Tag: Music

Music of the Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean is the fatherland to a variety of distinct musical traditions and celebrated musicians. In fact, the sounds of the Caribbean are considered to be just as varied as the islands themselves, starting from the tinkling reverberations of the steel drums that overpower the listener’s mind to the reggae beats that convey the scuffles the island has withstood over the course of time. The presence of this diversity can be traced to the synthesis of many cultures, including African, European, Latin, Indian, and indigenous ethnicities, their chronicles of life, and their means of entertainment. However, in addition to recreation, the other two noteworthy foundations of music to the inhabitants of the Caribbean are to give them a form of meaningful art and a sense of emotional escape. This paper explores some of the genres that make up this type of music, the type of musical instruments that it uses, its history, what it seeks to impart, as well as how the elements reflect the culture of the people and their everyday life. Reggae, Calypso, Compass, Salsa, and Bachata are some of the established genres, with reggae being the most widespread and distinguished. A masterpiece in the Reggae genre is Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, which seeks to communicate the need to relax and free oneself of life’s worries.

Read also Maasai Music and Dance

Caribbean Music

            Broadly, Caribbean music refers to a collection of many varied genres of music including Baithak, Ragga, Gana, Bouyon, Compas, Parang, Cadence-Lypso, Salsa, Chutney-Soca, Calypso, Chutney, Dancehall, Reggaeton, Jing Ping, Pichakaree, Punta, Soca, Reggae, and Zouk. Each of these styles of music is unique to the culture of individual tribes although some ethnicities have developed a group of genres that are diverse in nature through the course of history. Due to these cultural affiliations, particular styles can be linked to specific geographic locations and especially to individual countries. For example, Calypso, Cariso, chutney, and Soca are linked to Trinidad and Tobago in the same way that Reggae, Ska, and Mento are associated with Jamaica. Other major geographical contributors to the Caribbean music comprise the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Dutch West Indies, Guyana, Colombia, and the Virgin Islands among others.

Trinidad’s most prominent musical contributions to the global soundscape include calypso and pan. The latter refers to the variety of steel drums, made from 55-gallon oil barrels that have become a trademark of Caribbean music. Pan orchestras have great community support throughout the island and play a variety of musical styles, including classical, jazz, rock, and popular song. The international promotion of pan has encouraged the popularity of Calypso in its original format as a popular song genre. Calypso’s origin can be traced to the call-and-response form singing of African-descended slaves in Trinidad (Boonyaprasop 21). “English in Reggae Music.” (2008).. Typical instruments in this genre include clarinet, trombone, flute, classical guitar, bass guitar, claves, steelpan, bongos, bamboo, congas, sticks, jug, violin, saxophone, cuatro, concertina, spoons, maracas, and jawbone. The musical developments of Calypso which resulted from increased festivities and improved economic situation toward the end of mid-1970 gave rise to the Soca genre. The term Soca means the “Soul of Calypso,” and as a genre, it is characterized by the use of drums and percussions (Manuel 216). Common instruments include acoustic guitars, bass guitars, drum machines, trumpet, samplers, synthesizers, trombones, and drums.

 Jamaica’s Reggae is the most popular style of Caribbean music, and represents a combination of traditional Rock steady, Ska, and Mento. It is typified by its use of spiritual and sentient lyrics. The sound comes from a blend of the piano, organ, guitar, drums, brass instruments, percussion, and melodica, and can be distinguished by a one-drop rhythm (Boonyaprasop 21). The tempo is normally slow compared to that of Ska but faster than that of RockSteady. Through history, reggae has had a major influence on other music genres across the world including rock, soul, and hip-hop.  

Although Haiti’s Compas music is not as popular as Jamaica’s Reggae, it is one of the popular genres in the island. It is similar to other genres of Caribbean music owing to its blend of African rhythms with the native styles of music, including European and indigenous Caribbean styles. Typical instruments that are used include synthesizers, keyboard, drums, conga, guitars, bass, cowbell, and horn section. It is also attributed to Soca, Reggaeton, Chmpeta, and Kuduro fusion genres. Other major styles that are found in Haiti are kadans, mizik rasin, rara, and meringue.

Salsa leads other genres of internationally recognized Cuban music. It is most known for its incorporation of high-drama dance and heavy use of percussion instruments such as Maracas, Tambora, Bongo, Clave, Conga, and cowell. Another thing that distinguishes this genre is the use of call-and-response patterns of traditional African songs, segue in the chorus, a fast tempo, and a 1-2-3, 1-2 rhythm.  Other instruments that are regularly used include vibraphone, accordion, flute and a brass section of trombone, marimba, guitar, violin, bass, piano, trumpet and saxophone. Nevertheless, Salsa has incorporated modern electronic instruments in the recent past.

Bachata is another internationally acclaimed Caribbean music genre. It has its roots among the people of the Dominican Republic and the fusion of Indigenous, European, and African elements. An archetypical Bachata band consists of seven instruments including Requinto (lead guitar), bass guitar, Segunda (rhythm guitar), bongos, guitar, electric guitar, and güira. The lead guitar instrumentation follows arpeggiated repetitive chords while the Segunda is used as a source of syncopation to the style. Today, Bachata is one of the most popular genres of Caribbean music and is even accompanied by a dance that is emblematic of its name.

Reggae

 Reggae music has gained international acclaim since the 1970s. The roots of Reggae music can be traced in the Jamaica’s rural folk genre known as Mento. Just like Trinidadian Calypso, this genre focuses on bawdy, witty and lyrical content and a set of improvised acoustic instruments, usually small hand drums, banjo and a bass lamellophone. Sometimes, other instruments like a fife, bamboo saxophone and handmade flute are included as well. The replacement of those instruments with other modern ones like drum sets, pianos, acoustic bass, electric guitars, saxophones, and brass instruments further led to the development of Ska style. Ska is a dance-oriented popular genre with repetitive improvisational solos and repetitive themes that became popular in Jamaica in the 1960s. A perfect example of sounds in the Ska repertoire is Gunns of Navarane, which earns a special place in the heritage of the Ska-lites.

