producer, John Hammond in 1936. Basie made a deal with Decca Records in 1936 and began recording sessions the very next year. It was during this time that the songs “Penny from Heaven”, “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Jumpin’ at the Woodside”, and “One O’Clock Jump” were recorded. There was no stopping him thereon. He was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for the songs, “Lester Leaps In”, “Everyday (I Have the Blues)”, “April in Paris”, and “One O’Clock Jump”. He went on to become one of the most influential jazz artists of all time.

Billie Holiday
Lady Day: Singer and Songwriter
April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959
She has been posthumously inducted six times into the Grammy Hall of Fame since 1976.
The “Strange Fruit” singer and perhaps the best-known female jazz singer of all time; Billie Holiday was Eleanora Fagan’s stage name. Holiday’s father was a professional musician and her mother worked for passenger railroads. For a while, Holiday was raised by her mother’s older sister, Eva Miller in Baltimore and then by Eva Miller’s mother-in-law, Martha Miller looked after her. Holiday was raped at the age of eleven by a neighbor and was rescued by her mother. Thereafter, Holiday ran small errands in a local brothel in order to make ends meet. By the age of thirteen, Billie Holiday was working as a prostitute along with her mother. However, the place was raided and Holiday and her mother were sent to a workhouse. She was fourteen when she was released from the workhouse in 1929.

Billie Holiday began singing the same year and formed a band (1929-1931) with a neighbor, Kenneth Hollan who played the tenor sax. In 1932, she was discovered by producer, John Hammond who arranged her recording debut with Benny Goodman. Together they made the songs, “Your Mother’s Son-In-Law” and “Riffin’ the Scotch”. John Hammond went on to get Holiday a contract with Brunswick Records where, she collaborated with the pianist Teddy Wilson and made the songs “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “I Cried for You”, and “Miss Brown to You”. With Teddy, she also made the jazz classics, “Twenty-Four Hours a Day” and “Yankee Doodle Never Went To Town”. She also shared a very close friendship with tenor saxophonist Lester Young, who is credited to have given her the moniker of “Lady Day”. She went on to perform with Count Basie and later with Artie Shaw. However, racial segregation caused her to leave the band in 1938. In 1941, she and pianist, Arthur Herzog, Jr. made the song, “God Bless the Child” which became her most successful song. Holiday went on to make several more popular songs that are considered as jazz classics and have been covered by vocalists from all over the world.

Nina Simone
High Priestess of Soul: Singer, Songwriter, Pianist, and Arranger
February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003
She received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2000.
Born as Eunice Kathleen Waymon, Nina Simone was born into a poor family in North Carolina. She started playing the piano when she was only three years old. She would sing at the church and accompany herself at the piano. She gave her first classical recital at the age of twelve. However, during her performance, her parents were made to move from the front row and shifted to the backseats of the hall. Simone stopped performing and refused to carry on until her parents were asked to return to their original seats. This incident was her first step towards fighting against racial segregation.

Nina Simone desired to become a classical pianist. However, she was rejected by the Curtis Institute because of her race. She went on to join the Juilliard School of Music. She began performing at the Midtown Bar & Grill in Atlantic City from 1954 and adopted the stage name “Nina Simone”. She gained instant success from her rendition of the cover song “I Love You, Porgy” which ranked in top 20 in the U.S. Billboards. Soon she was signed by Bethlehem Records, with whom she recorded her debut album, Little Girl Blues. She sold all her rights on the album to the recording company for a mere $3,000, because of which she never received the royalty profits worth a million dollars. She played an active role during the Civil Rights Movement and sang the song “Why? (The King Of Love Is Dead)” after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. This song was written by the bass player, Gene Taylor. She continues to be respected and adored by musicians and fans alike and has played a vital role in maintaining the legacy of jazz music.

So, these were some of the musicians who are considered as “Jazz Royalty”. These legends have dedicated every ounce of their talent and existence into making jazz music forever enchanting.

Ways to Write a Rap Song

Initially, a domain which exclusively belonged to African-Americans, rap is gaining worldwide popularity as people from all races and cultures get down and start rapping. Rap, ideally when written, should exude a fascinating blend of poetry, doubled up with impressive wordplay. The legendary rapper Tupac considered himself more of a poet than a rapper.

♫ The Basics ♫
Rapping has two main aspects: the words and the beat. Hence, one should understand the beat and the rhythm, and should be able to work their way through it. In case you are not able to create a beat on your own initially, there are several beat machines that will create the beat for you along with a steady bass line. Eventually, you should be able to make the beat yourself!

To get the words right, get a grip on the phonetics! Learn what words rhyme with each other. And over time, you will also learn how to turn non-rhyming words into rhymes – ‘wordplay’. It’s all about twisting the pronunciations of the word to fit the song.

♫ The Scheme ♫
How should a song ‘go’? Well most songs are structured as: verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, breakdown, chorus, and an outro. Other popular schemes of writing a song have 2 verses before each chorus, whilst others keep the second of the two verses the same each time. The chorus and the beginning should be very catchy, because these two really make the song click. If the opening refrain sounds boring, no one will want to listen to the part that comes later. And the chorus stays with the listeners for a long time, so remember, that’s got to be good too!

♫ The Lyrics ♫
When wondering about songwriting, most people come across a stumbling block – the lyrics. So since you’re a beginner to rap music, why not start with something basic? Take a few rhyming words together and make a song. Rap lyrics are often assertive, and talk about how awesome the singer is, and how no one can mess with him or her. Break away from these standard scripted methods and think out of the box. These ideas may prod you to the right direction. Like I said before, learn all the phonetic words. Slowly, you’ll learn how to fit the words into a song, rather than a song to the words, by twisting the pronunciations of the words. Opt for the offbeat method of rhyming, which includes a combination of regular and irregular rhymes at different intervals of your song. If you are confused about penning down the lyrics, you can start off by writing a live account about yourself and your surroundings, else, concocting a poem that has a take on the things that interest you.

