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INTRODUCTION The United States has a very wide variety of musical genres present among its musicians and many different types of music have been popular over the past 100 years. Music is one of the most popular formsa major form of entertainment, and is very ever-present in the American psyche. of the nation andNationwide, nearly every person has an opinion about what is good music and what is not. What is popular and what is not has gone through a natural progression throughout time and there are certain trends that show what will be popular in the near future.The natural progression of popular music can be measured in the waxing and waning popularity of certain genres and styles of music, andthese measurements can in turn help to predict which kinds of music will gain popularity in the near future and where the loci of these new trends will be located .
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The research presented in this document will help decide what music is popular in this generationand, where the center of activity for each popular genre is., and then Uultimately, I will use this information to come up with a recommendation as to where the proposedis music promotion business should be set up shop. It is important vital for such a music promotion service like the one that I am proposing to be close to the center of activity for the most popular genre of music so that it canin order to be in at the forefront of the new music movement.
METHODS As this type of research is very subjective and rather volatilepotentially inflammatory, I will need to pull information from many different sources in order to come up with a solid conclusion In Tthis . document, I will go throughprovide a brief history of popular music in the United States, explain the current music trends, describe the center of activity for each current popular genre, and then give a conclusion as to the top music scenes to set uploci of the next waves of popular music in order that my proposed promotion service might be the most successful and provide its services to the greatest number of musicians.
Comment [PC1]: You say this but then only have two sources at the end
While the business that I am proposingmy proposed business will not focus favor on one genre over another, there are certain trends going on around the nation that point towards what the next big thing will be. In order to find the next big thing, however, we must first examine the last few big things.There has been a natural progression in what music has been popular since the United States found its own national identity. The first truly American form of music came in the form of blues. Born from the slaves working the fields of the South, blues was a passionate and soulful form of music. This eventually evolved into two different genres of music that were closely related but distinct in their nature: gospel and jazz. Jazz was essentially created in the city of New Orleans, LA, and, along with the blues, also helped popularized the use of the electric guitar. Country music also started to become popular around this timeamong the white communities of the South. Jazz and blues together were the driving forces of today s modern music scene. Blues splintered into a few different directions, with R&B and soul deriving from the lyricism and feel of blues and the first renditions of rock music were formed from the instrumentation andstylings of blues, country and R&B. American rock music started in the 1950 s with musicians such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and others. Surf music started to become popular in the early 1960 s with Dick Dale and the Beach Boys. After a few years and events such as the death of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens, rock music seemed to be on the decline. That was until bands came overseas from England, bands such as the Beatles, the Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones, and the Who. This first British Invasion revolutionized rock and inspired music for the next few generations. Folk rock became popular during this time as well. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel, and others were part of this genre influenced heavily by country music. The next wave of popular music came in the form of heaver music from bands such as Led Ze ppelin, the Who, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and others. This The pioneering efforts by these artists lead to the creation of the genre of metal, whichhad its peaked of popularity in the 1980 s. The 1970 s saw a new form of music emerge in the dance clubs of New York City: disco. Although relatively short-lived, disco influenced music around the world as both an integral part of new genres of music and also saw basically the whole nation and every music scene reactin with a huge backlash against it. In the 1970 s and 1980 s punk music was born and brought into the eye of the public. Bands such as the Ramones, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, and others popularized the fast-paced, intense form of music. The early 1980 s saw a shift in punk music when the hardcore movement took overand then quickly disbanded by 1985until 1985 when it quickly disbanded **BECAUSE OF**,forever leaving a mark on the history of music in the United States. Pop punk became popular in the 1990 s with bands such as the Offspring, New Found Glory, Blink 182, and others. This genre infused the speed and instrumentation of punk bands with the feel and rhythm of the alternativerock bands of the late 1980 s and 1990 s. Grunge rock became popular in the late 1980 s and early 1990 s with bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden leading the charge, and can be traced back to the area of Seattle, WA. Grunge was a
culmination of a few genres of music, taking the instrumentation of punk but slowing it way down, feeding in the distortion of metal and the lyrics of blues music. The genre began to decline after the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 but from its ashes alternative rock arosewas becoming popular. Bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, and the Foo Fighters were at the forefront of the alternative charge. The 1980 s also saw the popularity of style of music resulting from the lyrics of R&B and the fast-paced nature of punk rock, and that is the genre of hip hop. Created in the 1970 s and evolving from soul and funk, hip hop focused on the percussion instruments and the fast-paced vocal delivery of the musicians. DJ Kool Herc of Kool Herc and the Herculoids is considered the father of the genre and was the first group to become popular in the clubs of New York in the 1970 s. Hip hop splintered into many different genres of music as the complexity of the music was on the rise and other genres influenced the sound of hip hop. Some groups from other genres were also influenced by hip hop. Some of the most popular crossover artists include the Beastie Boys (rock influenced by hip hop), and Run DMC (hip hop influenced by rock). The 1990 s saw a surge of rappers, musicians focused on the vocal delivery aspect of hip hop, hitting mainstream success. Musicians such as Tupac, MC Hammer, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, and many others became some of the most popular artists in the United States. Another popular genre of music from the 1980 s was electronic musicElectronica also gained popularity in the 1980s, a type of music that didn t use any traditional musical instruments but rather opted for synthesizers and computers to generate the music and, like hip hop, relied heavily on the pounding beats of the percussive instruments. Indie rock had its roots in the 1980 s with the alternative rock scene and got some traction in the 1990 s with groups like Pavement, Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel, and others. The indie rock sound was brought into the mainstream in the mid 1990 s to early 2000 s by bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Weezer, Sunny Day Real Estate, and the Get Up Kids.