The exclusion of vocal lines on Ska recordings and the inclusion of political commentaries by new artists fueled the birth of Rock Steady, another genre that grew in line with the progression of the Rudeboy culture (Boonyaprasop 21). Commonly known as rude boys by the time, musicians used Rock Steady as a musical outlet to express their rebel image and civil discontent. Thus, musical qualities shifted to emphasize a more relaxed rhythm and streamlined instrumentations because it was seen as a symbolism of confidence and courage. Like Ska, the genre was also characterized by a skank syncopation that sounded on every pulse. Nevertheless, the tempo of rock steady slowed to a walking pace in order to make it easier to “groove,” which means to dance.

The musical elements of Rocksteady contributed immensely to the conception of Reggae music. Reggae’s international appeal surfaced after the airing of the Jamaican cult film the Harder They Come. By this time, it had emerged as the new sound of the island and continued to portray the musical progression from Mento, Ska to Rock Steady (Boonyaprasop 22). Reggae artists advanced the ideas that initiated with the rock-steady style, such as soulful singing and slower tempo, which were inspired by American soul and R&B music (Chang and Wayne 2). As a result, they also added a collection of new instruments like the electric organ. Symbolised by the hard economic times of 1970,’s reggae lyrics alleviated the feelings of the economic and social discrimination among the populations of major Jamaican cities. Later, Reggae/ Rocksteady singers started gravitating toward more socially conscious lyrics that expressed frustrations with the worsening living conditions. Today, reggae continues to incorporate some aspects of Mento, Jaz, African, Latin, and Calypso music, among other genres.

Bob Marley: Three Little Birds

            Bob Marley, one of the best-renowned musicians of the 1970s era, has written many songs through the course of his music career. Among them, I find Three Little Birds as one of the best pieces in all his albums. The song is characterized by a drum roll at the beginning and an organ feature that endures for the rest of its length. Almost certainly, the organ is a Hammond and tends to follow a repetitive do-re-do-sol-mi-re-do rhythm with the accompaniment of percussion, a bass guitar, and a piano that produces straight chords. Marley begins to sing just about when the little organ line plays for four consecutive patterns, “Don’t worry about a thing” (Marley et al., 4). This phrase probably follows the rhythm of “mi rei do mi sol mi.” Then, he proceeds to the next stanza “cause every little thing is gonna-be-all-right,” which seems to follow the pattern of “do la – ti la sol.” Notably, this is very Marleyesque rhythmically although it spears to be simple outwardly. The first verse ends after the repetition of these aforementioned lines.

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             I find Three Little Birds a little confusing when it comes to the chorus because it is comprised of one more verse. The second verse contains the phrase of the song’s title and is sang twice. Assuredly, it is not the chorus because the first verse I have mentioned is repeated more times.  I find the absence of the organ in the second verse fascinating. It is replaced by a lead guitar, which serves as a perfect alternative. Soon after the end of the second phrase, The Wailers step in with their impeccably-crafted backup as the song progresses to the chorus. The fame of Three Little Birds around the world is rooted in its integration in many film soundtracks. It is, therefore, common for people to say that they have heard it before. Unlike other songs that attempt to mimic this song, Marley’s original version continues to stand out as the best. It reminds me of my past experiences with nature and the beautiful sounds of the birds during my countryside trips. Overall, I find Jamaican music soothing, both to the soul and to the ear.

Maasai Music and Dance

Summary

The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic community inhabiting parts of Northern Kenya and Central Tanzania (Morner, 2006). According to their oral literature they originated in the Nile valley and migrated south in the 15th century to their present occupation of areas predominantly around major tourist attractions such as game parks and great lakes.

The Maasai can be recognized by their red garments, unique hairstyles, their eye catching beadwork, elaborate traditional ceremonies, their tall and elegant Ilmuran (traditional warriors) who carry iconic spears and shields and their unique and impressive music and dance styles.

Maasai traditional customs

  • The Maasai have managed to preserve a rich cultural heritage even in the face of colonial imperialism in the 20th century and the threat of westernization in the 21st century this is in part due to the effectiveness of their oral literature and their pride in the Maasai heritage.
  • The Maasai boast of a patriarchal society built upon an age set system (olporror) where circumcised boys are entrusted with protecting the community from wild animals and attack from neighboring communities. They practice exogenous marriage among their clans and each clan has an Oloibon who is a spiritual and political leader, the alagwanani whose secular leadership capacity is confined within the parameters of the clan, the loibonok who is a spiritual leader and physician and is consulted in case of illness for herbal remedies and in case misfortune to perform elaborate rituals and prayers to cleanse the community.

Maasai traditional beliefs

  • Some traditional beliefs in the Maasai community can be found in the symbolism demonstrated during traditional rituals such as marriage, courtship and childbirth. For instance, the act of a man giving a girl a chain and subsequently taking honey and milk to her clanswomen is considered a formal proposal (Sobania, 2003). The Maasai also believe that a boy cannot transition in to a man unless he undergoes the ritual of circumcision and becomes a moran.

Maasai music attributes

  • The Maasai do not incorporate musical instruments in to their songs, every sound is vocal and any rattling and ringing or jingling that can be heard comes from the noises mad by the rattles, bells and beads that the women and men wear around their necks and in isolated instances a large horn from the head of a cow can be blown.
  • The women sing and the men respond while standing around in a circle. Perhaps the most popular Maasai music and dance ritual is the Adumu. During the Adumu the young men jump as high as they can while other young men stand around and sing. The movement of the head and neck are important to the performance as these movements create a uniform inimitable sort of bobbing as they sing.
  • The songs sang during the Adumu predominantly celebrate the coming of rain and the community’s rites of passage such as the birth, circumcision and marriage while the dance can sometimes be done to impress young girls.
  • The interaction of the dance, song and the sounds of beads, bells and rattles create a beautiful, effortless hypnotizing melody that remains effortless in its inception but still manages to overpower the listener.

