United States Music

THE ELABORATION OF ORIGINAL FORMS AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Only after the First World War was it possible to develop, against the prevailing academicism of the institutions, a real innovative approach which is characterized, in the general acceptance of the most advanced acquisitions of the European avant-gardes, by a marked individualism and a lively eclecticism of stylistic solutions. Protagonists of this movement were J. Alden Carpenter (1876-1951), D. Moore (1893-1969), W. Piston (1894-1976), V. Thomson (1896-1989), who rethought the experience of the Parisian Group of Six and E. Satie, R. Sessions (1896-1985), who moving from Stravinsky’s neoclassicism to dodecaphony, R. Harris (1898-1979) and finally A. Copland (1900-1990). Authors such as H. Cowell (1897-1965), C. Ruggles (1876-1971) and above all C. Ives (1874-1954), whose imaginative experimentalism matured in relative isolation, moved towards more radical and in some respects more stimulating positions. foreshadowed many linguistic achievements of the new post-World War II European music. On the same boldly experimental line moved E. Varèse (1885-1965), whose analysis of the sound phenomenon led him around 1930 to the first experiments in electronic music. Authors such as P. Creston (1906-1985), W. Schuman (1910-1992), S. Barber (1910-1981), M. Gould (1913), V. Persichetti (1915-1987), D. Diamond (b.1915), L. Bernstein (1918-1990) reproposed, each in particular ways, the formulas of a elegant cosmopolitan eclecticism, streaked with veins mediated by the strands of song and jazz. Unsurpassed – along this line – G. Gershwin (1898-1937), who started from the experiences of ragtime and pop music and, with the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), developed an original language that merged cultured modules European and American styles. At the renewal of the musical and the creation of a language identified in a national sense (but soon spread by cinema, records and radio) contributed refined authors of songs such as J. Kern (1885-1945), C. Porter (1893-1964), I. Berlin (1888-1989), V. Youmans (1898-1946), R. Rodgers (1902-1979). In the field of cultured music, the second half of the twentieth century, a flourishing of radical avant-garde movements found in J. Cage (1912-1992) the most authoritative and representative exponent. Along his line have moved L. Foss (b. 1922), E. Brown (1926-2002), M. Feldmann (1926-1972), C. Wolff (b.1934) and the pianist D. Tudor (1926-1996), who made a fruitful critique of postwebernian structuralism starting from irrationalistic premises.. In the seventies a current emerged that has its major exponents in T. Riley, S. Reich, P. Glass and LaMonte Young. It recognizes the tendency to reduce musical language to a few simple elements, the subject of continuous iteration and slow static, contemplative and anti-evolutionary transformation that reveals the growing influence of Asian cultures (mainly penetrated from the Pacific coast) in the musical scene of the States. United.

THE GENRES OF POPULAR MUSIC IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AND IN THE EARLY 2000s

According to zipcodesexplorer, throughout the twentieth century the United States marked the birth of some musical genres such as jazz, blues and, later, rock which, with its various and successive declinations, has radically changed the panorama of Western popular music. The blues, which has its roots in the work songs of black slaves, from the 1920s influenced all the musical experiences of the Southern States. played M. Waters and B. Didley, the father of boogie. Among the most important blues voices we remember O. Redding and A. Franklin. S. Ray Vaugham, on the other hand, will be the great white guitarist of the Eighties. At the beginning of the 2000s, the American blues was supported by the talent of R. Cray, A. Youngblood and Popa Chubby. From the same origins of the blues, jazz also originated, which spread, in the early twentieth century in New Orleans, with the music of King Oliver and the trumpet of L. Armstrong. In the 1930s, African American musical culture invaded New York, giving life to that “Harlem Renaissance” that paved the way for the swing of G. Miller and D. Ellington. The most charismatic singers of the jazz style of the time were E. Fitzgerald and B. Holiday and, of course, F. Sinatra. After the Second World War, swing gave way to bibop, with C. Parker and D. Gillespie and, between the fifties and seventies, to the successive variations of cool jazz, avant-garde and fusion. In those years, the music of M. Davis and J. Coltrane was unforgettable. O. Coleman was instead the inventor of free jazz. In the 1950s an unforgotten E. Presley inaugurated rock’n roll, the genre that most of all contributed to changing American youth culture, making young people themselves aware of the disruptive power of music. The Sixties will instead be the decade of dreams and revolt: the passionate voice of J. Joplin, the guitar J. Hendrix, the charisma of J. Morrison, the words of B. Dylan enchanted the young people who came from every American state to fill and animate gatherings and festivals, among which, without doubt, Woodstock was the most important. The seventies saw rock characterize itself with new sounds, brought to the fore by the punk of the Ramones, and again by I. Pop, P. Smith, Santana, T. Waits, even if they will be the psychedelic sounds of the Greatful Dead and Jefferson Airplane move the youth counterculture again. In the United States of the Eighties the robust rock of B. Springsteen will depopulate and the heavy metal of Metallica, the hard rock of Kiss and Van Halen and the black atmospheres of A. Cooper will assert themselves. With Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden begin the nineties and the grunge era. Nonetheless, hip-hop, born in the seventies in New York, transforms, towards the end of the century, to take on the characters of a mass genre, ending up soon representing a new source of income for US record companies (among the many rappers of the American scene: Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, D. Dre). Meanwhile, rock is contaminated with rap, funky sounds and, on the American music scene, groups such as the Beasty Boys and the Red Hot Chily Peppers make their appearance. Finally, in the varied panorama of the music of the 2000s, the phenomena of rap deserve a place in themselves, expressed by the performances of Eminem and 50 Cent, of electronic music of Moby, of the revisited rock of the White Stripes, of System of a Down, or Linkin Park and Interpol, Madonna, considered the queen of pop, by B. Spears, J. Timberlake and Taylor Swift.

United States Music

About the author