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In 1949, two apparently small events took place, which in hindsight were to have monumental significance for popular culture. The first of these saw Billboard magazine change the name of its ‘Race Records’ chart to the more relevant and politically correct ‘Rhythm & Blues’ chart, reflecting the success of the American dance music of the moment. Meanwhile, ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
718 Words Read More

‘Pump Up The Volume’, 1988 If you are going to release only one song, make sure it is a good one. ‘Pump Up The Volume’ is one of the most influential one-hit wonders of all time. A major milestone in British house music and sampling culture, it marked many people’s first point of contact with the underground dance scene. ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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singles. Apparently finding God, Kelly cemented mainstream success with ballad ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ from the movie Space Jam (1997), which paved the way for subsequent albums like R (1998) and TP-2.com (2000). Kelly has written and produced for many other artists including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men and the late Aaliyah (to whom ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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Two years later they met Bill Berry (born 31 July 1958, drums) and Mike Mills (born 17 December 1958, bass) at a party and Rapid Eye Movement – R.E.M. – was formed. A demo secured the release of ‘Radio Free Europe’/‘Sitting Still’ on the Hib-Tone label, which, in turn, led a long-term deal with ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Guitar, vocals, 1926–2005) Sharecropper Rural ‘R.L.’ Burnside was inspired to learn guitar by his north Mississippi neighbours Mississippi Fred McDowell and Ranie Burnette, as well as John Lee Hooker records. He first recorded in the 1960s, but his career ignited after he appeared in the documentary Deep Blues (1991) and released Too Bad Jim (1994) ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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The story of soul’s Golden Age is linked with the story of two American record labels: Berry Gordy’s Motown and Jim Stewart & Estelle Axton’s Stax. They discovered artists, wrote songs and developed recording and marketing methods that would irrevocably change popular music, and have a profound effect on the perception of race all over world. Motown’s base in ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1044 Words Read More

Although contemporary R&B prefers to align itself with its ruder and more street-credible cousins in hip hop, the roots of its mainstream practitioners lie firmly in manufactured pop. In a throwback to the Motown era, R&B has become a global phenomenon by combining producer-led factory formula with a high level of musical innovation and adventure. This balance of pop ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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By the 1970s, the new sound of funk dominated Afro-American music. Jazzers such as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock scored their biggest commercial successes by incorporating its hip-grinding rhythms into what became known as fusion or jazz funk, while soul acts enjoyed a second wave of popularity as funk provided the bridge between the soul and disco eras. Fuelled ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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Since the dawn of the jazz era, the appeal of pop music had become increasingly intertwined with the demands of the dancefloor. As 1960s rock and soul became ever tougher and more orientated towards youth and hedonism it was only a matter of time before someone would come up with the ultimate dance groove. That someone was soul’s greatest innovator ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1010 Words Read More

This enduring British cult dance scene takes its name from the post-mod discos in the north-west of England where it developed, rather than the geographical location of the music-makers. Legendary disco venues like Manchester’s Twisted Wheel, Blackpool’s Mecca and The Wigan Casino, are still spoken about in reverential tones by soul and dance connoisseurs. The reason northern soul ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
923 Words Read More

Although the 1960s Golden Age established soul as the foundation of Afro-American pop, the 1970s and 1980s saw soul’s supremacy challenged and ultimately ended by, in turn, funk, disco, electro, dance-rock, hip hop and house. In hindsight, the soul music of the 1980s went into a form of stasis, waiting for a ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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The bagpipe principle is simple: instead of the player blowing directly on a reed pipe, the air is supplied from a reservoir, usually made of animal skin, which is inflated either by mouth or by bellows. The result is the ability to produce a continuous tone, and the possibility of adding extra reed-pipes to enable a single ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
1354 Words Read More

Musique concrète (‘concrete music’) was the term coined by Pierre Schaeffer (1910–95) in 1948 to describe his new approach to composition, based on tape recordings of natural and industrial sounds. The term was chosen to distinguish the new genre from pure, abstract music (musique abstrait). Schaeffer was a radio engineer and broadcaster. Having gained a qualification from L’École Polytechnique ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
556 Words Read More

Of the woodwind instruments, the oboe has experienced perhaps the most organic development. There is no single, revolutionary moment at which the oboe became a modern instrument, and it retains strong links with the past both in sound and design. Shawm The modern oboe is a direct descendant of the shawm and the hautboy. The shawm was a ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
1984 Words Read More

In 1905, and probably for several decades before that, there were more pianos in the United States than there were bathtubs. In Europe, throughout the nineteenth century, piano sales increased at a greater rate than the population. English, French and German makers dispatched veritable armies of pianos to every corner of the Earth. It was the ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
2931 Words Read More
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