Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 1

This week's listening examples were very diverse in nature.  I found Soldiers' Joy and Coo Coo to be very similar.  They both sounded like music that one would hear at a festival in the Appalachian Mountains. For Soldiers' Joy, I listened to two interpretations.  The first was a recording of a guitar and fiddle, which made the piece sound more like a march.  The second recording was of a mandolin soloist.  I felt like Coo Coo had more of an Irish sound as there were many 4th intervals in the accompaniment.  

Long John is clearly a work song.  The recording that I listened to was of a chain gang from South Carolina in 1922.  There was a clear beat to the song, which sounded like feet stomping.  The piece was a call and response setting that used versus and chorus as its form.  The melody used a lot of syncopation.  

Stagolee was an interesting song, because there were so many interpretations of it.  I listened to John Hurt, who sang and played the guitar.  His interpretation was blues style in that the piece demonstrated the 12 bar blues.  I also listened to Geno D, which transferred the style to a Caribbean feel.  Lloy Price took the same song and made it a rock song. La Comparsita sounded like every tango that I have ever listened to.  La Negra was very interesting because every version I looked up had dancers.  It was a mariachi style piece that was very enjoyable.   

Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair and After the Ball were both pieces that I have heard before. To me,  Jeanie sounds so much like the Irish tune, Annie Laurie.  After the Ball was very light and seems like it would be very easy to dance to.  On the other hand, Enigue Nigue was extremely difficult for me to listen to as the polyrhythmic drumming (performed by Grupo Afrocuba) and melody were very harsh on the ears.  

It was very hard to compare these songs because they were very different.  Each piece could certainly be used with classes to present historical reference.  I am very interested to see the "big picture" and discover how this music begins to transform into what popular music is today.  

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