Examples of Maasai musical performances.

This video shows Maasai morans during the Adumu song and dance, as stated earlier some of the young men jump as high as they can while the others stand around them in a circle and sing in Maa, the language of the Maasai and accompanying this performance is the sound of rattles and bells from their adornments.

Beyond the Scene – South Korean K-pop Boy Music Band

BTS is a seven-member South Korean K-pop boy band formed in 2013 with the acronym “Beyond The Scene”. The group’s music focuses on the aspects of youth such as mental health, school and the struggle associated with attaining individualism as well as loving oneself. The group first received worldwide commercial success after the major single “Spring day” in their album You never walk alone, a repackaged edition of their second Korean studio album Wings, topped Korea’s major music billboards, entered US billboard’s bubbling under hot 100 singles at number 15 and won the title of “best song of the year” at the ninth annual Melon music awards. This breakthrough was followed by sold-out performances of the Wings tour with tickets selling out almost instantly, increasingly larger venues and more the need to incorporate additional shows due to the high demand for performances by fans, The tour was followed by the release of Love yourself-tear which, on its debut, entered the top ten UK albums chart and was ranked number one in the US Billboard 200. In this paper, an argument will be made to support the thesis that; BTS, through its music and influence, has contributed significantly to the revitalization of the South Korean economy as well as the spread of the South Korean language and culture.

Discussion

BTS has enjoyed tremendous economic success since its inception in 2013 with KB Kookmn bank savings quadrupling after the signing of their contract with the group and bringing over 4 billion to the South Korean economy each year, which, according to research, is the equivalence of the contribution from 26 mid-sized companies. The band also contributed significantly to the popularity of the K-pop music industry worldwide. More than one billion dollars in consumer exports from South Korea is directly associated with the band as K-pop items sale witnessed a tremendous rise online after their mainstream breakthrough. Moreover, after the band topped the US Billboard, the stock prices of South Korea’s entertainment companies went up almost overnight. If the popularity of the band continues to grow in the same trajectory, they are projected to generate close to fifty trillion dollars for the South Korean economy in the next ten years.

BTS has been described by critics as the biggest boy band in the world, breaking the Guinness world record for the most tweeted celebrities two years in a row and being described as one of the 25 most influential people on the internet by Forbes magazine and an image of the band being featured on the Forbes 2018 cover that described the band as next-generation leaders. The band has utilized this huge platform to facilitate the spread of the South Korean culture around the world and their success in doing so was recognized by the South Korean cabinet when it decided to award the band with South Korea’s Orders of cultural merit in October 2018 for their tremendous contribution to the spread of the South Korean culture and language. The award was well deserved as fans reported to being inspired by the band’s music to learn the Korean language as well as visit South Korea in order to immerse themselves in the culture of their favourite band. According to research, the band’s activities are responsible for every one in thirteen tourists that visit South Korea.

However, the popularity of the boy band has not been without its drawbacks, in November of 2018 a Japanese TV show cancelled an appearance by BTS following the controversy that emerged after a photograph of one of the members of the band wearing a t-shirt depicting the atomic bombing of Japan by the US went viral on social media and caused widespread outrage among Japanese fans of the band who regarded the image as utterly insulting. This controversy could spark the question: Is BTS aware of the overwhelming capacity to influence it possesses, the significance of this influence and the responsibility that comes along with it?

Negative Path taken Hip-Hop and Rap Music in the African American Culture

The purpose of the paper is to emphasize the negative or decadent path taken by hip-hop and rap music in the African American culture. Initially, the music genre was used as an oral tradition and a channel of passing messages, but the contemporary forms of this music promote violence, including sexual assault. Besides, it has taken the route of commercialization, thereby ruining its true meaning and the hip-hop and rap culture as a whole. Hip-hop and rap have a significant effect on gender relations and race. The songs use derogatory terms like “ho” and “bitch,” glorify pimping, objectifying and distrust to women and legitimizing gender violence as some of their main themes.

Violence and Sexual Relations in Hip-Hop

Misogynistic hip-hop uses terms that degrade women, while men are praised for abusing women. It is common to see images of women in bikinis dancing around a rapper as he touches them as he desires (Hunter 1). Moreover, such videos depict violence and rape as the way to handle women who defy male domination. For instance, Eminem, who is one of the most popular rappers, is notoriously known for mentioning violence against women in his songs. In one of his lines in Medicine Man, featuring Dr. Dre, another famous rapper, he directly states: “Ain’t no one safe from, non-believers there ain’t none/I even make the bitches I rape cum” (Dr. Dre). In his defense, he attributes violence, misogyny, and homophobia to his alter ego, but regardless of explanation, he, together with other musicians, are adding to the pool of misogyny that has been in existence. Consequently, some fans are caught in the lyrics and fail to identify satire, taking the message to the extreme and they may engage in violence against women. Other misogynistic rappers perceive women as undeserving of respect and disloyal, portraying them as gold-diggers, promiscuous, and having power over men due to their seductive nature (Flores 2). A song by Tupac Shakur titled Hell for a Hustler questions the logic of giving a woman a child, as she is capable of trickery and dishonesty. Songs of similar nature glorify pimps due to their ability to exploit and control women. Thus, when rappers depict such messages, they instigate a desire for violence and wealth as a way of being influential.

Hip-hop Audience

The significant fan-base of modern hip-hop constitutes of young people who are mostly below the age of 30. People in this age demography are prone to influence from music, as the lifestyle depicted in the videos is appealing (Cundiff 2). The messages are likely to desensitize this group with derogatory words that support sexual aggression and violence. Besides, misogynistic songs lessen women to objects of possession for men and are categorized by typecasts of insinuations. For example, Eminem used misogyny in almost all of his fourteen songs in his album titled The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000 (Hunter 3). His album was extremely popular considering the number of sales it recorded and the number of views it has on YouTube. Young people who want to appear “cool” by imitating rappers’ lifestyles are drawn to similar actions and behaviors (Flores 1). Therefore, male consumers are likely to assert dominance over women to portray their gangster facades and authenticity identical to the rappers.

