One of the primary characteristics of the 2-step sound - the term being coined to describe "a general rubric for all kinds of jittery, irregular rhythms that don't conform to garage's traditional 4-to-the-floor pulse" - is that the rhythm lacks the kick drum pattern found in many other styles of electronic music with a regular four-to-the-floor beat. A typical 2-step drum pattern features a kick on the first and third beat, with a shuffled rhythm or the use of triplets applied to other elements of the percussion, creating a "lurching, falter-funk feel", and resulting in a beat distinctly different from that present in other house or techno. Although tracks with only two kick drum beats to a bar are perceived as being slower than the traditional four-to-the-floor beat, the listener's interest is maintained by the introduction of unusual snare placements and accents in the drum patterns, or scattered rim shots and woodblocks, as well as syncopated bass lines and the percussive use of other instruments such as pads and strings.
Instrumentation usually includes keyboards, synthesizers, and drum machines. Other instruments added to expand the musical palette include guitar, piano and horns; these additions are almost always sampled. The primarily synth-based bass lines used in 2-step are similar to those in the style's progenitors such as UK garage and before that, drum and bass and jungle, but influences from funk and soul music can also be heard. Vocals in 2-step garage are usually female, and similar to the style prevalent in house music or contemporary R&B. Some 2-step producers also process and cut up elements of an acappella vocal and use it as an element of the track. Much like other genres derived from UK garage, MCs are often featured, particularly in a live context, with a vocal style reminiscent of old school jungle.
Influence from hip hop and drum and bass, particularly the hardstep and techstep sub genres have also been noted by critics. The fact that the scene had a significantly different atmosphere to those that surrounded precursors with less aggression at live events was also noted by some critics.
2 Tone (or Two Tone) is a music genre created in England in the late 1970s by fusing elements of ska, punk rock, rock steady, reggae and pop. Within the history of ska music, it is classified as its second wave.
Individual nicknames of DJs rather than recording under a band name would be common. These same artists would be widely found DJing on the English rave circuit. These individual artists would also collaborate with other individuals under joint releases with & or versus designations.
Much like its hardcore predecessor, there was a number of uncredited white labels released, created by unknown producers.
Typical characteristics for 4-beat are for compositions to be around a tempo of 150 to 170 BPM (beats per minute). At the core of these compositions would be a fast looped, sometimes complex rolling sampled breakbeat, along with a combined bass drum every four beats to the bar - hence the name of 4-beat.
These rolling chopped breakbeats were not too dissimilar to those found in jungle music. A deep sub bassline could also be found to work with the breakbeats, though not as prominent as found in jungle. Both 4-beat and jungle styles would be common under one roof at raves during the early-to-mid-1990s.
Tracks would have a somewhat basic keyed happy sounding chord before bursting into an Italo house inspired catchy piano melody. This would be the hook of the record, where rave crowds would respond by making noise by blowing whistles or air horns. This could be accompanied by weeping and uplifting strings.
If any vocals were used, they would certainly be female and likely be just short several second parts sampled from other records. In most cases these would not be performed by a vocalist paid to perform many lyrics.
High pitched samples due to the fast tempo of tracks could be found in this music but not in every release. It's deemed more of a stereotype associated to this style.
Due to other influences - largely to the bouncy techno style - its inherent breakbeats and sub basslines would later become surplus to requirements by 1996.
Like dubstep and grime, bassline generally places a strong emphasis on bass, with intricate basslines (often multiple and interweaving) being characteristic of the genre. Bassline tracks use a four-to-the-floor beat. The music is often purely instrumental, but vocal techniques common in other styles of garage can also be present, such as female R&B vocals sped up to match the faster tempo, and also samples of vocals from grime tracks. Most songs are around 135 to 142 bpm, faster than most UK garage and around the same tempo as most grime and dubstep.
Bassline is gaining popularity on the pop charts and allegedly one reason for this is it appeals to both genders, while grime and dubstep gathered a predominantly male following. The increased appeal of bassline may be in part due to the vocal contributions of female artists such as Jodie Aysha. The lyrics of bassline are often focused on love and other issues that may be considered more feminine. In a blog posting, Simon Reynolds described the bassline genre as "the drastic pendulum swing from yang to yin, testosterone to oestrogen, that I had always imagined would happen in reaction to grime, except it took so long to happen I gave up on it and just forgot." It has been argued that grime and dubstep originated in turn from "an over-reaction - to the 'feminine pressure' of late-'90s 2-step."