♫ What Inspires You? ♫
Songwriting is an art and you should take it seriously. Sit yourself down and think about what you want to write. Few people in this world can cook up a song with a good scheme and a good beat, easily. For beginners, you ought to really sit down for some time and think about what you’re feeling, your theme, and your words. In my opinion, a song has to be written in one good inspired sitting, because if you decide to put it for another day, you might be in a different frame of mind at that time, and there may be some inconsistency in your thoughts, which will then reflect in the lyrics.

Songwriting is an art, which improves with practice. Break away from following the same instances and styles of other rappers by creating your own individuality. Most importantly, carry a pen and a paper with you throughout the day. Why? Because lyrics can strike you any time once you start dwelling on them, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on these small but significant eureka moments. Good luck with the writing and cashing them Benjamins some day.

History of the Melodious Indian Music

Music is truly one of the most expressive art forms, which has a universal appeal. As long as you can feel the rhythm and the harmony of the beats, you can comprehend and enjoy any type of music around the world. Indian music inherits a rich musical culture, and is replete with rhythm, harmony, and emotion.

History of Indian Music

It dates back to the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, during the Indus valley civilizations. Archaeological studies have validated the presence of several musical instruments like harps and drums during this era. The Samaveda which is one of the four Vedas (scriptures) that include hymns and descriptions of Indian music. The Samaveda states that music originated as a tool for meditation and spiritual awakening. The era starting from 1500 BC to 500 BC witnessed the Vedic music. Vedic music was supposed to be closely intertwined with the Vedic religion, since music was an imperative element of the religious Vedic rituals.

Vedic music was mainly played for two reasons – please the Gods and as an accompaniment to the sacrificial offerings in the Vedic rituals. The prominent instruments of the Vedic era include veena, tunav, dundubhi, bhoomi-dundubhi, and talav. The Rigveda contains the richa which are the recited Vedic hymns. Samaveda is supposed to be the origin of Indian music. The word sama is actually a compound word made up of sa that refers to the hymns and ma, which refers to the musical notes.

The Vedic period also gave rise to the Gurukul system of imparting knowledge. In this system the shishya (pupil) lived in the house of his guru (teacher) and studied the Vedas and other subjects under the guidance of the teacher for as many as 12 years. The Shiksha referred to the first branch of Vedic learning which dealt with the science of correct pronunciation of vowels, syllables and consonants.

Some of the well-known Shikshas are Paniniya, Yagnyvalkya Vashisthi, Katyayani, Manduki, and Naradiya. As regards to music the teachers had to teach the students the six basic aspects of Vedic music which included Varna, Swara, Matra, Bala, Sama, and Santana. The varna refers to the syllables, the Swara refers to the musical notes, matra refers to the duration, bala refers to the articulation,sama refers to the balance in overall utterance, whereas santana refers to the spacing of the words. The history of Indian music during 500 BC to 200 BC includes references of the Ramayana which was the first Indian epic composed sage Valmiki, and the Mahabharata, composed by sage Vyasa, and also sage Bharata’s Pathya Sangeet.

The Pathya Sangeet was primarily developed to spread information and not considered as an entertainment tool. The Pathya Sangeet is based on six basic elements, which include the Saptaswara, which are the seven musical notes, the Sthanas, which are the three vital locations for tone production, Varnas, which are the four ways of tonal arrangements, kakus which are the two basic modes of intonation, Alankaras, which are the sic embellishments and lastly the Angas or the six aspects of the music. Several references in Buddhist and Jain literature also have references to music during this time period.

According to the Indian mythology, Narada was the first sage to whom the laws of music were revealed. It is also believed that Tumburu was the first singer, Saraswati was the goddess of music and learning and Bharata created the Natyashastra or the rules for theater between 200 BC and 200 AD, which also focused on music. The Natyashastra includes descriptions of various classes of instruments, Gandharva music and also provides detailed information about the Talas, which refers to the rhythmic element of Indian music.

The Gupta Period from 300 AD to 600 AD was marked by the masterpieces created by Kalidasa, who was a lyrical poet and a writer of several great epics and plays. His work includes numerous references to musical instruments of his era which included Parivadini vina, Vipanchi vina, Pushkar, Mridang, Vamshi, and Shankha. There also existed several types of songs like the Kakaligeet, Streegeet, and Apsarogeeti. In addition to this there are references of various technical terms for defining voice quality and other nuances of music, which included terms like Murchana, Swarasaptaka, and Tana.

The next landmark towards the evolution of the Indian ragas was the emergence of gandharva gaan which is recorded in the text Dattilam dated roughly 400 AD. The Dattilam discusses parent tonal frameworks or the grama, the twenty-two micro-tonal intervals srutis, sequential re-arrangement of notes or the murchana, and the permutation and combinations of note-sequences which are known as the tanas. This text also describes eighteen Jatis which are synonymous with the contemporary Indianragas.

The Period from 600 AD to 1200 AD, was marked by the emergence of the regional music, classical Hinudstani music and also the influences of Islamic music. The first major text describing ragas was written by Matanga and was known as Brihaddeshi, which literally means ‘The Great Treatise on the Regional’. Brihaddeshi also introduced the sargam which is the musical notation in Indian music. Deshi or regional music was described as that music sung by women, children and everyone else in their regions, capturing a wide range of emotions from several different regions. After this, the 9th century saw a strong influence of Sufi music. Music was an inseparable part of the Basant and Rang celebrations.

The period from 1200 AD to 1700 AD was marked by several other benchmarks in Indian music including the maestro Khusro who composed verses in Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Braj Bhasha, Hindawi and Khadi Boli. Khusro was the one who is supposed to have invented qawali, qasida, qalbana, naqsh and many others forms of Indian music. Khusro is said to have created a new system of musicology, called ‘Indraprastha Mata’ or ‘Chaturdandi Sampradaya’ and also brought into circulation the two unique musical genres called ‘tarana’ and ‘kaul’.