Hip-hop Culture and Masculinity

The African-American community has become the target group of the negative social impacts of hip-hop and rap music. They are now classified as promoters of violence through this music due to their role in destroying the ancient hip-hop. Currently, the music produced is more commercial oriented and does little or nothing to create awareness and it contains a lot of violence, sexism, and egotistical behaviors (Flores 2). The lyrics are violent and explicit about reinforcing the authenticity of rappers as gangsters. According to public speculation, rappers are afraid of being labeled fake or soft hence they are keen to establish a reputation of being hyper masculine and hostile to women. Thus, the disposition of rap and hip-hop music in initiating social oppression of women has become necessary to prove the masculinity of rappers.

Many scholars maintain that the hip-hop culture resulted from misogyny in the whole America. Rappers have coopted the negative gender stereotypes that are prevalent, as they grew up witnessing such vices. In American society, primarily based on traditional roles, there is a rooted behavior of how men should treat women, and it has been internalized in the music videos (Younger). Thereby, it provides an avenue for rappers of color to pursue masculinity status.  Explicit misogyny started from the late 1980s and has grown to feature in most hip-hop music that contains more sexual content than any other material, and most people believe that music negatively depicts African women. Furthermore, the music is accessible to the public in different forms, including videos, audios, and radios and it is common for the videos to show murder, rape, and assault against women (Tyree). Other genres of rap, like Chicano, which is performed by the Latinos, also objectify women and depict them as intellectually and morally inferior. Most rap songs topping the charts, such as those by upcoming artists like Dababy and Blueface, subject women to positions of sexual submission in their videos. An example is seen in the video of Blueface titled Thotiana, where women dance around the rapper, and he moves suggestively. Therefore, scrutiny of current videos shows a shift from violence to sexual misogyny.

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Impact of Hip-Hop

Rap/hip-hop has a significant impact worth considering more than other genres, like country music and EDM. In particular, EDM has gained momentum over the years attracting a huge audience, especially the youthful population. Country music has for a long time been popular among vast listeners in the United States until it was surpassed by rap music. Generally, any music is powerful, but when it comes to gender relations, hip-hop stands out due to the reason that it has become significantly commercialized. Notably, its main selling point is objectifying women of color and using misogynistic lyrics and most of the popular or top rap/hip-hop songs are almost guaranteed to exhibit videos that degrade women. Therefore, rap and hip-hop trigger a lot of debate on such grounds.

Exposure to such content has a considerable effect on listeners. Blanchard has identified a correlation between hip-hop, which is misogynistic, and negative perceptions of women. In this regard, most men who listen to rap music with sexual violence are more likely to express their dominance over women. In another research, it was observed that women who were subjected to sexual abuse increased regarding acceptance of exposure to videos with subordinate roles (Cundiff 2). In contrast, aggression among men was increased, as they watched misogynistic videos. Both genders were more likely to condone demeaning and sexist messages after listening to degrading music. Hip-hop music also has been accepted globally and had significant effects on economies, media, and social trends, while the one with misogyny content have affected sexual relations in society.

Children are introduced to forms of sexual violence and soft-porn at an early stage though hip-hop. Young people who often listen to this genre are likely to engage in early sex compared to those who do not listen to this music. Moreover, girls who regularly listened to misogynistic music expected to be disrespected by their partners and opted for submissive roles (Younger). Children who grow up listening to such kinds of music are likely to be comfortable with interacting with women, as suggested by misogynistic lyrics (Tyree). The youthful demography, mostly made up of individuals between the ages of 18- 24, contributes heavily to hip-hop and it is the most affected by misogynistic content. Most of the youth in this category have admitted that contemporary rap can sensationalize a harmful lifestyle in society. Notably, the younger the people listening to this music are, the more they fail to identify misogyny in the lyrics, but as they mature, they start to notice.

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Overlooking Messages

Artists often overlook misogyny and end up losing essential messages in their music. For example, a song by Kanye West titled New Slaves, which is about racial discrimination, also threatened the wives of corporation owners with sexual assault as a way of liberation. A popular artist Nelly has prompted protests due to misogyny and exploitation of women in his infamous credit card swipe video. Lil Wayne’s music authenticity is questionable as, in some cases, he is seen to poeticize social and political affairs, but partying scenes are also frequent components of the videos. Finally, female rappers like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj air contradictory messages, even though the music provides them with a portfolio to empower and seek equality for marginalized and oppressed groups of women. Consequently, most of these rappers uphold male hegemonic concepts through their messages instead of emphasizing on female empowerment.

Double-consciousness, which was explained by W.E.B. DuBois, is still evident in some of the rap songs by artists like Nas, Akon, and Kanye West. The song “I am not my hair” by Akon and India, who is a female artist, begins by stating how men judge her by appearance, thus breaking double-consciousness. In particular, the female artist gives an insight into her struggles growing up concerning her hair as she tried to make it look like those of white girls to fit as a result of the double-consciousness of African Americans. On the part of Akon, his double-consciousness is clear, as he shows that he benefits from the white’s perception of good hair. He is acting like a black American who is not striving like the rest, and that associating with the white ways made him successful. According to the lyrics of the song, he thrived only after he changed his appearance to appeal to white Americans.

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Commercialization

Contemporary hip-hop and rap music have been characterized by commercialization and desire to amass wealth. The music uses misogyny to gain commercial success and appeal to its global consumers. From the 1990s, producers emphasized on the songs that advocated for offensive and violent lyrics, which began gaining popularity at the time. Moreover, it was during this period that most commercialization targeted white consumers who were associated with the objectification of women in music videos. Women of color were predominant in those videos, especially in strip club scenes. As a result, the vast consumers were attracted to the sexual representation advised by dominant narratives regarding women of color without representation of white women.

