Rock and Roll music originated in the United States during the mid 1950s and was transformed to rock music in the 1960s. It is believed that Rock and Roll was a merger of what was considered country music and rhythm music at the time. It was a mix of volatile mixture of black culture and white spending power. For that matter, the black vocal groups such as Dominoes combined power and expertise with Spaniels to give rise to more aggressive rhythms. This kind of music was instrumental in introducing white suburb teenagers to a culture considered more exotic, thrilling and illicit. For instance, in 1954 a white singer, Elvis Presley rose to fame and considerably sounded like a black man. He went ahead to incorporate many elements of music such as rave up and blue-wails to produce a blend that was readily accepted by the audience. This kind of music had some element of euphemism for sex, considering that most of Presley songs had a sense of sexuality. This music was a catalyst for the merger between black and white to create something bigger and more complex for both cultures.
Significantly, notable artists included Presley, Dominoes, Spaniels, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley. Dominoes composed songs such as Have Mercy Baby, Ain’t that a Shame, Domino, Blue Monday. Similarly, Love Me Tender, Don’t Be Cruel, Heart Break Hotel, Little Sister, All shook Up. The music had the element of directing their messages to teenagers, and for young white Americans, such music were soundtracks for rebellion and resistance. Rock and Roll attracted condemnation from religious leaders, politician and parents who equated the music to devil. For that matter, Rock music was established to sanitize the product and environment that had already been contaminated by Rock and Roll. The messages were now clean compared to the previous genre. This genre gave rise to more non threatening artists such as Pat Boone who recorded music with the likes of Little Richard. The genre had more freedom and was fragmented into numerous styles that were widely accepted by many of those who had criticized Rock and Roll. The genre of both music were from everyday life challenges, especially what the minority groups were going through during the time of supremacy battle between the whites and blacks and civil rights injustice.
Beatles and their Influence on Popular American Music
Beatles is perhaps the best music group that influence popular American culture and music. The music group consisted of George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Together, they composed and performed some of the songs that melted the heart of Americans. Part of the success was anchored on the ability of the band to make most of their messages understandable and acceptable to most audience. Unlike the Rock and Roll music genre that targeted only American teenagers, Beatles tried to reach almost all the age groups. Significantly, one never needed an expert to explain what each was saying. In other words, music composed by Beatles served the larger American needs, these songs formed part of popular art. Long before they took the American audience by storm, their music styles were influenced by early American rock stars such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins. Their initial stint was based on beats and rock and roll of the 1950s. However, they were able to experiment with myriad musical styles that ranged from pop ballads to hard rock, often adding classical elements and unconventional recording prowess in most innovative ways.
They were signed in 1962 in America, quickly matured to become master composers, and relied on rhythm and blue songs which had influenced their styles. Their popular songs includes Hey Jude, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Twist and Shout, Revolution, Something, Penny Lane and Hello Goodbye among others. In most of these songs, John Lennon, as the lead vocalist rendered music that evoked emotions needed to make the audience remember the songs for a long time. These songs made Beatles to raise the audience bar especially for teen idol quality. Before Beatles joined the musical scene in America, most of pop musicians were majorly from Philadelphia whose music was manufactured next door. At the time, music content and messages was defined and decided by the producers. In other words, agenda of most of this music was set by music producers. However, Beatles stormed the scene and brought independency of music content and messages. They brought a new style for musicians to pursue any societal theme without interference from music producers. For that, they were able to change the musical landscape for good. Thus, Beatles were able to revamp the musical scene and gave it more authority. Further, they are among the pioneer of musical videos and made America the first county to have all-music television network in 1981. Significantly, music videos became hallmark in the 1980s courtesy of Beatles, Michael Jackson and Peter Gabriel.
Contributions of African American Musicians
African American musicians have immensely contributed to the growth of music industry in America. Though, most of their music has been criticized by religious leaders and parent organizations, these have largely been popular. Electric blue, R n B and soul have fundamentally been marked as distinct musical genre that developed as a synthesis of African American culture and tradition. Most of these musicians composed lyrics that captured themes on oppression, hardships and a segregated society. The music genre also captured issues revolving around civil rights injustices and chronicles of joy and sorrows that characterized daily life. Blues genre of music remained as an outlet to address and express personal and shared experience. In other words, African Americans contributed in giving music its true meaning by consistently addressing everyday life. African Americans have for a long time been discriminated based on color and for that they coined these music genres to help address their predicaments.
Musicians who have fronted the growth of African American genres and style of music include Destiny Child, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani among others. It has been true to say that these music genres brought in positive images and elements of social conscience to the music that was predominantly missing in previous genres. However, some of these African American have consistently used violent images and projected tough images. Destiny child’s Beyonce composed Survivor, Run the World while Lady Gaga composed Poker Face, Bad Romance and Gwen Stefani performed Cool and Rich Girl.
Origins of Latin American Music and their Influence on Popular Music
Latin American music originated from Mexico, Central America and part of South America. These regions were characterized by traditions that reflected distinct mixture of Native American, African and European influences that shifted the regions through time. Latin music had magnificent influences on folk music as it brought on board musical cultures that emerged gradually during the colonial period (Quintana n.p). It consolidated music from diverse cultures of indigenous people, Spanish and Europeans. Fundamentally, a mixture of music from diverse groups of people created an extraordinary complex hybrid culture of people across board. Latin American music led to the development of other genre of music by opening more musical theaters that became a large part of musical life in America (Quintana n.p). Notably, popular salon music composer in Mexico was Juventino Rosas who composed On the Waves that become popular worldwide. The influence of Latin American music was largely felt during the early 20th century courtesy of artists such as Manuel Ponce, Silvestre Revueltas, and Carlos Chávez, who were considered major Mexican composers of the century. These artists prompted the spirit of nationalism through their music. In other words, Latin American Music addressed real life issues such as democracy, unity among other life pressing issues at the time. Latin American composers influenced popular music by creating a blend of music that followed international trends. For instance, Rodolfo Halffter of Mexico expressed music that took in account the neoclassic aesthetic and serialism. Another artist from Cuba, Jose Ardevol had his music characterized by elements of atonality and serialism. He largely influenced other Cuban composers. Through their music, these artists were able to create strong foundation that encouraged the embrace of indigenous culture that was fronted through music.
Quintana Carlos. Latin music history: A look at the cultural mix and social environment that
produced Latin music. ThoughtCo. ThoughtCo, 2017. Available at: https://www.thoughtco.com/latin-music-history-2141147. Retrieved April 28, 2018.