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Chapter 4: North America/Black America

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1 Chapter 4: North America/Black America
Music from Africa Work Songs & Field Hollers Spirituals Ragtime Blues Jazz Gospel

2 Work Songs & Field Hollers
Work Song = accompanies work and makes time pass more pleasantly; usually multiple singers; regular pulse/beat that goes with work. (ex.: “Rosie”) Field Holler = sung by solo worker; free or flexible rhythm; no accompaniment; one of the ancestors to the blues. (ex.: sung by Baby Doo Caston)

3 Ho Boys, Cancha Line ‘Em Chain-gang Work Song Strophic (repetitive)
Primary motor rhythm is strong and straight (work), syncopation makes the melody lift and rise above the work. Call-and-response between song leader and group - with direct repetition of sung line by the group.

4 Ho Boys, Cancha Line ‘Em Ho, boys, is you right?
Intro: Ho, boys, is you right? I done got right (repeat) Verse 1: If I could I surely would Stand on that rock where Moses stood (response) Chorus: Ho boys, cancha line ‘em? See Eloise go linin' rail.

5 Verse 2: July the red bug, July the fly If August ain’t a hot month, I sure hope to die (response) Chorus: Ho boys, well they can’t wait Ho boys, well they ain't time See Eloise go linin' rail.

6 Verse 3: I got a woman on Jennielee Square If you wanna die easy, let me catch you there (response) Chorus: Ho boys, cancha line ‘em? See Eloise go linin' rail. go linin' rail.

7 Selected Characteristics of African-American Music
Blue Notes Blues Scale Motor Rhythm Syncopation (define this) Swing Improvisation

8 Blues Scale Comparison

9 Swing Eighths Comparison

10 Work Songs & Field Hollers
Purpose Themes Tradition Musical characteristics Differences

11 Work Songs (cont.) Field Holler Work Song
sung by Baby Doo Caston (CD I:24) Work Song “Rosie” (CD II:1)

12 Religious Music Amazing Grace (CD I:22 and 23) Compare and contrast
Apply characteristics listed above Influence on other music Spirituals (Dr. Payne)


14 The Blues Originated in the Deep South
Mississippi Delta Blues (Charley Patton, Robert Johnson) Active throughout South, slightly different in each region. A Feeling (“I’ve got the blues, but that’s ok”) A Form (12-bar blues, Quatrain-Refrain) Influenced Jazz, Rock n’Roll, and Country

15 Strophic ? same music repeated, different words.
Ex. 1: Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, etc. (most songs heard on radio today) Ex. 2: Succession of “verses” or “choruses” (Hymns, Ballad Songs, and the 12-bar Blues form)

16 Blues Form Combined the spiritual, field holler & work song, and the 3-line ballad (as sung by songsters). 3-Line Vocal Stanza (or “strophe”): 2nd Line repeats 1st, 3rd line rhymes with above. Example: I’m gonna lay down my head on some lonesome railroad line. And let that 5:15 train pacify my mind.

17 Diagram of Blues Form (12-bar Blues)
Line 1 (4 measures) Line 2 (4 measures) Line 3 (4 measures) Voice Fill Voice Fill Voice Fill I (2) I (2) IV (2) I (2) V (2) I (2) Tonic Subdominant Tonic Dominant Tonic Line 1 (4 measures) I (2) - I’m gonna lay down my head on some lonesome railroad line. I (2) - instrumental fill Line 2 (4 measures) IV (2) - I’m gonna lay down my head on some lonesome railroad line. Line 3 (4 measures) V (2) - And let that 5:15 train pacify my mind.

18 Examples from Textbook
Lazy Bill Lucas Poor Boy Blues (CD II: 2) Bar Blues She Got Me Walkin’ (CD II: 3) Bar & Quatrain-Refrain (stop-time) Form Otis Rush Ain’t Enough Comin’ In (CD II:8) Bar Blues with Bridge

19 How do these compare? “I Need $100” (II:4) “Kokomo Blues” (II:5)
From Dark Till Dawn” (II:6) “You Don’t Love Me” (II:7)

20 Discussion Points Do the blues help you -- personally?
Is some blues music better than others? Do you get bored with some blues music? Does marketing diminish the blues?

21 Spirituals African-American songs, usually with a religious text.
Originally monophonic and a cappella, these songs are antecedents of the blues. Spirituals were primarily expressions of religious faith, sung by slaves on southern plantations. Examples: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; Were You There; Woke Up This Morning; Follow the Drinking Gourd; Go Tell it on the Mountain

22 Assignment 4 Compose the lyrics for at least 2 stanzas (strophes) of a 12-Bar Blues. This should result in six total lines of text. The proper rhyme scheme for the ends of the lines should be used (as shown in text examples).

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