Music Performance Session Styles Essay

You are to recognise 3 genre of music and evaluate that style with the aim of performing that style accurately. P1 Explain the fundamental stylistic elements of a wide range of musical genres. You will understand the stylistic elements across a wide range of musical genres Reggae Reggae is most easily recognized by the rhythmic accents on the off-beat, usually played by guitar or piano (or both), known as the skank.

This pattern accents the second and fourth beat in each bar (or the ands of each beat depending on how the music is counted) and combines with the drums emphasis on beat three to create a unique feel and sense of phrasing in contrast to most other popular genres focus on beat one, the “downbeat” Stylistic elements: The tempo of reggae is usually felt as slower than the popular Jamaican forms, ska and rocksteady, which preceded it.

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It is this slower tempo, the guitar/piano off-beats, the emphasis on the third beat, and the use of syncopated, melodic bass lines that differentiates reggae from other music, although other musical styles have incorporated some of these innovations separately. A standard drum kit is generally used in reggae, but the snare drum is often tuned very high to give it a timbales-type sound. Some reggae drummers use an additional timbale or high-tuned snare to get this sound. Cross-stick technique on the snare drum is commonly used, and tom-tom drums are often incorporated into the drumbeat itself.

An unusual characteristic of reggae drumming is that the drum fills often do not end with a climactic cymbal. Wide ranges of other percussion instrumentation are used in reggae. Bongos are often used to play free, improvised patterns, with heavy use of African-style cross-rhythms. Cowbells, claves and shakers tend to have more defined roles and a set pattern. The bass guitar often plays the dominant role in reggae, and the drum and bass is often the most important part of what is called, in Jamaican music, a riddim (rhythm), a (usually simple) piece of music that’s used repeatedly by different artists to write and record songs with.

Literally hundreds of reggae singers have released different songs recorded over the same rhythm. The central role of the bass can be particularly heard in dub music which gives an even bigger role to the drum and bass line, reducing the vocals and other instruments to peripheral roles. The bass sound in reggae is thick and heavy, and equalized so the upper frequencies are removed and the lower frequencies emphasized. The bass line is often a repeated two or four bar riff when simple chord progressions are used.

From the late 1960s through to the early 1980s, a piano was often used in reggae to double the rhythm guitar’s skank, playing the chords in a staccato style to add body, and playing occasional extra beats, runs and riffs. The piano part was widely taken over by synthesizers during the 1980s, although synthesizers have been used in a peripheral role since the 1970s to play incidental melodies and countermelodies. Larger bands may include either an additional keyboardist, to cover or replace horn and melody lines, or the main keyboardist filling these roles on two or more keyboards.

The reggae organ-shuffle is unique to reggae. Typically, a Hammond organ-style sound is used to play chords with a choppy feel. This is known as the bubble. This may be the most difficult reggae keyboard rhythm. The organ bubble can be broken down into 2 basic patterns. In the first, the 8th beats are played with a space-left-right-left-space-left-right-left pattern, where the spaces represent downbeats not played—that and the left-right-left falls on the ee-and-a, or and-2-and if counted at double time.

In the second basic pattern, the left hand plays a double chop as described in the guitar section while the right hand plays longer notes on beat 2 (or beat 3 if counted at double time) or a syncopated pattern between the double chops The guitar in reggae usually plays on the off- beat of the rhythm. So if you’re counting in 4/4 time and counting 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +, you would play a down stroke on the “and” part of the beat. A musical figure known as skank or the ‘bang” . has a very dampened, short and scratchy chop sound, almost like a percussion instrument.

Sometimes a double chop is used when the guitar still plays the off beats, but also plays the following 8th beats on the up-stroke. Horn sections are frequently used in reggae, often playing introductions and counter-melodies. Instruments included in a typical reggae horn section include saxophone, trumpet or trombone. In more recent times, real horns are sometimes replaced in reggae by synthesizers or recorded samples. The horn section is often arranged around the first horn, playing a simple melody or counter melody.

The first horn is usually accompanied by the second horn playing the same melodic phrase in unison, one octave higher. The third horn usually plays the melody an octave and a fifth higher than the first horn. The horns are generally played fairly softly, usually resulting in a soothing sound. However, sometimes punchier, louder phrases are played for a more up-tempo and aggressive sound. Harmonically, the music is essentially the same as any modern popular genre with a tendency to make use of simple modal chord progressions.

For example: I – bVII7 and I – ii – iii – ii are both common progressions in reggae and both examples of the kind of chord structures used in modal jazz. The vocals in reggae are less of a defining characteristic of the genre than the instrumentation and rhythm, as almost any song can be performed in a reggae style. Vocal harmony parts are often used, either throughout the melody or as a counterpoint to the main vocal line. An unusual aspect of reggae singing is that many singers use tremolo rather than vibrato.

Reggae is noted for its tradition of social criticism in its lyrics, although many reggae songs discuss lighter, more personal subjects, such as love and socializing. Many early reggae bands covered Motown or Atlantic soul and funk songs. Some reggae lyrics attempt to raise the political consciousness of the audience, such as by criticizing materialism, or by informing the listener about controversial subjects such as Apartheid. Many reggae songs promote the use of cannabis a sacrament in the Rastafari movement.