Conclusion

Hip-hop and rap music influences a global audience that is mainly made up of youthful population below the age of thirty. Therefore, it is a significant component that affects the economy, politics, and social relationships in the society. Hip-hop, unlike other genres of music, like Country, or EDM, was mainly created to advocate for social justice, but later it lost track and focused on commercialization, whereby its selling point was objectification of women. Thus, as a category of music it provides a rich platform for discussing gender relations and its considerable influence has adverse effects, mainly due to the misogynistic lyrics of modern rap songs. The videos involve themes such as the glorification of female violence, objectification of women, abuse and demeaning women and praising men who oppress and exploit them. As a result of such messages, the music has been criticized due to its influence on its consumers. In contrast, others have blamed the culture in society for the dominance and acceptance in regards to misogyny. All in all, modern hip-hop has transformed from the original rap concept that was characterized by social-political activism to commercialization success guided by misogynistic content.

Foundations Supporting Music in K-12 Grades

Introduction

Studies have indicated that supporting music and art in high school education is very crucial since it enhance the performance of the students as well as boosting the morale of the teachers. It is important to enhance the professionalism of the music teachers by supporting them to acquire the much needed skill, supporting the schools by equipping them with the required instruments and supporting the students to develop interest to learn the music. For many years, curriculum and funding institution have continued to marginalize music as a subject as well as undermine the professionalism of the music teachers.

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Statement of the purpose

However, recent studies indicated that several foundations have been established to support music and art in high school education. These foundations have different eligibility requirements that applications must fulfill in order to get the grant. Most teacher lack information about these foundations and as a result they do not know how to go about when seeking for these grants. Therefore, this informational report intends to provide the teachers with the information about the foundations that offer support and grants to music teachers and the schools

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Scope of this report

This report focused only on foundations that support music in K-12 grades.

Foundations

The foundations that support music in K-12 are:

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.

The mission of this foundation is to “To promote, preserve, perpetuate and encourage the music, culture and heritage of communities in Louisiana through festivals, programs and other cultural, educational, civic and economic activities (New Orlean Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, INC.). New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. offer grants that support music and art education during the school day in Louisiana K-12 schools.

Purpose

The purpose of this grants is to support music and art in K-12 schools located within the jurisdiction of Louisiana. The grant specifically targets K-12 schools that offer music and art education programs during regular school hours. The grants supports music and art disciplines falling under the following categories: music, dance, theater, visual arts, literature, culinary arts, cultural traditions, and folk life and media arts. The school who qualify for this grant can use the fund to purchase the musical instruments, repair the instruments, and acquire supplies such as visual art materials, sheet music as well as other materials necessary for music and arts instructions (New Orlean Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, INC.). The finance cannot be used to settle the salaries of the art or music teachers who are in the school payroll, but they can be used to pay for the fee of visiting clinicians or teaching artists for programs during the school day.

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Eligibility requirements

The first eligibility requirement for this grants is that only application from schools that offer music or art programs during the regular school day at K-12 both public and private. These public and private school must come within the jurisdiction of the Louisiana. However, commercial and individual organizations are not eligible to this grants. The applications are required to submit a detailed music or art programs including the total amount the school spends on music or art instructions during the school day annually (New Orlean Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, INC.). Also, the grant allows the private school falling under tuition, tuition waiver, reduced or reduced-cost lunch category to apply. In their application, they must provide the percentage of the students under scholarship or partial/full tuition waiver program and the cost of tuition annually. Only one application per school accompanied by letter on the school’s letterhead and signed by board chair, chief administrative officer or school’s principal.

Activity schedule and funding amount

The current grant intend to fund only activities running between 1st September, 2017 and 31st August, 2018. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation grant fund music or art programs in K-12 school in Louisiana to maximum of $5,000.

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The mockingbird foundation

The mockingbird foundation is a non-profit organization that support music education for children in 48 states. This foundation was founded by the Phish fans in 1996 and was commission in 1997 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community. The foundation have manage to distribute more than $1 million to school to support music education for children (The Mockingbird Foundation). The mockingbird foundation receive funds from philanthropies which include direct donations from individuals, portion of Livephish proceeds, strategic partnerships, branded merchandise accessible from Phish.net Store and HomeGrown, special events unique donation premiums and the phish companion.

Purpose

The purpose of the grants offered by the mockingbird foundation is facilitate schools to acquire instrument and hire professionals to teach the children music from within the 48 states. The grant specifically targets children who are in the K-12 level.

Eligibility requirements

Unlike the Jazz & Heritage foundation that targets only music or art programs offered during regular school hours, the mockingbird foundation is open to all applicants (The Mockingbird Foundation). Although, the grant is open to all application from the 48 states, schools that targets students from marginalized communities such as the Latinos and African American stand a better consideration.

Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation

Purpose

The mission of this grant is to support music education in K-12 education. Studies have indicated that music education helps the children to realize their full potential as well as stimulating educational and personal growth (Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation). The grant focuses on supporting schools and non-profit music program across the United States. The grant are normally awarded in April of each year and funds distributed at the end of every year.

Eligibility requirements

The first eligibility requirement considered in this grant is music education that focuses on instrumental and vocal. The most targeted public schools or charter school programs are those serving students from 50 % low-income (Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation). These are students who are categorized as receiving reduced or free lunch. Also, students categorized under non-profit/501(c) (3) programs which directly fund the music education for students without considering whether these students have the ability to pay.

For a school to qualify for this grant, they must indicated in their application that music program/curriculum has been in place. However, this program does not fund salaries for regular music instructors. Nonetheless, this grant allows the successful applications to use the funds to pay stipends as well as performance fees for the musicians and instructors (Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation). In addition, the applicants must clear explain how their existing and planned music program improves the education of the students. As a result, total organization budget, proposed project budget as well as music program budget must be included in the application. Finally, the existing and proposed music education program must meet the national standard non-discrimination policies and serves the students on K-12 grades.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

The purpose

The main purpose of the foundation is to donate musical instruments to schools across the United States of America (The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation). However, the donation focus on schools from low income communities. With the help of the committed school district, the support of the foundation has been included as part of the wider district plan for K-12 grades.

