American Music Genres History

Rhythm and blues is the name given to the genre of African American music in the 1940s used by record companies. This term was mainly used for blues music which is a form of music originated from the African American communities in the 19th century. This music form came from work songs, spirituals, field hollers, chants, and shouts. They also consisted of narrative ballads. Blues music is characterized in rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and jazz by some specific chord progressions. The twelve-bar blues is the most commonly used chord progression. Blues music has special lyrics, instruments, and bass lines, and they are sung for expressive purposes (Nicholls 352). Louis Jordon dominated the rhythm and blues charts in 1948 with his songs that were made on boogie-woogie rhythms. ‘Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie’ was one of his hit numbers.Folk music genre evolved in the 20th century as the folk revival since it comprises of traditional music which was much older. By the mid-twentieth century, folk music was recognized as a new form of popular music and this era was called the revival of folk music. The revival of folk music consists of other forms too such as folk metal, folk-rock, and electric folk. However, the performers and the songs were a blend of traditional and contemporary folk music (Nicholls 288). This music genre was often related to culture, history, personal events, and was performed for years, at times for generations. Woody Guthrie was from the first musicians to revive folk music whose legacy includes hundreds of compositions. ‘This Land is Your Land’ is his best-known song.Country music originated as a form of American popular music from the rural areas of Southern United States. The roots of this style are taken from Western music and American folk music. Country music consists of dance tunes and ballads with simple harmonies (Nicholls 356).

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