In any restaurant, grocery store or mall today you can hear hit songs from the sixties, seventies and eighties. These songs, some up to 50 years old, are still catchy and kids who are no older than ten hum and sing along with them just like their parents did when they were young. It’s hard to imagine timeless music like this ever being gone. The eighties, for instance, is an era known for its synth driven pop songs that are looked on now as being both campy and heartfelt, yet every generation since has looked back to this time and emulated it in some form or another. Today, elements of every music era from the early 20th century can be seen in today’s popular culture.
Tracing The Sound Back To Its Tail
The creators of South Park were once quoted saying that if they were the rock and roll of cartoons, Beavis and Butthead were the blues. This, of course, is a compliment paid through the well-known statement that without the blues there would’ve never been rock and roll. In Keith Richards’ autobiography he states over and over that The Rolling Stones, one of the most popular rock bands of all time, were just trying to play good blues music. In the book Richards sites many blues musicians who influenced him and helped him to develop his iconic sound and most famous riffs. But before blues music influenced rock and roll it helped to shape the sound of some of the most popular classic jazz artists we know today.
The Bass For All Jazz
Not only did the blues influence jazz artists, it set the template for them to play to. The Thelonius Monk Institute Of Jazz states that the twelve-bar blues chorus was “the single most popular template for early jazz improvisation, as compact yet profound in its way as the sonnet proved to be in the realm of poetry.” Classic jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington And Billie Holiday to name a few are held in the highest esteem by today’s jazz contemporaries and pop musicians alike.
Keeping The Tradition Alive
Music has a way of changing the atmosphere of a room, which is probably why department stores and restaurants will continue to play music of the past. Carefully selected music appeases a business’s demographic. Jazz music along with the cracking sounds of vinyl will always remind us of music in its early form when artists were first able to record and share their explorations of the deep and turbulent waters of emotion and expression.
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