The evolution of music

Adam Flowers, Staff Reporter

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Music has really come a long way; it’s something that’s universal and everyone knows the language to it. The oldest known hymn was dated back to 1400 B.C., whereas music is still being created today.

We’ll start in the 1900s, the turn of the century, when music was emerging from the Romantic Period and into the Modernism/Popular Period. In this decade, jazz was starting to become a genre; Scott Joplin, a very influential jazz artist was known for Ragtime, which is known for its syncopated, or “ragged” rhythms.

Most Ragtime songs can be recognized from most cartoons, even. One of Joplin’s most famous pieces is called Maple Leaf Rag.

Not only jazz was popular in this decade, but there were also more classical-like songs. One composer, Claude Debussy, is very famous for his piece, Clair de Lune.

In the 1910s and 1920s, jazz music was becoming more prevalent. After World War I was the Harlem Renaissance, which was in the 1920s; this was a famous art movement that took place in Harlem, New York. One of the most famous musicians in the 1920s was Louis Armstrong.

The 1930s was the Swing Era of jazz. One famous musician in this time period was Glenn Miller; The Glenn Miller Orchestra had a significant jazz sound, which made them one of the greatest bands of all time.

Of course jazz was not the only genre. In the 1940s, there were other genres like country and there were even some influences of latin music. After World War II, the crooner genre became popular. Frank Sinatra was a famous crooner in the 40s.

In the 1950s the rock genre started to emerge. Famous rock artists in the 50s included Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley.

Presley was a big pioneer and influence to rock music. Most elements used then are still used today.

The 1960s was a very diverse time of music. Rock was one the most, if not the most, popular genre.

Other sub-genres of rock even started to emerge. The most popular group in the 60s was The Beatles.

The Beatles’ music was very different, making the rock genre even more popular. They were very innovative and they wanted to make something different.

Other artists in this decade that were also popular were The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix.

In the 70s, disco music was becoming favored. Disco music uses elements of string instruments, commonly a violin, and percussion instruments; famous disco artists were Gloria Gaynor, The Bee Gees, and Diana Ross.

One band on the rise in the 70s was Queen. They’re particularly known for the hit song that came out in 1975, Bohemian Rhapsody.

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