History of Popular Music

History Of Popular Music
Origins of Music
Form of music first came about in the 1600’s; this is when the ‘Slave Trade’ was active and when slaves were being traded from Africa being sent to various places such as England and the U.S.A.   Active ports were Plymouth Rock and New Orleans. Slaves were put to work in fields that were owned by white land owners.   Out of this came, ‘field hollers and work songs’ It was a way of entertaining themselves as they work, the slaves weren’t allowed to talk to one another so it was often a way of communicating with each other. It’s said that it was even a way of planning things such as escape plans. It was a mixture of tune and speech, similar to modern day James Brown screeching vocals. It was often religious or spiritual words.
      Generally I think that this style of music was how blues came about. You can hear this with the similar melodies and the scale that is used which is the Pentatonic scale. It was also the birth of what could be called the ‘Blues Note’ which is in between major and minor. The field hollers and work songs also have distant vocals. You can hear influences in modern day music in artists such as;   Moby who has not only used this vocal style but actually used an old recording on his tracks, here are 3 good examples; My Weakness, Run On and Find My Baby. Kanye West is another artist who has managed to combine this style in to his own music by taking clips of music from a later artist of this style called Ray Charles; I think this shows how it’s carried on and still being used.


This was created by American slaves before liberation, It was used to express spiritual views and it was also used to speak opinions about the social and political on goings of the time. It still used the pentatonic scale, as above, used repetition of religious themes. It was heavily based on emotion and feeling so timing felt ‘free’. Vocal harmonies were introduced and these were later on used in Gospel style...