Together with its return to feminine-style music, bassline is said to embrace pop music aesthetics, and to have a euphoric, exuberant quality similar to that of earlier British rave music - both also in contrast to grime and dubstep.
Bassline has been described as largely similar, and in some cases synonymous, with its precursor 2-step garage, a description denied by proponents of the scene. The 4x4 beat of bassline has been noted as a difference between the two. Producer T2 maintains the genres share a common origin in house music but are different sounds, while major bassline distributor and DJ Mystic Matt describes bassline as having a similar rhythm to UK garage, but that the strong emphasis on bass renders it a separate genre.
8-bit refers to a style of electronic music inspired (and performed) by the sound of old computer consoles from the 8 bit era of video games. This music will often reflect sounds from technology that is seen as primitive or "outdated" such as the Game Boy and home made synthesizers.
A cappella (Italian for From the chapel/choir) music is vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. In modern usage, a cappella often refers to an all-vocal performance of any style, including barbershop, doo wop, and modern pop/rock. Today, a cappella also includes sample/loop "vocal only" productions by producers like Jimmy Spice Curry, Teddy Riley, Wyclef, and others.
Acid jazz (also known as groove jazz in USA) is a musical genre that combines elements of jazz, funk and hip-hop, particularly looped beats. It developed in the UK over the 1980s and 1990s and could be seen as tacking the sound of jazz-funk onto electronic dance/pop music: jazz-funk musicians such as Roy Ayers and Donald Byrd are often credited as forerunners of acid jazz. Acid jazz has also experienced minor influences from soul music, house music and disco.
While acid jazz often contains various types of electronic composition (sometimes including sampling or live DJ cutting and scratching), it is just as likely to be played live by musicians, who often showcase jazz interpretation as part of their performance. The compositions of groups such as Jamiroquai, The Brand New Heavies and Incognito often feature chord structures usually associated with jazz music. The Heavies in particular were known in their early years for beginning their songs as catchy pop and rapidly steering them into jazz territory before "resolving" the composition and thus not losing any pop listeners but successfully "exposing" them to jazz elements in "baby steps".
The acid jazz "movement" is also seen as a "revival" of jazz-funk or jazz fusion or soul jazz by leading DJs such as Norman Jay or Gilles Peterson or Patrick Forge, also known as "rare groove crate diggers" or "Cataroos".
Afrobeat is a combination of Yoruba music, jazz, highlife, and funk rhythms, fused with percussion and vocal styles, popularized in Africa in the 1970s. Its main creator was the Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Fela Kuti who used it to revolutionise musical structure as well as the political context in his native Nigeria. It was Kuti who coined the term "afrobeat" upon his return from a U.S. tour with his group Nigeria 70 (formerly Koola Lobitos).
The new sound hailed from a club that he established called the Afro-Shrine. Upon arriving in Nigeria, Kuti also changed the name of his group to Fela Ransome-Kuti & Africa 70. The band maintained a five-year residency in the Afro-Shrine from 1970 to 1975 while afrobeat thrived among Nigerian youth. Afrobeat is now one of the most recognisable music genres in the world and has influenced as many Western musicians as it has African ones with its exuberant style and polyrhythms.
Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s). The term is most often associated with procedures in which the chance element involves a relatively limited number of possibilities.
The term became known to European composers through lectures by acoustician Werner Meyer-Eppler at Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music in the beginning of the 1950s. According to his definition, "a process is said to be aleatoric ... if its course is determined in general but depends on chance in detail" (Meyer-Eppler 1957, 55).