The Genre of Reggae is commonly associated with the Marijuana drug as the effects are thought to be quite relaxed and laid back and this is also popular with the music as it is also quite free flowing and relaxed. Metal Heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and in the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness.

Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo. Stylistic elements: Heavy metal is traditionally characterized by loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and vigorous vocals. The typical band line-up includes a drummer, a bassist, a rhythm guitarist, a lead guitarist, and a singer, who may or may not be an instrumentalist. Keyboard instruments are sometimes used to enhance the fullness of the sound. The electric guitar and the sonic power that it projects through amplification has historically been the key element in heavy metal.

The lead role of the guitar in heavy metal often collides with the traditional “front man” or bandleader role of the vocalist, creating a musical tension as the two “contend for dominance in a spirit of affectionate rivalries”. Heavy metal demands the subordination of the voice to the overall sound of the band. Reflecting metal’s roots in the 1960s counterculture, an “explicit display of emotion” is required from the vocals as a sign of authenticity. The prominent role of the bass is also key to the metal sound, and the interplay of bass and guitar is a central element.

The bass guitar provides the low-end sound crucial to making the music “heavy”. Metal bass lines vary widely in complexity, from holding down a low pedal point as a foundation to doubling complex riffs and licks along with the lead and/or rhythm guitars. Some bands feature the bass as a lead instrument. The essence of metal drumming is creating a loud, constant beat for the band, Metal drumming “requires an exceptional amount of endurance”, and drummers have to develop “considerable speed, coordination, and dexterity to play the intricate patterns” used in metal.

A characteristic metal drumming technique is the cymbal choke, which consists of striking a cymbal and then immediately silencing it by grabbing it with the other hand (or, in some cases, the same striking hand), producing a burst of sound. The metal drum setup is generally much larger than those employed in other forms of rock music. The rhythm in metal songs is emphatic, with deliberate stresses. In many heavy metal songs, the main groove is characterized by short, two-note or three-note rhythmic figures—generally made up of 8th or 16th notes.

These rhythmic figures are usually performed with a staccato attack created by using a palm-muted technique on the rhythm guitar. Brief, abrupt, and detached rhythmic cells are joined into rhythmic phrases with a distinctive, often jerky texture. These phrases are used to create rhythmic accompaniment and melodic figures called riffs, which help to establish thematic hooks. Heavy metal songs also use longer rhythmic figures such as whole note- or dotted quarter note-length chords in slow-tempo power ballads One of the signatures of the genre is the guitar power chord.

In technical terms, the power chord is relatively simple: it involves just one main interval, generally the perfect fifth, though an octave may be added as a doubling of the root. Although the perfect fifth interval is the most common basis for the power chord, power chords are also based on different intervals such as the minor third, major third, perfect fourth, diminished fifth, or minor sixth. Most power chords are also played with a consistent finger arrangement that can be slid easily up and down the fret board.

Heavy metal is usually based on riffs created with three main harmonic traits: modal scale progressions, tritone and chromatic progressions, and the use of pedal points. Traditional heavy metal tends to employ modal scales, in particular the Aeolian and Phrygian modes. Harmonically speaking, this means the genre typically incorporates modal chord progressions such as the Aeolian progressions I-VI-VII, I-VII-(VI), or I-VI-IV-VII and Phrygian progressions. Heavy metal songs often make extensive use of pedal point as a harmonic basis.

A pedal point is a sustained tone, typically in the bass range, during which at least one foreign (or dissonant) harmony is sounded in the other parts. The Majority of metal instrumentation sounds quite angry and energetic, whereas the lyrics are usually quite melodic which is quite contrasting but it works well together to create quite a popular genre. Soul Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s, combining elements of African American gospel music and rhythm and blues.

Catchy rhythms stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the soloist and the chorus, and an especially tense vocal sound. The style also occasionally uses improvisational additions, twirls and auxiliary sounds. Stylistic elements: Soul music lends itself to a wide variety of emotions. Soul singers use a variety of tones from gentle and smooth, to raspy and harsh, in order to properly convey this range of emotions.

Rhythm is one of the primary attributes of soul music. Soul music has a definitive rhythm. Soul borrows heavily from the 12 bar, 3 line lyric style used in blues of the 40’s and 50’s provides a “response. ” Repetition plays a major role in soul music. In the soul music genre, it’s not uncommon to hear the same musical notes, phrases and rhythms throughout a song, the range of sounds included in soul music include harsh and raspy or smooth and gentle notes. The tone of soul music permits artists to display a wide range of emotions, from happy to sad.

A key characteristic of soul music is that the rhythm is accented on beats two and four or the backbeat, the use of 8 and 16 bar phrases more common in popular soul music uncomplicated bass line follows chord structure Vocal gospel style, but with secular lyrics, lyrics are about real life situations and emotions felt by the ‘soul’ Soul music features a heavy call and response routine. The singer or musician “calls” out a phrase or saying, and another singer or musician additionally, shouting, moaning and other improvisations are common.

Soul music infuses a wide variety of instruments together, such as the piano, drums, and the guitar. The use of horns, like the trumpet and saxophone, plays a huge role in distinguishing soul music from other music genres. Another common characteristic is the use of an instrumental “break” – different instruments take a turn at improvising the melody for a certain number of bars mainly 8 or 16 The common instruments found in a soul band line up are a Guitar, Bass, Piano, Organ, Drums, Horn section, Keyboards, Clavinet and Vocals