Another important work called the Sangeet Ratnakara written by Sharangdeva provides a detailed explanation regarding the construction and the techniques of playing fourteen types of drums. The next benchmark in the history of Indian music was the Bhakti revolution in 800 BC, which spread in the north during 14th and 15th centuries. This was the emergence of music as a form of devotion, and belonged to the saint poets like Tulsidas and Kabir. Then there was the emergence of several music streams like Ashtachap and Haveli Sangeet.

Information about music during Emperor Akbar’s court comes from the text Ain e Akbari which mentions the rich music culture of Akbar’s time. The history includes information about instruments like sarmandal, bin, nay, karna, and tanpura and numerous musical maestros including the legendary Tansen. After 1700 AD, music in India went through a continuous metamorphosis process for four centuries and finally resulted into the Hindustani as we know it today.

Contemporary Scenario of Indian Music

Contemporary Indian music is a blend of classical music, pop music, and the popular Indian film music. Several genres of music exist in India. Let us have a look at some of the contemporary music genres in Indian music.

Classical

Indian Classical music is now basically dividend into two broad categories namely the Hindustani music and the Carnatic music. Both the streams of classical Indian music rest on two basic elements which are the raga which refer to the melodic formulae made up of constituent musical notations, and the tala which are the rhythmic cycles in Indian classical music. The Carnatic music has its roots in the musical traditions from the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. Carnatic music emphasizes on vocals. Most of the compositions in Carnatic music are sung. Even when played on instruments Carnatic compositions are meant to be played in a peculiar fashion called gayaki which means singing. On the other hand Hindustani music is a traditional from North India. The basics of the Hindustani classical music include melodic modes called thaats that are a part of the ragas. Hindustani music is based on the basic system called sargam which is similar to the Western solfege, thus the Indian sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni corresponds to the western do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti.

Folk

Folk music is an inseparable part of the Indian music scenario. The songs of the rural lands, emerging from various regions of India, are distinctive and are embedded with a strong element of the regional culture. Bhavageet which literally translates as ’emotional poetry’ is quite popular in many parts of India and especially in Karnataka and Maharashtra. A very popular genre in Indian folk music is the Punjabi Bhangra music which is an accompaniment to the folk dance called Bhangra done by farmers to celebrate the spring season that marks the time of harvest. There are various folk traditions including the folk music of Maharashtra called Lavani and Gaulan and the Dandiya music from Gujarat and the Baul from Bengal.

Pop

Indian pop music is a blend of almost everything starting from folk, classical, and even western music beats. Much of Indian pop music is a part of the Indian film music however there exist bands and singers that have individually ventures into pop albums and singles. Some of the notable pop singers worth mentioning include Usha Utthup, Peenaz Masani, and Sharon Prabhakar from the early nineties. The successive generation of pop singers includes Baba Sehgal, Alisha Chinai, Shaan, Sagarika, Lucky Ali, and Sonu Nigam. Indian pop bands include Colonial Cousins (Hariharan, Leslie Lewis), Euphoria, Band of Boys, Asma, and Viva to name a few. More recently the trend of remix songs has been quite popular on the Indian pop scenario. Most of the playback singers in the Indian film industry have tried their hands at this genre.

Film

The Indian film industry is a humongous industry producing thousands of movies in various languages round the year. Indian films have always been popular for their song and dance sequences. Music has been an inseparable part of Indian movies right from the beginning. The popularity of music in Indian films is such that almost every filmmaker incorporates at least four to five songs in the movies. Indian film music is perhaps the most popular genre in the country, which is enjoyed by one and all.

History of Traditional Japanese Music

Traditional Japanese music is very diverse. While music was once primarily confined to live concert performances and operas, the introduction of the radio, and later television helped bring it into the homes of the public.

There are essentially two basic types of traditional Japanese music, namely folk music and art music. This article mainly focuses on the art form of music. Art music has many different styles, each being established in different periods in Japanese history. These time-honored styles have been well maintained by the Japanese over the years with only a few modifications. In the history of music, vocal music has always played a very important role, more so than instrumental music. Apart from this, the music was developed as a part of drama like Bunraku, Noh, and Kabuki.

Gagaku

The first significant development that took place was during the Heian Period (794 – 1192 AD). This is the period in which music that was popular amongst the common people was being sophisticated. All the different types of music from various other Asian countries were assimilated and then modified to acquire certain distinct Japanese characteristics.

Gagaku was the type of music that was performed at the court and was popular with the upper classes and nobility. There are three categories of Gagaku: pure music, original foreign music, and the music that was composed in Japan by using foreign musical influences. Gagaku was not only performed at the court, it was also performed in temples and shrines. Apart from Gagaku, another very important musical style is the Shomyo. Used in many Buddhist sources, this vocal music is the origin of the Japanese vocal music that developed years later.

Noh

Right from the Kamakura Period (1192 AD – 1333 AD) till the Muromachi Period (1338 AD – 1573 AD), there was a remarkable growth in the world of theatrical arts, which would include everything from the peasant rice-plant dances to the shrine ritual plays. By the turn of the century, the Japanese traditional music scene witnessed the development of the Noh drama with its own special form of music, Nohgaku.

Noh is a highly symbolic and stylized form of drama and is generally performed by a couple of male musicians and actors. Nohgaku has two main elements – the instrumental one and the vocal one. The vocal part is the Utai and is performed by a chorus of eight singers and the actors. It usually tells a story. Derived from the Shomyo form of music, it includes speech and singing. Nohgaku was patronized by the higher military class that was considered to be the most powerful level of society in Japan in those days.

Shakuhachi, Shamisen, and Koto

Another very important part in the history of the Japanese traditional music is the Azuchi-Momoyama Period. Shakuhachi was formerly played as a small part of the Zen services and was at that time considered to be the favorite instrument amongst the Buddhist priests.