Goals

The goals of the foundation is to ensures that students from economically disadvantage families get accessed to music programs, eliminate the sharing of mouthpiece and musical instruments by students hence increasing the practice and adds instructions time, replacing the aged instrument hence enhancing progression, learning and student engagement, sustaining K-12 music education programs across the United States, increasing community engagement (The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation). Overall objectives of the foundation is to increase the graduation rate, school attendance and music student’s academic achievement.

Eligibility requirements

The first requirement that foundation considers is whether the school serves not less than 65 % of the school population from the economically disadvantage society. The second consideration is that the school must have already established instrumental music program that is applicable on a regular school days. The instrumental program include modern band, jazz band, keyboard labs, guitar, mariachi, strings and bands (The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation). The third consideration is that the school must have qualify instrumental music teacher with experience of two consecutive years. The fourth requirement is that the school must have inventory of instrument. Lastly, the school must have a dedicated instrumental music room with adequate and secure storage for musical instruments.

Summary

Based on the information available on the website of these foundation it is clear that each foundation have unique eligibility requirements. The applicants should ensure that they read the application guideline thoroughly in order to include all the requirements in the application. In the case where various people needs to sign the application forms, it is important for the applicants to ensure that the form is fully signed as require. In conclusion, this information is very important because more music teachers and schools needs to access this information in order to assist their students get the required music program. All the foundations insisted that all the applicants should explain in detail the existing music program and how the program intends to assist students realize their full potentials, personal and educational growth. This means that the grants aims at helping the students to prosper in their education and life.

Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson Biography – The History of Musical Theatre

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was most legendary of all Black American tap dancers that lived in the 20th century. Bill was also an actor who was known best for his film roles and Broadway performances. Bill dancing style that involved dancing upright, while extracting and swinging his light footwork, took tap from the previous flat-footed shuffling style and developed tap dancing art to a delicate perfection, pushing performers to their toes. Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson was born on 25th of May 1878 in Richmond, Virginia. He was a son of Maxwell who served in a machine shop and Maria who was a singer in a choir. Bill was named as Luther Robinson after birth. However, he later exchanged his name Luther with his brother’s Bill at an early age, when he started professional performances. He claimed to have applied physical force to achieve that. Robinson lost his parents in 1885, at the age of seven, a situation that forced him to be brought up by Bedilia, his grandmother, who served as slave in her early life. He later got “Bojangles” nickname as a young man due to his prickly tendencies (Biography.com, 2017).

Robinson started dancing at the age of six. He dropped out of school at the age of seven and started taking part in professional dances a year after. He performed in various resident beer gardens for a living. He joined touring troupe named MaymeRemingtons in 1886 and shifted to a travelling company in 1891. Heperformed later as a vaudeville actor. Robinson attained great success as musical-comedian and nightclub performer. At early stage of his career, Robinson almost exclusively performed in black theaters, which only hosted black audiences, with his performances including movies and musical stage. Robinson performed locally for a while by 1900, he had managed to travel to New York, and grew rapidly to be among the most loved American music comedy and nightclub performers. In 1908, Bill met Marty Forkins in Chicago who ended up being his lifetime manager. He started working on a solo act under Forkinsmanagement mostly in nightclubs, increasing his popularity and earnings (Biography.com, 2017).

Robinson introduced the stair dance in 1918, which later became his signature bit. Irrespective of his success, his chances were still restricted to black American venues, due to racism. However, in 1928, Robinson managed to get chance to face white audiences for the first time where he starred on Broadways, which included his popular stair dance. As a star, Robinson performance immediately managed to captivate White audiences. In the following decade, Robinson performed 14 motion pictured for Paramount, 20th Century Fox, and RKO. He played opposite Shurley Temple in his most repeated role of an old Antebellum in a number of films that include Just Around the Corner published in 1938, The Little Colonel in 1935, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Far in 1938, and The Little Rebel in 1935. Irrespective of his fame, Bill was unable to transcend the slim range of black actor stereotypical role at the time. By taking these roles, Robinson managed to maintain his professional position even at his old age. At the age of 61, Robinson starred in The Hot Mikado, a Sullivan and Gilbert’s operetta jazz-inspired interpretation. He publicly celebrated his 61stbirthday by dancing down 61 Broadway blocks (Blackpast.org, 2007).

Robinson became famous for taking part in stage dances, and movie starring among others. However, these are not the only things that he did in his lifetime. Robinson took performance break to serve in the World War I as a rifleman. Together with trenches fighting, Robison was in addition a drum major that headed the disciplined band up Fifth Avenue after the return of regiment from Europe. Robinson was as well engaged in baseball where 1936 he cofounded Harlem baseball team, named as New York Blank Yankees. New York Blank Yankees remained in Negro National League up to the time when the first racial integration of the Major League Baseball took place in 1948. The team was all along financed by James Semler.  Bill also had an involving personal life. He marriedthree times, with his first marriage taking place in 1907 and divorce following in 1922, the second marriage took place in 1922 and ended in 1943, while the third marriage took place in 1944, and lasted until his death.(Atdf.org, 2002).

Robinson hardly had any education.  He was described to be quarrelsome, confrontational, nasty demeanor, and heavy gambler and drunkard. However, he had extraordinary dancing, particularly his scenes of Tap dance with little Shirley Temple, that were said to be legendary and endearing. He performed for the best part of his life from the age of six to a few months to his death. Robinson died in 1949 of heart attack, which impacted his breathing, walking and initiated talking sleeping. This made his doctor to advise against taking part in more dancing. Despite having earned over two million dollars in his lifetime, Bill died a poor man. He died at the age of 71 (Black-face.com, n.d.).