Bavaria has been part of the Alpine New Wave of folk music alongside Switzerland and Austria. Drawing on pioneers like Biermösl Blosn, musicians from Munich and other cities have fused Bavarian folk with foreign genres and instruments, especially BavaRio's Brazilian samba fusion. Drawing on stubenmusik, native string bands with hammered dulcimers, zithers, guitars and harps. Other bands, like Die Interpreten, have fused jazz and saxophone music. Biermösl Blosn, however, is the most well-known band of the alternative boom; they are famous for their humorous lyrics poking fun at right-wing politicians and controversial satires, such as replacing the Bavarian national anthem's lyrics with words attacking Bavaria's Minister President Franz Josef Strauß in 1980, leading to a long-time ban from state TV.
The 1990s saw the rise of Neue Volksmusik, or Alpine New Wave. Inspired by traditionalists like Sepp Eibl, a new group of bands brought a modern sound to traditional music. Artists included most famously Hundsbuam, who formed in 1994.
Alternative country is a term used to describe a number of country music subgenres that tend to differ from mainstream or pop country music. The term is sometimes known as Alt. country and has included country music bands that have incorporated influences ranging from american roots music, bluegrass, rock & roll, rockabilly, acoustic music, americana, honky-tonk and punk rock.
Alternative dance is a term used for the genre of music combining elements of dance-pop (or other forms of electronic house or techno) and alternative rock genres such as indie rock. Alternative dance music is typically predominantly electronic, with programmed beats from drum machines or sampled drum loops and sequenced synthesizer melodies, and thus musically very similar to commercial dance-pop. The indie element is most prevalent in the songwriting; unlike much dance music, alternative dance typically contains lyrics, and, as in indie pop or indie rock, these are often more thematically complex and/or less polished than those of commercial pop.
Alternative dance was certainly influenced by the Second Summer of Love, when the sounds of Acid House music had filtered through to and influenced the sounds of chart pop. Various people from an indie background soon adapted the equipment and techniques of dance-pop, combining it with a more astute and less populistic songwriting sensibility. Well-known examples of this movement include Saint Etienne and Dubstar. This blend of indie-rock and late-1980s dance music was apparent in the Baggy or indie-dance movement of the time, which included bands such as The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Jesus Jones. Modern bands inspired by the Second Summer of Love scene include The Rapture, Tom Vek, Radio 4 and Polaroid Kiss.
As both the financial costs and levels of musical virtuosity required to make passable-sounding electronic music drop under the influence of technological improvements, and people who grew up listening to electronic pop take up music, the electronic style epitomised by alternative dance is increasingly becoming the mainstream of independent music, with the once dominant guitar-based form of pop that dominated low-budget independent recordings now becoming just another subgenre.
Alternative hip hop (also known as alternative rap) is a form of hip hop music that is defined in greatly varying ways. Allmusic defines it as follows:
Alternative Rap refers to Hip-Hop groups that refuse to conform to any of the traditional stereotypes of rap, such as gangsta, bass, hardcore, and party rap. Instead, they blur genres - drawing from funk and pop/rock, as well as jazz, soul and reggae.
Originating in the late-80s and peaking in the early-90s, alternative rap was headed primarily by East Coast groups such as The Roots, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, and A Tribe Called Quest in subsidiary conjunction by certain West Coast acts such as The Pharcyde and Jurassic 5. However, the artists often found themselves competing and struggling to co-exist with the then also newly emerging and rising West Coast gangsta rap. The situation broke way around the mid-90s with the emergence and mainstream popularity of East Coast hardcore rap artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and The Notorious B.I.G. Following this development, many alternative rap acts eventually either disbanded or faded into obscurity. However, a resurgence came about in the late 1990s-early 2000s. Today, due in part to the increasing use of music distribution through the internet, many alternative rap artists are able to find acceptance by far-reaching audiences.
Stephen Rodrick cites Arrested Development, Basehead, and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy as examples of such "alternative" hip-hop. Arrested Development, along with The Fugees, stand as the some of the first few alternative rap groups to be recognized by mainstream audiences. Since the mid 90's, labels such as Rawkus Records, Rhymesayers, anticon. and Definitive Jux have experienced similar mainstream success with alternative rap acts such as Atmosphere, Black Star, Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, and Aesop Rock.
