Country Music Research Paper

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Through its entangled web of simplistic motifs and relatable notions; country music can be viewed as the emotive initiate of modern day popular music. From its humble beginnings high atop the mountains of Tennessee, to the financial powerhouse it is today; country music has always stood by its fundamental components. This essay attempts to elucidate these components through reference and explanation of the social and cultural origins of country music, the musical and sonic elements, as well as the production techniques used throughout country music. This essay will focus primarily on the roots of country music, a sub-genre known as traditional country. Country music has been said to have begun in the Appalachian mountains where the borders…show more content…
Although when one seeks through the initial individualism and looks deep into the idiosyncrasies of country music, it can be seen that country music draws from its ancestors of folk music, western music as well as the blues. The tonality of country music reflects this notion with the majority of country music based around three scales congruent to folk music and the blues, the being; the major pentatonic, the minor pentatonic and the major scale. The influence of blues can often be traced throughout country music, as flats on the 3rd, 5th and 7th notes can often be heard creating the feel of the blues. Country music often uses the tonality of the piece to help tell the story, using minor chords for sad songs and major chords for more upbeat songs etc. Country music tends to be mostly tonal and again reflects its simplistic…show more content…
Due to the fact country music began in the early 1900’s suggests that acoustic instrumentation would be consequential to the country sound. The fact that mostly string instruments are used in this style also reflects on what was available at the time. The banjo gave country music its unique twang and added immense flavour to the style providing a sense of urgency and cheerfulness. The acoustic guitar was and is a big factor in country music, the links to folk and blues can be the reasons behind the choice of the acoustic guitar and with the commercialisation and cheap selling of guitars this was the easiest instrument to pick up and play considering its affordability and mobility. Chords were strummed on the acoustic guitar to accompany vocal melodies and melodies were also played on the guitar to help emphasise the melody as well as alter tone colours and create interest throughout the pieces. As people began collaborating with one another further instrumentation came to place. Instruments such as the double bass and the fiddle, were prominent in early day country music. The bass would hold the rhythm and the fiddle again would provide melodic accompaniment as well as harmonic support. Other instruments seen throughout traditional country music include the; autoharp,

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