A World of Music 7th Edition By David Willoughby – Book Summary

Presently, there is a universal consensus among pundits and experts alike that music is a diverse entity with an assortment of manifestations that cut across cultures across the globe. An all-inclusive depiction is vital for anyone taking a course in music as it paints the bigger picture regarding diversity in this discipline. David Willoughby’s 7th Edition of The World of Music series seeks to pursue this disposition with a book solely aimed at instructors and their approach when teaching music. The primary reason why this is the case can perhaps be linked to a teacher’s role as a conduit in passing valuable musical knowledge and the importance of appreciating all its forms. In reality, it serves as a music listening book fashioned primarily to ensure that students have a chance to listen to music as it exists in its purest form. Moreover, it also seeks to provide its readers with an expansion of the traditional repertoire that was hitherto used and recommended by many professionals in the study of music.

Willoughby does this by first presenting popular music genres that many are familiar with before finally delving into other lesser known ones. For instance, American folk features significantly at the beginning of the book then followed jazz, popular and ultimately religious music. By so doing, the author does a brilliant analysis of each repertoire while ensuring that his is a thorough evaluation of all elements that make the genre unique. Furthermore, the approach used also seeks to find the common thread that exists in music from different localities around the world in addition to establishing the similarities that exist. With this book, students are therefore equipped with information that makes it possible for them to recognize many different styles present across the world while also being able to appreciate the purpose they serve. In essence, this student-centered approach in teaching music also serves as a tool that will eventually aid students in the appreciation of cultures around the world.

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Drug Use and Its Impact on the Music Industry

Drug Use and Its Impact on the Music Industry

Music industry execs: listen up! Your consumers are bellowing their wants, needs, and desires from every published statistic that used to scare your moms and dads to death. I’m talking about possibly the best pre social-trend indictor at your disposal: drugs. I aim to show you how using current drug use statistics will give you an objective look at the music trends that are just around the corner.

A close look at historical data shows a high correlation between the types of drugs used and the types of music that are most popular. The music industry is one of many which faces the ever-difficult task of predicting social trends. Social trends need to be predicted because you need to know which artist or music-related event to promote and to what extent. Artist development takes time, so you need some way of accurately guessing what to do; then when your artists are ready for release, the public will immediately take them in.

The phrase “social trend” encompasses an almost infinite number of factors making a future social trend nearly impossible to predict without solid indicators. In a culture where future trends are so unpredictable, predictability can be found in the knowledge of what a drug will make its user like. This theory can be applied to any drug and music genre but there are three drugs of specific focus that have historically shaped music and youth culture trends: LSD, MDMA, and Cocaine. Each of these drugs can be linked to a specific type of music genre or event. So how exactly can drug use statistics make money? Think of it like diversifying your portfolio of artists; based on these statistics, put more emphasis on those expected to do well and less on those that aren’t. Do this by:

1. Following drug trends to predict music trends. 2. Investing relative to drug use statistics. 3. Investing demographically.

These three principals can be applied to turn your investments into smarter

Music in the Movies – Skyfall In 2012 James Bond Film

Music composition is a broad field that now plays an integral role in movie making. It currently serves various crucial purposes that are vital for the emotional side of a motion picture while enhancing its storytelling ability. Leading directors and producers always keep music in mind when making all the necessary plans for the shooting of a movie due to the benefits that accrue from having the right soundtrack (Cornelius and Natvig 179). Some of the advantages of having music in film include; creating plot relationships, portraying emotions, period references, the other perception of time and implying a sense of space. It is for this reason that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAC) gives an award annually to acknowledge the importance of music in the movie industry. The Academy Award for Best Original Song is an award bestowed to songwriters who compose the best official song that was written specifically for a particular film (Slide 135). The award was introduced during the 7th Academy Awards in 1934 and has been making yearly nominations of composers and songwriters who are then presented to the Academy membership. The only requirements are that the song be a substantive rendition, audible and intelligible in both melody and lyrics in addition to being used in the motion pictures body as the first cue or at the end credits. “Skyfall (by British recording artist Adelle) is an example of such music, featuring in the 2012 James Bond film as its theme music and scooping the 85th Academy Award. In this essay, I will survey the role of “Skyfall” in the film by analyzing its effect to the presentation.

Adele was a perfect choice to record a James Bond theme soundtrack due to her soulful and evocative feel that would work well for the franchise. Together with producer Paul Epworth, the British crooner wrote and mastered the song in Abbey Road Studios in the middle of London. It is also vital to acknowledge that J.A.C Redford conducted a 77-piece orchestra as accompaniment to produce a contemporary orchestral pop song which was also an original composition. The final product was a dramatic ballad that was dark, providing a sense of death while working to reinstate rebirth. The producer was quite particular at creating a ‘60s jazz feel that was centered on the minor ninth as a base for the harmonic code. It is in C minor and written in adagietto with the talented singer’s vocals spanning over one octave (from the lower G to a high C). The song’s lyrics also mirror the film’s narrative and have romanticism as their main focus. The song has a soulful and brassy tune that fits the oeuvre that is common with James Bond movies making it wholly satisfying. Its instrumentation improves its allure and elevates the rousing vocals to new heights. Adelle drew muse from Dame Shirley Bassey but went on to add her strong phrasing technique as a way of owning the composition. In the song, she seems to be downplaying her round voice using the song’s lyrics to make the message being communicated the primary focus. The song has the sweep and utter drama with the orchestra giving it a classical touch, making it timeless and setting it apart from all other theme songs. Setting the singers beautiful sultry voice against the backdrop of a minor chord progression made the film larger than life with the grandeur of its musical arrangement upstaging the tune.