Most alternative rap groups tend to be embraced primarily by alternative rock fans, rather than hip-hop or pop audiences. Rodrick writes that alternative hip-hop has "drawn little more than barely concealed yawns from other rappers and urban audiences." Heywood and Drake counter that "making rap music that appeals to mass audiences isn't simply about selling out," stating that alternative hip-hop is an attempt to counter the association that much of the mass market has between hip-hop music and violence, giving as an example the "Smokin' Grooves Tour" of 1996, featuring Cypress Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, Ziggy Marley, and Busta Rhymes-most of whom are hip-hop performers who "don't fit the mold of gangsta rap."
Alternative metal is a genre of heavy metal that gained popularity in the early 1990s alongside and intersecting with grunge music. Most notably, alternative metal bands are characterized by heavy guitar riffs; typically, these riffs have a pronounced experimental edge, including unconventional lyrics, odd time signatures, more syncopation than typical metal, unusual technique, a resistance to conventional approaches to heavy music and an incorporation of a wide range of influences outside of the metal music scene.
Alternative rock (also called alternative music, alt-rock or simply alternative; known primarily in the UK as indie) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. Alternative rock consists of various subgenres that have emerged from the independent music scene since the 1980s, such as grunge, Britpop, gothic rock, and indie pop. These genres are unified by their collective debt to the style and/or ethos of punk rock, which laid the groundwork for alternative music in the 1970s. At times alternative rock has been used as a catch-all phrase for rock music from underground artists in the 1980s, and all music descended from punk rock (including punk itself, New Wave, and post-punk).
While a few artists like R.E.M. and The Cure achieved commercial success and mainstream critical recognition, many alternative rock artists during the 1980s were cult acts that recorded on independent labels and received their exposure through college radio airplay and word-of-mouth. With the breakthrough of Nirvana and the popularity of the grunge and Britpop movements in the 1990s, alternative rock entered the musical mainstream and many alternative bands became commercially successful.
Anarchist folk rock is a music genre where anarchist is in reference to the compositional style of the band as opposed to political influence. Compositions start in the realm of folk or rock with solid story telling and melody but venture deep into the realm of experimentation. Bands that consider themselves anarchist folk rock delve into different genres from song to song and even within a song. Further specifics include songs that descend into chaos and compositions that use bizarre or strange instruments not usually found in folk or rock music (e.g. custom-made instrument). Some examples of anarchist folk rock are Syd Barrett and Ours to Destroy
The music sub-genre known as anti-folk (or antifolk) takes the earnestness of politically charged 1960s music and subverts it. The defining characteristics of this sub-genre are hard to pin down, as they vary from one artist to the next. Nonetheless, most would accept that the music tends to sound raw or experimental; it also generally mocks the seriousness and pretension of the established mainstream music scene in addition to mocking itself.
The New York anti-folk movement began in 1984 at The Speakeasy, a club in Greenwich Village, New York City. It was conceived by artist Darryl Cherney as an alternative venue to the popular Folk City club, which generally booked more established artists. Roger Manning printed Anti-Folk T-Shirts. Musicians involved included Axe Masterson (AKA Axman Horowitz & The Blind Rev. Axeman), Billy Nova, and Steve "Wheels" Cottrell (Wykked Trip), were collectively known as The Big Bang. -->
Singer-songwriter Lach started the Fort, an after-hours club, on the Lower East Side, after a booker at Folk City told him his music was "too punk". The Fort's opening coincided with the New York Folk Festival, so Lach dubbed his own event the New York Antifolk Festival. The Big Bang became The Fort house band when needed.
The original Fort shut down in 1985 and moved from location to location, including East Village bars Sophie's and Chameleon, before winding up in the back room of the Sidewalk Café in 1993 where it remains. The Antifolk Festival continues to be held semi-annually in the East Village (outlasting the original Folk Festival). Events have also taken place in the band shells in Tompkins Square Park and Central Park.
A number of music artists spent time in the New York anti-folk scene.
Apala is a musical genre, originally derived from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It is a percussion-based style that developed in the late 1930s, when it was used to wake worshippers after fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The rhythms of apala grew more complex over time, influenced by Cuban music and eventually became quite popular in Nigeria.
Instruments include a rattle (sekere), thumb piano (agidigbo) and a bell (agogô), as well as two or three talking drums.
