music literature (western music)

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Western musicWestern music is the genres of music originating in the Western world (Europe and its former colonies) including Western classical music, American Jazz, Country and Western, pop music and rock and roll. The word Western may be misleading as the definition of the western world has changed over time and because of the inclusion of Western influenced genres. Musical genres in the Western tradition include:

Classical music o Medieval music o Renaissance music o Baroque music o Classical music era o Romantic music o 20th century classical music o Contemporary music Pop and popular music o Acid (disambiguation) o Bluegrass o Blues o Country music o Disco o Folk o Hymns o Jazz o Metal o Neofolk o Punk rock o Rap o Rock and Roll o Ska o Soul o Spirituals o Swing o Synthpop o Techno o Trance

Western music (North America)Western musicStylistic origins Traditional American and immigrant music

Cultural origins American West

Western music is a form of folk (See String band) music originally composed by and about Typical Fiddle - Mandolin - Guitar- Bass the people who settled and worked instruments throughout the Western United States and fiddle - Cello - Banjo - Harmonica Western Canada. Directly related musically Derivative to old English, Scottish, and Irish folk Western swing forms ballads, Western music celebrates the life of the cowboy on the open ranges and Other topics prairies of Western North America.[1] The Western arts Mexican music of the American Southwest also influenced the development of this genre. Western music is related to country music, the latter sharing similar origins but developed in the Appalachians, thus it reflected the life of the people of that region. Guitars, fiddles, and the accordion are the most common instruments used in Western music.


The origins of Western music can be traced back to the folk music traditions of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The music was brought to North America during the midnineteenth century by pioneers and ranchers who settled the western plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the American Southwest. The mix of ethnic English, Welsh, Scotish, Irish, German, Mexican, and Eastern European peoples who settled 9 External links these regions gave the music its unique qualities. Reflecting the realities of the range and ranch houses where the music originated, the early cowboy bands were string bands supplemented occasionally with the harmonica. Otto Gary, an early cowboy band leader, stated authentic Western music had only three rhythms, all coming from the gaits of the cowponywalk, trot, and lope.[2] In 1908, N. Howard "Jack" Thorp published the first book of Western music, titled Songs of the Cowboys. Containing only lyrics and no musical notation, the book was very popular west of the

1 Origins 2 Mainstream popularity 3 Decline in popularity 4 Rediscovery 5 List of Western songs 6 List of Western singers 7 References 8 Bibliography


Mississippi. Most of these cowboy songs are of unknown authorship, but among the best known is "Little Joe, the Wrangler," written by Thorp himself.[3] In 1910, John Lomax, in his book Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads, first gained national attention for Western music. His book contained many of the same songs as Thorp's book (he collected most of them before Thorp's was published). However, Lomax's compilation included many musical scores. Lomax published a second collection in 1919 titled Songs of the Cattle Trail and Cow Camp. With the advent of radio and recording devices the music found an audience previously ignored by music schools and Tin Pan Alley.[4] Many Westerners preferred familiar music about themselves and their environment. The first successful cowboy band to tour the East was Otto Gray's Oklahoma Cowboys put together by William McGinty, an Oklahoma pioneer and former Rough Rider. The band appeared on radio and toured the vaudeville circuit from 1924 through 1936. They recorded few songs however, so are overlooked by many scholars of Western Music.[5]

Mainstream popularityThroughout the 1930s and 1940s, Western music became widely popular through the romanticization of the cowboy and idealized depictions of the west in Hollywood films. Singing cowboys, such as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, sang cowboy songs in their films and became popular throughout the United States. Film producers began incorporating fully orchestrated four-part harmonies and sophisticated musical arrangements into their motion pictures. Bing Crosby, the most popular singer of that time, recorded numerous cowboy and Western songs. During this era, the most popular recordings and musical radio shows included Western music. Western swing also developed during this time.

Decline in popularityBy the 1960s, Western music was in decline. Relegated to the country and Western genre by marketing agencies, popular Western recording stars released albums to only moderate success. Rock and Roll dominated music sales and Hollywood recording studios dropped most of their Western artists. Caught unawares by the boom in "country and Western" sales from Nashville that followed, Hollywood rushed to cash in. In the process, country and Western music lost its regionalism and most of its style. Except for the label, much of the music was indistinguishable from Rock and Roll or Popular classes of music. Some Western music traditionalists oppose the association of Western music with the country and Western genre, which does not reflect the spirit of true Western music.


Classical musicThis article is about Western art music from 1000 AD to the present. For Western art music from 1750 to 1820, see Classical period (music). For all art music styles, see List of classical music styles. Periods of European art music Early Medieval (500 1400) Renaissance (1400 1600) Common practice Baroque (1600 1760) Classical (1730 1820) Romantic (1815 1910) Modern and contemporary 20th century (1900 2000) Contemporary (1975 present)

Classical music is a broad term that usually refers to mainstream music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 9th century to present times. [1] The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common practice period.

European music is largely distinguished from many other non-European and popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 16th century.[2] Western staff notation is used by composers to prescribe to the performer the pitch, speed, meter, individual rhythms and exact execution of a piece of music. This leaves less room for practices, such as improvisation and ad libitum ornamentation, that are frequently heard in non-European art music (compare Indian classical music and Japanese traditional music), and popular music.[3][4][5] The public taste for and appreciation of formal music of this type waned in the late 1900s in the United States and United Kingdom in particular.[6] Certainly this period has seen classical music falling well behind the immense commercial success of popular music, in the opinion of some, although the number of CDs sold is not indicative of the popularity of classical music.[7] The term 'classical music' did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to 'canonize' the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Beethoven as a golden age.[8] The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1836.[9][10] Many writers feel that 'classical' is an inappropriate term for mainstream and avant-garde music written since the latter part of the 19th century, hence the common usage of apostrophes as a short-hand for 'so-called'.[11]


1 Characteristics o 1.1 Instrumentation o 1.2 Form and technical execution o 1.3 Complexity o 1.4 Society 2 History o 2.1 Roots o 2.2 The Early Period o 2.3 The Common Practice Period 2.3.1 Baroque music 2.3.2 Classical period music 2.3.3 Romantic era music o 2.4 20th century, modern, and contemporary music 3 Timeline of composers 4 Significance of written notation 5 Influence o 5.1 Popular music o 5.2 Folk music o 5.3 Commercialism o 5.4 Education 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

CharacteristicsGiven the extremely broad variety of forms, styles, genres, and historical periods generally perceived as being described by the term "classical music," it is difficult to list characteristics that can be attributed to all works of that type. Vague descriptions are plentiful, such as describing classical music as anything that "lasts a long time," a statement made rather moot when one considers contemporary composers who are described as "classical;" or music that has certain instruments like violins, which are also found in bluegrass music, Broadway music, and other genres; or "relaxing" or "background" music for affluent people, descriptions which are probably only accurate when describing court music from the Baroque and Classical periods; indeed, many people do not find modern or avant-garde composers and works such as Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Penderecki or Black Angels by George Crumb to be very relaxing or "snobby."

However, there are characteristics that classical music contains that generally few or no other genres of music contain.

InstrumentationClassical and popular music are often distinguished by their choice of instruments. There are few if any genres in which so many different instruments are used simultaneously by performing groups such as symphony orchestras, which often contain as many as 5 or so different types of string instruments including members of the violin fam