The song begins with the line “this is the end” with the scene quickly shifting to James Bond holding his breath and proceeding to count to drop due to the shot he had suffered. Adelle sings that the sky fall is crumbling and that she has no other option. It perfectly fits with the situation that is presently occurring around James. He finds himself in a precarious situation where his family home is even at risk of being torn down by the same organization that he had served so diligently. It is also at this same location that his boss passes away, with the song heightening the mood in this particular scene. The music is first dramatic, but in this particular scene, it is transforming the mood to one dark one. James had been throughout the world, from Japan, Turkey, and London but had gone back to where it had all started and was now ready to battle to his death at his childhood him. It is also apparent that James had a rough childhood and for was unhappy growing up due to the death of his parents. Adelle seconds this fact by referring to this as the area “where the world collides” referring to the dark memories that James had a face at the very place where he suffered emotionally. For the most part, he appears “cold” with no one able to reach his heart or love. The brassy tune with its ponderous progression and meandering melody plays an important role in creating the much-needed intrigue that was bolstered by Adelle’s bravura arc. Moreover, the song has parallels with opera program music from the Romantic period due to its use of a symphony orchestra. Another similarity is the use of emotional dynamics that would dramatically go from soft (piano) to loud (fortissimo). Similar to program music, the “Skyfall” theme song also had a subject, plot, and theme.

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Local and Global Music – How Popular Music Has Transcended All Human Identities

The development and spread of music around the world is a contemporary phenomenon that still baffles researchers to date. Globalization has been a significant factor in the range and perpetuation of music as the interaction between people from different cultures led to the spread of new ideas. Local music refers to music that is developed commonly, remains unchanged from its time of production, is popular and most played in a particular region. It is mainly recited by individuals who are mostly anonymous and present a local sound specific to where they hail from. Turkey serves as the best example of an authentic music scene as music from this country is the production of a sedentary culture that is traditional. Titles such as folk music are often used to describe this unique sound that is known for giving various areas their popularity. Global music, on the other hand, is a genre of music that encapsulates an assortment of styles from around the world. It is a hodgepodge of both western and folk music that is then punctuated with the inclusion of ethnic or neo-traditional music from a particular area. It is known for its general disposition that allows for malleability in the application of many different styles to create a new music category. It has been a quagmire for an extended period due to the difficulty in definition due to its exotic nature that is as a result of different of the intermingling of different cultures (Broughton, Ellingham, & Trillo, 1999, p. 67). The creation of popular music has also led to a new social phenomenon where it has been able to cross social bounds and reach individuals from different races, gender, nationalities, class, and ethnicity. In this essay, I will provide the main distinctions that exist between while giving an insight into how popular music has transcended all human identities.

Folk music was initially passed down from one generation to the next in various societies that exist around the world. Members of these communities made use of oral tradition as the primary means in which they would pass the button of a unique culture. It was music that originated from a particular people and those who performed it was interested in fame or fortune. A single individual would sing a melody to members of their community and those who heard it was free to change or add more verses. They would tell stories that were crucial to the community’s history and did not have specific words that described the tunes. It has more to do with how the music was passed down through the generations than it has to do with the area it came from (Frith, 1991, p. 45). It is especially for Native American, American, Irish or Russian folk music which is all put under the same banner but having nothing in common.  Original folk music left out the commercial bit as it mostly concerned with celebrating the culture of a people and what they had to offer. The discovery of new locations by Westerners meant that they were would now come into contact with individuals with new differing lifestyles and music. It was the original systems of communication that were responsible for breaking this type of music from their isolation and bringing it to a global audience. Individuals who met exotic folk musicians were also exposed to new musical ideas that they were glad to that led acculturation and assimilation. Mass media also played a huge role in the creation of world music as it served as a conduit through which this music would be transmitted to all the people of around the world satellite transmissions would ensure that people around the world had access to this new material.

Mass media, and in particular the invention of the cassette tape in 1966 by Phillips, would mark the beginning of a new era in music where music from around the world could be recorded for posterity purposes. An anthropologist would organize fieldworks of an ethno-musicological nature and mark the music they heard from native people all around the world. Battery powered brought a revolution in the creation of a world music identity as it was a relatively low-cost device that would allow the individuals in question to capture the music that they were after and introduced it to a Western audience. It was through this process that favorite music was born and soon became an international phenomenon. It was these influences that went ahead to shape favorite music and aimed at bringing people together using music. A modern example is the street music played in Cluj Napoca, Romania as it is a postmodern example of the influence that world music has had on societies all around the world (Bohlman, 2002, p. 132). As a center of trade, merchants would pass through the city from different locations in Asia would be accompanied by musicians who were integral in spreading music in that locality. Nonetheless, world music was responsible for the sharing of cultures across among people from different genders, race, nationalities, and ethnicities who were interested in learning this language of music in its entirety. Human migrations also played a huge role in the perpetuation of world music across the globe as different communities would end up in a particular locality and share their musical practices and traditions. Popular music has been a considerable influence on social cohesion as new cultural identities are born in a modern context, with all those who find themselves in these areas embracing each other through the power of music and globalization (Manuel, 2013). A cultural and artistic recalibration would take place where new identities would be created as a means of communicating a new musical language to the community at large.

“Local” and “global” music are distinct in their composition as the former is a purer version that birthed modern world music.  Early excursions into the frontiers of the world revealed music that was bound to intrigue the travelers as they were interested in learning more about these new sounds that they were alien to. It is these developments in history that were responsible for the creation of a new type of music that was built on various influences that spanned the globe. Popular music soon came into being after and introduced music that was capable of transcending some social boundaries that had been in existence for quite a long time.  Music became a unifying factor that did not acknowledge the ethnicity, religion, class or nationality of an individual but the love that they all had for the art. World music became integral in forging new identities for individuals from diverse backgrounds who found themselves in the same environment but brought together by their love for music. We presently live in a world that is interconnected which also allows us to listen to more music from diverse backgrounds. Even with the increase in diversity across the globe, we are now able to create a society where the music consumed is from different backgrounds and only serves to bring people together. Presently, students are beneficiaries of the development that has taken place in music as the variety that makes world music allows them to search for its base and origin thus increasing demand for this material.