Haruna Ishola is undoubtedly the most well-known performer of apala in Nigerian history. He played an integral role in the popularization of the genre, and incorporating it into fuji music. Another popular Apala musician was the Late Ayinla Omowura whose short-lived career was remarkable for the genre.
Although Fuji music remains the most important form of traditional music amongst Yorubas in Nigeria, apala is still very popular amongst Muslims of the Yoruba tribe. Special mention must be given to Haruna Ishola's son, Musiliu Haruna Ishola, who is often credited with revitalizing the apala genre and spear-heading the apala-resurgence of the 2000s.
With his 2004 album (entitled Soyoyo), Musiliu has succeeded in bringing apala music to a wider, younger audience, thus breathing new life to the genre and keeping the tradition (and his father's legacy) alive. He is credited with re-popularizing a genre that was fast becoming the preserve of older Muslims of the Yoruba tribe. The success of his Soyoyo album meant that a younger (often Christian or Animist) generation of Yorubas have now demonstrated a renewed interest in apala music. His songs can often be heard on popular radio stations across Yorubaland.
The arabesque is an elaborative application of repeating geometric forms that often echo the forms of plants and animals. Arabesques are an element of Islamic art usually found decorating the walls of mosques. The choice of which geometric forms are to be used and how they are to be formatted is based upon the Islamic view of the world. To Muslims, these forms, taken together, constitute an infinite pattern that extends beyond the visible material world. To many in the Islamic world, they in fact symbolize the infinite, and therefore uncentralized, nature of the creation of the one God (Allah). Furthermore, the Islamic Arabesque artist conveys a definite spirituality without the iconography of Christian art.
The moment when 'Argentine' rock began as a distinct musical style can be traced to the middle 1960s, when several garage groups and aspiring musicians began composing songs and lyrics that related to local social and musical themes. Rock & Roll itself however began in Argentina almost a decade before with the arrival of classic American rockabilly; the major impulse to the music was the British Invasion. During that time until the rise of Argentine rock, local groups recycled the hits of English-language rock & roll. Since then, Argentine rock started a continued and uninterrupted evolution through the 1970s and into the 1980s, when it turned into an international genre. Today it is widely considered the most prolific and successful form of Rock en Español, and one of the most important non-English language forms of rock music in the world. In Argentina and even in Uruguay it is known as "Rock Nacional" /rok.nasjo'nal/, literally National Rock (not in a political way at all but as a local movement).
An almost unique trait of Argentine rock is its uncompromising stance to sing rock only in the Spanish language. Rock music is made in many languages around the world, but in most cases it shares the lyrical creative pen with English. The Argentine rock movement was truly one of the first non-English forms of rock to be commercially successful outside its own nation. To this day it is exceedingly rare that Argentine rock bands will sing in a language other than Spanish, specially in order to gain popularity, as it happens in other nations and languages, and even within Latin America and Spain.
Ars antiqua, also called ars veterum or ars vetus, refers to the music of Europe of the late Middle Ages between approximately 1170 and 1310, covering the period of the Notre Dame school of polyphony and the subsequent years which saw the early development of the motet. Usually the term is restricted to sacred music, excluding the secular song of the troubadours and trouvères; however sometimes the term is used more loosely to mean all European music of the thirteenth century and slightly before. The term ars antiqua is used in opposition to ars nova, which refers to the period of musical activity between approximately 1310 and 1375.
Almost all composers of the ars antiqua are anonymous. Léonin (fl. late 12th century) and Pérotin (fl. c.1180 - c.1220) were the two composers known by name from the Notre Dame school; in the subsequent period, Petrus de Cruce, a composer of motets, is one of the few whose name has been preserved.
In music theory the ars antiqua period saw several advances over previous practice, most of them in conception and notation of rhythm. The most famous music theorist of the first half of the 13th century, Johannes de Garlandia, was the author of the De mensurabili musica (about 1240), the treatise which defined and most completely elucidated the rhythmic modes. A German theorist of a slightly later period, Franco of Cologne, was the first to describe a system of notation in which differently shaped notes have entirely different rhythmic values (in the Ars Cantus Mensurabilis of approximately 1260), an innovation which had a massive impact on the subsequent history of European music. Most of the surviving notated music of the 13th century uses the rhythmic modes as defined by Garlandia.