The music for the Koto is known as Sokyoku, which is played, composed and transmitted purely by the blind girls and women in the wealthy merchant classes and the higher military classes. The Shamisen is generally used for accompaniment of two basic types of vocal music: narrative singing and melodious singing. Melodious singing developed in two separate directions – Nagauta and Jiuta. Jiuta has ever since been enjoyed as pure music while Nagauta is an accompaniment for dancing in the traditional Kabuki dramas.

Till date, the development and preservation of these classical, traditional forms of Japanese music is not neglected by many modern composers and musicians.

Why is Music Important

Mary Anne Evans or George Eliot as she is more popularly known, was a creative person who believed in the power of music and how it affects us as individuals. And that is a truth that all of us will agree with. From moments of extreme grief to times when we experience ecstatic happiness, our one constant is music. As a race we have long shared our story with music. It is so intertwined with our lives that it is impossible to actually trace its history. It has been around since the first rhythmic thumping of feet that was recognized by human beings. Maybe that is the reason why it is such an integral and important part of our life.

Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself.
– Henry Ward Beecher
Why is music important to human beings? There is no objective answer to this question. The importance of music is different in every individual’s life. It inspires people and allows us to get in touch with our emotions in a way that is unique. For those amongst us who find it difficult to express ourselves, music can evoke reactions. Your mood can change from dark and depressed to elated and deliriously happy with just the selection of the right track and a hit of the play button. You can use music to liven up a boring party or to create a romantic ambiance. Music works wonders on creating a certain atmosphere.

The highest mission of music is to serve as a link between God and man.
– John F. Kennedy
Several people proclaim the benefits of music to heighten their spirituality. Every religion on the planet uses music in some form or the other to enhance the soul, whether it is the rhythmic chants from Buddhism or the devotional songs in Hinduism. Music is recreational, listening to soothing songs can be a way of relaxing and allowing your body and mind to take a break from the monotony of life. Music can often be a form of meditation. It elevates our consciousness to a level where we are able to look past the mundaneness of everyday life. It allows us to reach deep within ourselves and connect with a higher power.

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.
– Plato
How does music affect the brain? Music uses both sides of the brain, thus resulting in the overall development of the brain. In fact there was a research conducted at the University of Montreal that proved that the all four of the cortex’s lobes are activated when the brain is involved in musical activity. During these musical tasks, even the cerebellum of the brain is activated. A musician has to constantly make decisions about the elements of music, like form, timbre, melody, tempo, tone, rhythm, etc. This helps in enhancing the ability of the brain to become very good at multitasking and organizational abilities. It improves abilities of expression and also enhances the intelligence of a person.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
– Berthold Auerbach
Music therapy has been widely heralded. It is powerful and non-invasive, which is why the outcome of the therapy may differ from person to person. The reason music works wonders to cure feelings of depression is because of the secure feeling that music gives to a listener. It is familiar and stimulates our senses. It is also a great means of communication and expression. It has also been found that people who take lessons in playing the keyboard experienced a significant depreciation in depression and stress. It allowed them to cope with anxiety and loneliness better and resulted in improved health.

Just as certain selections of music will nourish your physical body and your emotional layer, so other musical works will bring greater health to your mind.
– Hal A. Lingerman
Several studies have shown how music enhances life. According to the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report, released in 1999, students in secondary schools who had participated in some form of band or orchestra were less prone to indulge in substance abuse. Also more students who performed music or took classes in music appreciation and related subjects scored high marks on SAT as compared to their other classmates. In fact many colleges believe that an active interest in the arts and music broadens a student’s mind and allows him or her to appreciate the world more. It contributes heavily to the social and intellectual growth of the student.

There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres.
– Pythagoras
A study on the enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training conducted by Neurological Research 21 in the year 1999 showed that almost 27% of 237 students who used piano keyboard training, displayed better skills in using mathematical software. Studies have also shown that students who had an interest in music tend to do better academically, receiving honors.

Forget the scientific studies and research that has been done on the numerous benefits of music or how the different music types affects us. Take our own example. We have music that we relate to for every occasion. From the sound that wakes us up in the morning , to the song we listen to when our heart breaks or we are in the doldrums. We have exercise music and on-our-way-to-work music. We listen to party music and music that calms us. Life without this music would leave us kind of lost, unsure, and probably incapable of venting our emotions. Music touches our soul, and allows us to express different moods and emotions. And honestly, life without music would be, well, boring. So, whether you listen to Beethoven or Marilyn Manson, Louis Armstrong or Arctic Monkeys, your daily dose of music is what keeps you going.

Does Music help you sleep ?

Did You Know?
Max Richter’s ‘Sleep’ is a cradle song, termed as ‘my personal lullaby for a frenetic world’ by him. This eight-hour piece includes pieces that will take you into a trance-like state, and holds the record for being the longest live broadcasted composition of music.
It is a well-known fact that most Americans have trouble getting enough sleep. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), 40 millions Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Sleep deprivation can have serious repercussions; it can affect memory, decision-making abilities, and overall mental health.

As babies, most of us went off into dreamland peacefully listening to lullabies. But can music help adults sleep as well? Well, the answer is yes, and no. Music may not make you sleep, but it can definitely help you sleep.
Music And Sleep
The International Journal of Nursing published a study of 557 adults suffering from sleep disorders. In this study, music was played when they were sleeping. Over a short period of time, improvement in the sleep quality of most individuals was seen. In certain cases, there was no significant difference. Such cases may need a longer study to get conclusive results. We can safely assume that, music doesn’t have any negative effort on sleep, and it is not an expensive option either.

How Music Benefits Sleep

If you find that getting enough shut-eye is difficult because you share a bedroom with a nocturnal sibling or noisy roommate, music might help you a lot. Grab your headphones, make a playlist of some sedative songs, and relax. You’ll forget all the annoying noises in the background and sleep like a baby.

