'Rock music' is a general term that covers many different genres of music which have developed since rock ’n’ roll in the 1950s. There have been many stylistic changes in this period.
The song is in verse and chorus form with three verses and two choruses.
Each of the verses has an introduction.
There is a bridge after chorus 2.
The song ends with a climactic coda based on the chorus.
In verse and chorus form, the chorus:
sets the refrain of the lyrics and often contains the title words
usually returns several times, always with the same words
The verse usually has different words with each repetition.
A bridge is a contrasting passage.
A coda is a section which comes at the end of a song.
Melisma is where there is more than one note per syllable. A cross-rhythm is the effect produced when two conflicting rhythms are heard together.
R 'n' B emerged in America during the late 1980s with artists such as Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston. It is sometimes known as urban R 'n' B. It is not to be confused with earlier R&B (rhythm and blues), a style of black American music combining jazz and blues which emerged in the 1940s.
Urban R 'n' B combines elements of soul and hip-hop. It often uses:
tight drum programming
lush disco-influenced string sounds
slick production techniques
lush vocal arrangements often with closeharmonies
Close harmony is where the notes of a chord are close together rather than spread over a wide range.
R 'n' B is characterised by soul-influenced acrobatic vocals. The vocals are often:
semi-improvised – created according to the mood of the moment
melismatic – more than one note per syllable
virtuosic – demanding a high level of technical skill
Contemporary R 'n' B artists include Rihanna.
Listen to 'Stay' by Eternal. Notice the melismatic vocals and the use of programmed drum rhythms.
Hip-hop music focuses on rhythm rather than melody and harmony. It is characterised by:
use of samples
use of programmed beats
Rapping is rhythmical, rhyming, semi-spoken recitation. Often the lead vocal is joined by another member of the group who:
doubles the last word of some lines
adds answering phrases
adds spoken ad libs
A sampler is a device that can take any sound that is put into it, process it and play it back. A sample is a digitally recorded fragment of sound: it could be an bass guitar riff, a song chorus, the sound of breaking glass, or indeed anything.
Origins of hip-hop
Hip-hop originated in the Bronx area of New York in the 70s. Its vocal origins lie in the Jamaican 'toasting' tradition. Toasting is a cross between talking and rhythmic chanting which was originally practised by Jamaican MCs.Black DJs such as Grandmaster Flash and the Jamaican-born 'father of hip-hop' Kool Herc extended the instrumental sections (or 'breaks') from records by mixing between two identical copies of the same record.
Some of the DJs (or MCs) rapped over the top of the breaks. Dancers would get up during the breaks and perform a highly gymnastic style of dance using head and back-spinning. They became known as breakdancers.
Dance music DJs use different ways to manipulate the sound of recordings, adding their own creative element to the music they play. Originally DJs used vinyl records, but today many use CD decks, laptops and software packages to mix tracks, loop sections and create new compositions live. DJ techniques include:
mixing: where records are mixed together
beatmatching: changing the speed at which a record is played so that its tempo matches that of the song currently playing
cueing: finding a suitable point on a record to mix in
blending: when a DJ uses the equaliser to create a more seamless sounding mix
pitch shifting: changing the speed of the record
scratching: moving a vinyl record back and forth, using different cross fader techniques to cut sound in and out
beat juggling: is the act of manipulating two or more samples in order to create a unique composition
looping: is when a digital sampler is used to repeat a sample over and over again