Comparison Between Two Musical Cultures Essay

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Selected musical cultures Musical culture 1: Blues Musical culture 2: Chinese Investigation Musical culture 1: Geographical context: Blues music originates from the Mississipi Delta in the south of the USA. It originates from field camps and cotton fields. Historical context: In the past in the Mississipi Delta many African slaves were brought to work in plantations. These slaves had to deal with harsh working conditions and did not get any money for the hard work they did. Musical History: The slaves working in the cotton fields and plantations would sing chants to tell stories about their lives, these stories were most commonly about sadness, loneliness, sorrow and tragedy. As the slaves sung these chants while working, the chants and songs were mostly vocal and did not have a lot of instrumental accompaniment. Sometimes the slaves would use instruments to accompany their songs when the sung outside of work. A lot of these chants were improvised by the plantation workers. Musical Characteristics: Blues Music is mostly played in the 4/4 time signature. The main instruments used are acoustic guitars, vocals and harmonica. Blues songs most commonly have 12 bars and 3 chords that are repeated throughout the song. The scale used for blues is the pentatonic scale. Blues songs have a slow tempo (andante-adagio). Listening example: Muddy Waters- Sad Sad Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX174vNhs94 Investigation Musical culture 2: Geographical context: Chinese traditional music comes from China. As Chinese traditional music originated many years ago, it is not known exactly where the music originated from in ancient China. Historical context: Chinese music has been proven to have been around since 1122 BC – 256 BC. According to legends, Chinese music originated from a man called Ling Lun who used to make bamboo pipes that were tuned to the sounds

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