Our heart starts beating on the rhythm of music. This uniform motion helps induce sleep. Which is why, listening to rock music or very fast songs is not recommended when trying to sleep. It’s better to go for classical, soft rock, or jazz music.

As we sleep, our body relaxes, temperature reduces, heartbeat slows down, and breathing becomes slower. Listening to music helps fall asleep as it mimics some of these effects. The heartbeat and breathing will slow down. As such, it induced sleep.

Listening to your favorite music triggers feel-good chemicals in the brain. This puts your mind at ease. Instrumental music is extremely helpful in distracting the mind from racing thoughts. Avoid music with a lot of lyrics, as these can stimulate certain thoughts. Just let go of all the unnecessary thoughts, envelope yourself in the beautiful rhythm, and drift away to snooze land.

The Kind of Music That Helps Sleep

The impact of music on sleep depends on the kind of music as well. Music has the power to sooth as well as excite. Music with lot of lyrics can distract the mind, so it’s best to opt for instrumental pieces. Classical, jazz, or downtempo music like Enigma can help you sleep faster. Choose the kind of music you enjoy.

Sleep Music for Babies

Listening to lullabies before sleeping is extremely relaxing for babies. They simply comfort them. This also strengthens the bond between parent and baby. Also, early exposure to music is beneficial, as it enhances brain development.

History of Funk Music

Funk was a danceable, rhythmic genre of music born from the amalgamation of soul music, soul jazz, and R&B. It reached the heights of its popularity in the 1970s, with artists like James Brown, Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, and Parliament dominating the music charts. Funk was famous for its strange costumes, danceable beats, outrageous personalities, and lyrics. It brought the strong groove of drums and electric bass to the foreground, while giving less emphasis to melody and harmony. After entertaining the youth for a few decades, it further evolved by the fusion of other forms of music, creating more such inspirational music to entertain further ahead.

FUNK MUSIC

► History
► Famous Artists
► Famous Songs

Funk Music History

Funk derived its name from the vernacular of Jazz. The music was derived from R&B, disco, hip hop, liquid funk, soul music, jazz, blues, and psychedelic rock, and was born somewhere around the mid 1960s. This genre of music received its well-deserved popularity in ’70s and early ’80s. The legendary bassist James Jamerson from Motown brought the bass guitar to the forefront, making it more prominent, and separating other music forms from funk. The beats of fun were heavily based on an aggressive rhythmic pulse on the first note itself. While, its traditional counterparts like the Blues emphasized on the second or fourth note, called the ‘back beat’. This style of energetic music became the very foundation of artists like James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone.

Soul singers such as Temptation and Stevie Wonders, and bands such as Ohio Players and Kool and the Gang took this music genre to whole new heights, with palpitating beats with intricate, deep, melodious arrangements, and potent and conceptual lyrics. Patrons from other music genres, like Jazz artists like Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis adopted and adapted this funky style, and revamped funk for good, later giving birth to a whole new style called Disco music.

Famous Artists and Bands of Funk

Famous Artists

Bootsy Collins (1951 -)
Chaka Khan (1953 -)
George Clinton (1941 -)
Herbie Hancock (1940 -)
James Brown (1933 – 2006)
Prince (1958 -)
Rick James (1948 – 2004)
Stevie Wonder (1950 -)

Famous Funk Bands

Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band (1962)
Dyke and the Blazers (1965 – 1971)
Funkadelic- (1968 – 1971)
Kool and the Gang (1964 – present )
Parliament (1968 – present in collaboration with Funkadelic)
Sly & The Family Stone (1967 – 1975)
The Isley Brothers (1954 – present)
The Ohio Players (1959 – 2002)
The Meters (1965 – 1977, 1989 – present)
The Temptations (1960 – present)

Famous Songs of Each Decade

1960s

♫ James Brown: Out of Sight, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good) (1965)
♫ Dyke and the Blazers: Funky Broadway (1967)
♫ Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: Released their first album (1967)
♫ James Brown: It’s a Mother (1969)
♫ James Brown: Give It Up or Turnit a Loose (1969)
♫ Sly and the Family Stone: Stand! (1969)

1970s

♫ Funkadelic: Free Your Mind…’ and ‘Your Ass will Follow (1970)
♫ Parliament: Osmium (1970)
♫ Tower of Power- East Bay Grease’ (1970)
♫ Sly & the Family Stone: Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin’) (1970)
♫ Sly & the Family Stone: Family Affair (1971)
♫ Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (1971)
♫ Sly and the Family Stone: There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
♫ Funkadelic: America Eats Its Young (1972)
♫ The Temptations: All Directions (1972)
♫ Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (1973)
♫ Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (1973)
♫ Kool and the Gang: Wild and Peaceful (1973)
♫ Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (1973)
♫ James Brown: The Payback (1974)
♫ The Ohio Players: Fire (1974)
♫ Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On (1974)
♫ Parliament: Up for the Down Stroke (1974)
♫ Funkadelic: Let’s Take It to the Stage (1975)
♫ Parliament: Chocolate City (1975)
♫ Parliament: Mothership Connection (1975)
♫ The Isley Brothers: The Heat Is On (1975)
♫ Parliament: The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976)
♫ Funkadelic: Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (1976)
♫ Funkadelic: Hardcore Jollies (1976)
♫ Bootsy’s Rubber Band: Ahh . . . The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! (1977)
♫ Parliament: Live: P-Funk Earth Tour (1977)
♫ Parliament: Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome (1977)
♫ Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove (1978)
♫ Parliament: Motor Booty Affair (1978)
♫ Funkadelic: Uncle Jam Wants You (1979)
♫ Parliament: Gloryhallastoopid (1979)

1980s

♫ Funkadelic: Connections & Disconnections (1980)
♫ Parliament: Trombipulation (1980)
♫ Prince: Dirty Mind (1980)
♫ Rick James: Street Songs (1981)
♫ Funkadelic: The Electric Spanking of War Babies (1981)

Just like its humble origins from Jazz and R&B, Funk branched out into soul funk, electro funk or Funkatronica as its popularly known, modern funk, nu-funk, free funk, funk metal, g-funk, jazz funk, melodic funk, neurofunk, p-funk, go-go, Brazilian funk or Baile funk, etc. New artists have incorporated new styles to funk, making it their own style.