The ars antiqua is sometimes divided into two rough periods, known as the early Gothic and the high Gothic. The early Gothic includes the French music composed in the Notre Dame school up until about 1260, and the high Gothic all the music between then and about 1310 or 1320, the conventional beginning of the ars nova. The forms of organum and conductus reached their peak development in the early Gothic, and began to decline in the high Gothic, being replaced by the motet.
Though the style of the ars antiqua went out of fashion rather suddenly in the first two decades of the fourteenth century, it had a late defender in Jacques of Liège (alternatively Jacob of Liège), who wrote a violent attack on the "irreverent and corrupt" ars nova in his Speculum Musicae (c.1320), vigorously defending the old style in a manner suggestive of any number of music critics from the Middle Ages to the present day. To Jacques, the ars antiqua was the musica modesta, and the ars nova was a musica lasciva-a kind of music which he considered to be indulgent, capricious, immodest, and sensual (Anderson and Roesner, 2001).
Ars nova was a stylistic period in music of the Late Middle Ages, centered in France, which encompassed the period roughly from the preparation of the Roman de Fauvel (1310 and 1314) until the death of Machaut (1377). Sometimes the term is used more generally and refers to all European polyphonic music of the 14th century, thereby including such figures as Francesco Landini, who was working in Italy. Occasionally the term "Italian ars nova" is used to denote the music of Landini and his compatriots (see Music of the Trecento for the concurrent musical movement in Italy). The term ars nova means "new art" or "new technique", and was first used in a publication of the same name by Philippe de Vitry (c. 1322).
Ars nova is generally used in conjunction with another term, ars antiqua, which refers to the music of the immediately preceding age, usually extending back to take in the period of Notre Dame polyphony (therefore covering the period from about 1170 to 1320). Roughly, then, the ars antiqua is the music of the thirteenth century, and the ars nova the music of the fourteenth; many music histories use the terms in this more general sense.
Controversial in the Roman Catholic Church, the music was starkly rejected by Pope John XXII, but embraced by Pope Clement VI. The monophonic chant, already harmonized with simple organum, was becoming altered, fragmented, and hidden beneath secular tunes. The lyrics of love poems might be sung above sacred texts, or the sacred text might be placed within a familiar secular melody. It was not merely polyphony that offended the medieval ears, but the notion of secular music merging with the sacred and making its way into the liturgy.
Stylistically, the music of the ars nova differed from the preceding era in several ways. Developments in notation allowed notes to be written with greater independence of rhythm, shunning the straitjacket of the rhythmic modes, which prevailed in the thirteenth century; secular music acquired much of the polyphonic sophistication previously found only in sacred music; and new techniques and forms, such as isorhythm and the isorhythmic motet, became prevalent. The overall aesthetic effect of these changes was to create music of greater expressiveness and variety than had been the case in the thirteenth century. Indeed the sudden historical change which occurred, with its startling new degree of musical expressiveness, can be likened to the introduction of perspective in painting, and it is useful to consider that the changes to the musical art in the period of the ars nova were contemporary with the great early Renaissance revolutions in painting and literature.
The greatest practitioner of the new musical style was undoubtedly Guillaume de Machaut, who also had an equally distinguished career as a canon at Reims Cathedral and as a poet. The ars nova style is nowhere more perfectly displayed than in his considerable body of motets, lais, virelais, rondeaux, and ballades.
Towards the end of the fourteenth century a new stylistic school of composers and poets centered on Avignon in southern France developed; the highly mannered style of this period is often called the ars subtilior, though some scholars choose to consider it a late development of the ars nova rather than breaking it out as a separate school. This strange but interesting repertory of music, limited in geographical distribution (southern France, Aragon and later Cyprus), and clearly intended for performance by specialists for an audience of connoisseurs, is like an endnote to the entire Middle Ages.
Art rock is a term describing a subgenre of rock music that tends to have "experimental or avant-garde influences" and emphasizes "novel sonic texture."
....continued on pt2