CURRENT TRENDS The digital age starting in the late 1990 s and continuing to the present time has helped music of every genre find popularity. Every variety style of music has a relatively large fan base and bands from every genre of music can be found. Folk rock has seen a resurgenceresurgence, the metal scene around the United Sstates has come back and is starting to gain traction again, and hip hop can still be found in most dance clubs around the nation. Disco has a small resurgence in the 1990 s and still has a following. Country also has had a resurgence of popularitymade a comeback, starting in the politically conservative era of the 1980 s within the past 10-15 years. The relatively new genre of independent, or indie , music has become very popular and is at the top of many popular music charts. Due to the advent of the internet and peer-to-peer sharing, music of any and every genre is incredibl easy to get a hold of y and most personal music libraries have music from many different genres. Some of the trends that I have noticed are the advent of indie rock, the resurgence of folk rock, the rise of a new wave of hip hop, and the resurgence of metal.
Indie rock has been very popular lately and that has lead to this resurgence of folk rock as the two have many aspects in common. The term indie rock has come to encompass many different sounds and styles of music as all genres do over time. Due to this, I foresee a splintering of the term indie rock into many different subgenres as has happened with nearly every popular genre as seen in the history detailed above. I do not see this as a problem though and it will givebands more opportunity to explore the music that they wish to produce without being confined to a specific label. Some hotbeds of activity for indie rock are San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; Seattle, WA; Atlanta, GA; Minneapolis, MN; and many places around the Northeast. The resurgence of folk rock can also be seen as a backlash against the electronic sound of music over the last few decades as folk rock is characterized by an acoustic sound with usually more thoughtful and meaningful lyrics. It also can be seen as a backlash against the childish lyricism of the pop punk movement that had lyrics focusing on girls, partying, and other things the general public deems as immature. Folk rock usually incorporates many more instruments than the traditional rock band, utilizing things such as mandolins, banjos, violins, and other acoustic instruments. Some hotbeds of the folk rock activity are Omaha, NE; Athens, GA; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; and Seattle, WA. Hip hop can be found in nearly every club around the United States and has a very large following. The Rolling Stone Magazine s Top 10 Song list for the last few years has been littered with songs from this genre and this trend seems to be continuing. The makeup of the music is starting t shift somewhat, o though. The new trend seems to be related to hip hop songs that have more lyrical content than the more insipid hip hop songs of the last decade dealing with dancing, drinking, partying, and girls. As seen in the folk rock movement, listeners are starting to expect more meaningful lyrics from their music and so this genre is starting to lean that way. The major frontrunner in this shift is the independent record label Rhymesayers Entertainment based out of Minneapolis, MN. This label w created in 1995 and has as recently come into prominence in the past five years with highly acclaimed albums from artists such as Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and P.O.S. Other than Minneapolis, MN, other hotbeds of activity for hip hop are Los Angeles, CA, and New York City, NY, Detroit, MI, and Chicago, IL. The last major trend that I see is a resurgence in metal. While the metal of the 1980 s was based on the seemingly uncoordinated thrash style of bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and others, the new trend of metal is based on extreme precision, incredibly technical musicianship, and the use of growling and shouting of lyrics rather than clean vocals. Some of the most talented and gifted musicians, especially drummers and guitarists, can be fou playing the music of this genre as it is the nd most challenging and technical. Some of the new subgenres of metal that have appeared in the past decade are post-hardcore, math metal, and death metal, which has many subgenres of its own. Some of the most popular in the past few years are post-hardcore, melodic death metal, and deathcore. While most of these genres won t be found on the popular radio stations, there is a very large following around the nation for this style of music. Some hotbeds of acti ity for the metal genre are Gainesville, v FL; Tampa, FL; Portland, OR; Los Angeles, CA; Las Vegas, NV; and New York City, NY.
DISCUSSION Looking through the different epicenters of the popular music scenes, the names that pop up the most often are Los Angeles and New York City. While these may seem like ideal situations because of the variety of genres that the cities represent, the market is rather saturated with music labels and other promotion services that have been in business for many years. Trying to start a new service in a city such as this would be nearly impossible. Therefore the two that stand out to me are the scene in Atlanta, GA, and Seattle, WA. If set up in Atlanta, the cities of Gainesville and Tampa, FL, are relatively close in proximity and could also be serviced. In Seattle, Portland, OR, can also be serviced. These cities have produced many popular bands and even whole genres of music (i.e. grunge from Seattle).
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Due to the information described above, I would have to recommend that the music promotion service that I am proposing be set up in the Seattle-Portland region and/or the Atlanta-Gainesville region. These two music scenes offer the most number of popular genres without the saturation oversaturated markets of the large cities such as Los Angeles and New York City. Great music is coming from these regions of the United States and this service can do very well for itself and help the music community flourish in either of these areas.
"Music Genres, Trends & Scenes - Helium." Helium - Where Knowledge Rules. Web. 31 July 2010. "Music of the United States." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 31 July 2010.
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