Types of Music Genres

What is music? For some a blissful experience to be enjoyed along with a glass of the finest red, for some a distraction during a boring treadmill session! Some would consider Beethoven’s piano sonatas a copyrighted property of the Lullaby Channel, some would struggle to pronounce ‘bougarabou’ (which is an African drum, by the way), and some would mock Indian classical music — the oldest surviving school of music — as sheer wailing!

Sounds never evoke the same emotions in different people. Thus, a comprehensive and universal definition of music is practically nonexistent. Having said that, some would consider it an exercise in futility to go ahead and try to define a list of musical genres. Fortunately, while some maintain that sounds such as a car horn and a crash of a falling plate constitute genres in themselves, the rest of the world has been sensible enough to discern musical genres from mere noise.

What is a genre?

A genre is a group of styles of music having a common tradition or common fundamental values. It can be likened to a genus in taxonomy, which is constituted by animals sharing a common evolutionary ancestor and having some distinct anatomical commonalities, despite vastly different superficial appearances. To further the rather snug-fitting analogy, a music genre is further divided into subgenres — just like species in a genus. Superficially, the species may look nothing like each other in their present-day forms, but they evolved from the same ancestor. The concept of the ‘species’ of subgenres can be best explained by the huge number of disparate-sounding subgenres currently grouped under the titular title ‘Rock Music’.

In modern times, the all-consuming music industry often has a larger say in creating a new genre than the music itself. Numerous modern genres can be said to have been thus inspired as a commercial gimmick, rather than an artistic endeavor.

Music, in its broadest division, can be classified into two styles: Western, and Oriental. African music can be included as a separate genre, but quite a few African styles have made their way into Western music via immigrant African-Americans; hence it has been included in the category of Western Music.

Within Western music, the following classification can easily be made:

  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Blues
  • R&B
  • Country
  • Reggae
  • Hip Hop
  • Electronic
  • Latino

Western Music

Rock

The umbrella term ‘rock’ is used to describe a large variety of musical styles. The origins of this stupendously popular style lie in a fusion of two other popular genres — Blues and Country, along with significant elements of jazz. Along with the influences from the two styles, rock and roll was typified by extensive use of the snare drum. The ‘rock and roll’ movement of the mid-1950s revolutionized the music scene in the West, with the proponents of this innovative and flamboyant style shaping the trends in racism, fashion and lifestyle. Rock and roll — especially Glam Rock — artists’ garish costumes were famous, and in the racially inflamed 1950s, rock and roll provided an avenue for the appreciation of popular music without segregation. The success of the Rock and Roll movement is personified in the everlasting fame of ‘the King’, Elvis.

In the late 60s and early 70s two popular rock subgenres developed: Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Both have gone on to become massively popular. The contemporaneous emergence of inventive guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton helped mold the malleable style of Rock music into numerous other popular styles. The term ‘rock’ music has since gone on to represent a massive range of styles, many often sounding nothing like the original ‘rock and roll sound’. The all-encompassing term ‘rock music’ includes everything from the melodious Beatles to the aggressive Carcass and Deicide.

It can be said that rock music is the most popular genre of music in the history of mankind.

Notable bands:
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Queen, U2, AC/DC, The Who, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Notable Performers:
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, David Bowie, Syd Barrett, Alice Cooper, John Entwistle, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, Kurt Cobain

Subgenres:
Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Black Metal, Glam Rock, Punk Rock, Hard Rock, Jazz Rock, Acid Rock, Christian Metal, Art Rock, Alternative Rock, Dream Pop, Grunge, Indie Pop, Industrial Rock, Folk Rock, Folk Metal, Glam Metal, Electronic Rock, Experimental Rock, Goregrind, Deathcore, Metalcore, Doom Metal, Industrial Metal, Industrial Rock, Gothi Metal, Power Metal, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Sludge Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Desert Rock, Pop Rock, Folk Pink, Celtic Punk, Garage Punk, Grindcore, Hardcore Punk, Thrashcore, Pop Punk, Ska Punk, Skacore, Gothic Rock, Noise Rock, Rap Metal, Rapcore, Southern Rock, Sufi Rock, Raga Rock, Nu Metal, Sadcore, Slowcore, Post-Britpop, Post-Grunge, Indie Pop, Symphonic Metal, Stoner Rock.

Jazz

Jazz developed among the black community of the Southern US. This can be called a ‘classical version’ of blues music. The African influence on this indigenous American style of music can be seen in the emphasis on improvisation and a combination of different but simultaneously played rhythms, which is very unusual in the Western tradition of music.

Jazz is often performed by ensembles (although single artists can play as well), with importance laid on their ability to play off each other, and improvise ex tempore. The improvisational style of jazz links it to Indian classical music, which also values improvisation over repetition of set melodies. This intrinsic commonality has produced numerous collaborations between jazz and Indian classical artists. Pt. Ravi Shankar, who frequently collaborated with Western musicians, is one of the most famous Indian musicians in the West. John McLaughlin, a noted jazz guitarist, formed fusion ensembles with Western and Indian musicians such as Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram.

Noted Performers:
Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, John McLaughlin, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck, Django Reinhardt

Subgenres:
Bebop, Acid Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz, Boogie-Woogie, Bossa Nova, Chamber Jazz, Continental Jazz, Cool Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Dixieland, Latin Jazz, Ethno Jazz, Free Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Hard Bop, Jazz Blues, Jazz Funk, Jazz Fusion, Jazz Rock, Kansas City Jazz, Modal Jazz, Nu Jazz, Orchestral Jazz, Ska Jazz, Soul Jazz, Swing, West Coast Jazz, Stride Jazz

Western Classical

The classical music of Europe is (along with the much older Indian classical music) one of the oldest surviving styles in modern music. In direct contrast to its Indian counterpart and the Western style of jazz, European classical music values tradition and set renditions of melodies, without much scope for improvisation.

