Motown Philly Essay

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  Most people who know a little bit about music have probably heard of Motown and Philadelphia soul music. With little education about the subject, they also believe that the two genres are one in the same; this is not the case. Most think that soul music is soul music with no difference between the subgenres. As we take a look further into the types of music, we’ll see that they are very different – however, we will also see that they are somewhat similar in some aspects.


      Soul music evolved from Rhythm and Blues (which evolved from the roots of blues, jazz and gospel). It came from the African-American culture. Slaves would often sing spirituals and work songs as they would do their daily routines on their plantations.   These songs would infuse Gospel melodies and popular songs of the day. Eventually, this type of music would evolve into Rhythm and Blues and finally made its way onto the popular music scene in the late 1940s to the early 1950s. It had a strong rhythm and it mixed influences of gospel chord structure and lyrics about love and about the changing times in the world.
   
      Most people believe that the soul music genre began in Chicago, Illinois in the 1950s. This type of Soul Music followed the more traditional style of soul which had strong influences of Doo Wop and Gospel. Artists like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and James Brown, among others (though not all from Chicago), performed in this founding style of Soul Music.


      Over time many different types of soul music slowly but surely worked their way as subgenres of Soul - Funk, Blues, Chicago Soul, Stax, etc… The two most popular subgenres of soul would be Motown and Philadelphia Soul. Like stated before, many people believe that both types are one in the same; this is not the case. Let’s take a look at the history of both types and look at the differences and similarities of the both. Even though they started about 15 years apart, it is...

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