Classical music can be of several forms: Symphony, Sonata, Concerto, Suite, Cantata, Oratorio etc. These are either played on instruments such as a piano or a violin or sung.

Western classical music is categorized by period: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. The cutoffs of the periods aren’t strictly defined, but the convention is clear; The Medieval period ran till the early 15th century, Renaissance till the 1600s, Baroque till mid-1700s, Classical till the early 1800s, Romantic till the 1900s, when it gave way to the Modern. Western classical music really came into its own in the baroque and classical periods, graced by masters such as Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

Although classical music is often derided as ‘boring’, especially by the younger audience, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it is one of the oldest and most respected genres in world music.

Notable Composers:
Ludvig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Chopin, Antonio Vivaldi, Gioachino Rossini, Igor Stravinsky

Notable Modern Exponents:
Yehudi Menuhin (Violinist), Leonard Bernstein (Composer-Conductor), Igor Stravinsky (Composer), Claude Debussy (Composer), George Gershwin (Composer-Pianist), Yanni (Pianist-Singer)

Blues

Like jazz music, the blues genre originated from African Americans’ worksongs, and was built around the premise of simple lyrics sung in a simple tune. The simple, plain structuring of a blues song is open to innovations and improvisations; this has led to the emergence of several completely different styles, such as rock music. Since the blues genre was ingrained in local calls and worksongs, the subgenres of blues music are often named after places.

‘Dallas Blues’ is the first blues song ever published, in 1912. It was written by Hart Wand, and although there had been unpublished blues songs and published quasi-blues songs before his time, his was the first true blues song to be published.

Blues music was primarily played unplugged (with acoustic instruments). However, this began to change in the 1940s, and the entry of electric instruments — thanks to artists such as Muddy Waters — revolutionized blues music. Although many blues artists chose electric instruments, both electric and acoustic renditions of blues music are popular today. Jump blues, an energetic, fast type of blues music, is considered to be the precursor of rock and R&B music.

Rhythm and Blues, a subgenre of blues and jazz music, has developed to be considered as a genre in itself. The primary difference between mainstream blues and R&B is, as the name suggests, the dominance of rhythm. Popular genres such as soul and funk have derived from R&B.

Notable Performers:
Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Robert Nighthawk, Bessie Smith, “Blind” Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Bill Broonzy, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, B. B. King

Subgenres:
British Blues, African Blues, Blues Rock, Canadian Blues, Chicago Blues, Country Blues, Delta Blues, Detroit Blues, Electric Blues, Gospel Blues, Hill Country Blues, Hokum, Jazz Blues, Louisiana Blues, Memphis Blues, Texas Blues, Soul Blues

Country

Like blues music, country music emerged from folk songs of the Southern USA in the early 1920s. Immigrants in the Appalachian Mountains area, who had brought along instruments from their own countries, merged their art-forms to form the famous genre of country music. Hence, it contained elements (and instruments) from various countries such as Ireland, Italy, Germany, and numerous African countries. Many of the early instruments in country music were string instruments, with the notable exception of the harmonica.

Country music has much in common with blues music; the simple, three-chord arrangement of songs is an important element found in early recordings of both of these genres. The simple arrangement in both these genres left much scope for innovation, and like the blues, country music has been adapted and molded by various artists in different forms.

The structuring and instrumentation of country music underwent several changes over the years. The early bands almost exclusively used string instruments. Around the 1940s, electric guitars and drums began to appear in country bands. Although rejected at first by purist audiences, they soon became an integral part of country music. The next two decades saw the emergence of the early strains of rock music. Elvis, who started as a country singer, helped the genre develop into the more energetic, upbeat rock-n-roll. Ray Charles too concentrated on country music around this period. Since then, country music has remained a popular genre in the US, and has undergone several successful transitions, giving rise to several popular subgenres.

Notable Performers:
Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis Presley, Vernon Dalhart, Fiddlin’ John Carson, Roy Acuff, Ray Charles, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson

Subgenres:
Bluegrass, Cajun, Classic Country, Country Rock, Nashville Sound, Honky-tonk, Cowboy Music, Close Harmony, Dansband Music, Sertanejo, Truck-driving Country, Christian Country, Rap Country, Blues Country, Hillbilly, Progressive Country

Reggae

Reggae music has its roots in a Jamaican music style called Ska, based on R&B, Jazz and Caribbean musical traditions. Ska originated in the 1960s, and later spawned the world-famous genre of Reggae.

Like all Caribbean music genres, Reggae extensively uses drums, typified by high-pitched snares. It has also incorporated electric instruments, such as guitars (especially basses) and synthesizers. Unlike virtually every other genre, the drum rolls in reggae do not end with the cymbal.

The orchestra is the important part in reggae performances. Reggae is an instrumentation-based genre rather than a vocals-based genre, since with the right instruments, a ‘reggae version’ of any song can be quite easily made.

Notable Artists:
Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Jimmy Cliff

Related Ska Subgenres:
Rocksteady, Lovers Rock, Ragga, Dub

Hip Hop

Favorite among youngsters all over the world, hip hop is one of the most popular modern genres of music. Hip hop music emerged as an offshoot of the hip hop movement in the 1970s. Centered in Bronx, the movement soon spread to the rest of the US, and hip hop music benefited from the expansion, becoming one of the most followed genres of the 1970s-1980s.

Since the 1990s, the genre has become synonymous with rapping, although rapping is only one part of hip hop music.

Notable Groups:
Public Enemy, The Roots, The Black Eyed Peas, Beastie Boys

Notable Performers:
Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Akon, Ludacris, Hard Kaur, Fergie, will.i.am, Adam Yauch, Ad-Rock

Electronic

One of the more modern genres in world music, electronic music is based, as is obvious from the name, on electronic instruments. These instruments include instruments such as synthesizers, the electric guitar and the theremin. Electronic music is widely known in the form of House or Disco music. It gained in popularity among youth in the 1970s and 1980s, and has since remained a popular genre of pop music. Over the ages, electronic music was inculcated in various other genres such as metal, hard rock, R&B etc.

Notable artists:
Halim El-Dabh, Karlheinz Stockhousen, Robert Moog, Brian Eno, Afrika Bambaataa, David Mancuso, Wendy Carlos

Subgenres:
Ambient, Breakbeat, Acid Breaks, 4-beat, Chiptune, Disco, House, Electronica, Electronic Rock, Electronic Jazz, Downtempo, Electronic Art Music, Video Game Music, Europop, Synthpop, Electronic Dance Music, Drum and Bass, Alternative Dance, Goa Trance, Eurotrance, Dream Trance, Hardcore Dance, Digital Hardcore, Industrial Metal, Industrial Rock, 2-step, Electronic House, Acid House

Latino

Latino music evolved in Latin America, i.e., South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Some Latino styles, such as samba, rumba, salsa and tango, are popular all over the world. Bossa nova, listed as a subgenre of jazz music, is also a famous Brazilian music form. Many Latin forms have successfully blended components of American music into their own, and created highly popular genres, such as Tejano music.

Latino music is reputed for its emphasis on rhythm and the consequently intoxicating beats; the effervescent style of samba has become the symbol of Brazil. However, Latin operas and ballads are just as popular — at least in Latin America — as their upbeat counterparts. Different styles of music can be found across the numerous countries in Latin America, but all of them can be grouped together by the love of rhythm. Interestingly, Latino music is the only genre in Western music classified according to geography.

Especially in the Caribbean, the influence of Indian music can be clearly observed in genres such as Chutney music, and its subsequent reincarnations. Lyrics laced with Hindi and Bhojpuri, as well as traditional Indian rhythm patterns are seen in these genres. As with the African immigrants in the US, Indian immigrants in the Caribbean have helped shape the musical scene of the tropical islands.

Notable Performers:
Roberto Carlos, Heitor Villa Lobos, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dropati, Sundar Popo, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Shakira

Subgenres:
Samba, Rumba, Bachata, Salsa, Tejano, Son, Calypso, Soca, Chutney, Chutney Soca, Mambo, Merengue, Ranchera

Oriental Music

Traditional Oriental

Traditions in Oriental music can stretch back to hundreds, even thousands of years. Indian Classical Music — the oldest surviving musical genre in the world — traces its roots to the Vedic period thousands of years ago, although it has undergone many transformations in the interim. Chinese and Japanese music traditions can also be traced back to the Middle Ages.

The music of China, Japan and Southeast Asia developed fairly independently; all three have long-standing traditions of music. The music in these three traditions focuses on ensemble singing. On the other hand, due to the Mughal conquest of North Indian Hindu empires, the highly malleable and miscible music of North India developed into an indiscernible mixture of Indian and Persian musical traditions, and retained the ancient Indian trait of being solely centered around the solitary artist.

Ancient Indian music was centered around chants, and songs sung primarily in praise of God. Due to the Islamic influence, the topic and composition of the lyrics changed, and so did the age-old style of music. Mughal composers and singers, such as Tansen, transformed Indian music into its modern format. The iconic Indian instruments tambora, the drone, and tabla, the Indian drum, also entered the realms of Indian music around this time.

Indian classical music is the only music that makes such an extensive use of, and gives such an importance to musical modes. In contrast to Western, Chinese, South Asian and Japanese music, Indian music places emphasis on the artist’s interpretation of a particular mode and his own style of singing, rather than a flawless facsimile of a composition written by someone else. As a result, ensembles are very rare in North Indian music, although it is an important part of the South Indian Carnatic school of music.

Some well-established genres of Indian classical music are Khyaal, Dhrupad and Thumri.

Many Western musicians studied Indian music and instruments extensively; notably, George Harrison took sitar lessons and collaborated with Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar. Ravi Shankar also performed at Woodstock, and at several other prestigious venues in the West. Indian music easily lends itself to fusion with other art forms, and especially in the late 20th century and 21st century collaborations between Indian and Western musicians became increasingly common. Many Indian classical musicians, such as Zakir Hussain, Taufiq Qureshi, L. Subramaniam have frequently collaborated with Western artists.

Oriental Pop

Pop music in Asia is heavily influenced by the Western pop scene. Western sounds began to make their way into Asian communities in the mid-20th century, and soon became popular all over the continent. Students studying in the West often brought home the musical influences of their stay in the West, and Asian pop music started to develop accordingly. Notably, in China these modern strains of music and its accompanying showmanship was considered vulgar and was thus banned!

Asian pop music has become increasingly famous in the West in the 21st century, borne out by the phenomenal response to the K-Pop (Korean Pop) song Gangnam Style. Topping the charts in numerous countries, the song made history by becoming the first video to garner a billion views on Youtube. The universal popularity of the K-pop song has resulted in it being hailed as ‘a bridge to international peace’.

Several Oriental artists, such as Ravi Shankar, A. R. Rahman and Tan Dun have won the Grammy, while Rahman and Dun also won the Academy Award for the best original score.

Film music in countries like India and Pakistan is often based on traditional principles, such as a composition based on a classical mode, but dominated by Western rhythms and electronic instruments. Songs from Indian and Pakistani movies are often the simplest examples of fusion

It is impossible to create an exhaustive list of musical genres, since even the slightest change in the style, instrumentation or even the presentation, can be said to be a change in the genre itself. The one absolute truth about music is that whatever the genre, whatever the instruments, whatever the ensemble, there’s only one language – the beautiful, the divine, the melodious!