View Full Version : How many genres

David W Pratt
01-09-2010, 10:42 AM
of music originated in the US?
Rock and Roll
Rap (?)
And I'm no musician, but I know we have some here.

Lew Barrett
01-09-2010, 11:30 AM
We quickly realize that the roots of Bluegrass are Celtic, while R&B, gospel, and R&R are often considered meat off the same bone and African in origin. Jazz is a real mutt, with Klezmer and African origins in a unique American stew that nonetheless reverberates off a European instrumental heritage. And so it goes!

I think the question doesn't have a really direct answer, but it is fair to say that American popular culture has had a huge, profound effect on the music of the modern world. American inventions like the electric guitar have further defined the evolved genres. But like language, music connects us across cultures, and it's roots are more complicated as one delves into the forms.

Paul Pless
01-09-2010, 11:35 AM
How many genres of music originated in the US?bubblegum pop... unfortunately

Lew Barrett
01-09-2010, 12:19 PM
All the good stuff is from Alabama. They just record it in Nashville :D

01-09-2010, 01:10 PM
Actually, the good stuff came out of the Mississippi delta, New Orleans, and the Appalachian/Cumberland Mtn. region...via the Old World and Africa....

Jeff C

01-09-2010, 02:09 PM

hop hip.

Boxcar willy

01-09-2010, 03:36 PM
How about that Cajun music? That's homegrown.

01-09-2010, 03:45 PM
Drum and bugle corps are American, but I don't know if that's music.

How about Big Band?



01-09-2010, 04:58 PM
There's an argument to be made that Grunge is Canadian in origin. ;)

Lew; as to the European instrumental heritage of Jazz......a Jazz band is just a Brass Band goofing off.

Captain Blight
01-09-2010, 05:22 PM
Big Band, maybe... I know that it was responsible for the birth of Calypso, thence to ska and reggae. There's a direct line of descent between Glenn Miller and Matisyahu.

Paul Pless
01-09-2010, 08:07 PM
ain't big band and swing a type of jazz?

Captain Blight
01-09-2010, 08:35 PM
Hmmmm... Maybe, maybe not. Authorities disagree; seems to depend a lot on whether you want it to be or not.

01-09-2010, 09:01 PM
ain't big band and swing a type of jazz?

Hmmm......you can tie yourself in knots looking for cut-off points and start times of genres of popular music.
Have to say it was an amazing century for American music.

Robert L.
01-11-2010, 06:44 PM
Country Western is not a unique musical genre originating in the United States.

Well I've stepped in it now, I bet I am about to get my first slew of hate posts. I like Cowboy music, I like Hillbilly music, I like Country music, but contemporary Country Western sucks.

Country music as a popular style has its roots in the folk music of rural southern America. That music had its origins in folk music brought here by British and Scottish settlers and was originally called "Hillbilly Music". Theme and even lyrics have actually changed very little.

For example take the English song "The Robber" from around 1500. Compare this set of lyrics:
“May six pretty maidens bear up my pall,
And let them have white gloves and ribbons all;
That they may say when they speak the truth;
There goes a wild youth,
There goes a wild and a wicked youth. “

With "The Dying Cowboy",
Let sixteen gamblers come handle my coffin;
Let sixteen young cowboys come sing me a song,
Take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a poor cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

Which is the predecessor to,
"The Cowboys Lament" also known as "The Streets of Laredo"
Let six jolly cowboys come carry my coffin;
Let six pretty maidens come bear up my pall,
Put branches of roses all over my coffin;
Put roses to deaden the clods as they fall.

In my opinion there can be very little question that “The Robber” an English ballad from around 1500 is one of the roots of all Cowboy songs.

But you said Country Western. Pure country/cowboy music is typified by the early recordings of the Carters and of course the father of Country Music, Jimmie Rodgers. It is pretty easy to tell when Country music changed from “Hillbilly” to Country Western. The earliest recoding I have is Jimmy Rodgers "Waiting For A Train", October 22, 1928. Horns, clarinet, steel guitar, sort of a yodeling cowboy, Dixieland thing. From that point on he has lots of sidemen with names like Joe Kaipo and Charles Kama and you hear lots of steel guitar and even ukulele and Country Western is born.

Of course what we know as early Hawaiian music is a cultural mix of Portuguese cowboy music, German orchestra music and the rhythmic chants and yodeling of the native Hawaiians, but that is another story. The roots of Country Western are nothing more than a hybrid of continental and immigrant styles and themes.

Rather than being an original All American (i.e. U.S) style, modern Country Western just keeps grafting the tears-in-the-beer theme onto whatever was popular yesterday. First it was the Blues and then Rock-and-Roll and it is now moving into the realm of Rap. Go ahead, Google country rap for some examples.

I do welcome any thoughtfully researched (you actually give dates off of albums, records, or sheet music or properly attribute your quotes from primary authorities) responses. If it is thoughtful, good and original I might ask to publish it. Else wise I await the wrath of the Google experts and the wiki professors, just be careful when you C&P that you aren’t quoting any of my own articles and publications.

Have a good day

Lew Barrett
01-11-2010, 08:17 PM
There's an argument to be made that Grunge is Canadian in origin. ;)
Maybe started in Canada, but perfected in Seattle!

Lew; as to the European instrumental heritage of Jazz......a Jazz band is just a Brass Band goofing off.
Playing European wind instruments:D

ain't big band and swing a type of jazz?
Big Band is Big Band....the pop of the 40's and 50's....leads to Sinatra
and Harry Connick Jr. Is that jazz? I don't know but it seems to me that it's very American.

Swing is Jazz; Django? Jazz.

01-12-2010, 08:59 AM
Push it back far enough, and most Western music comes from Gregorian chant or African drumming. With side trips through various geographies and national cultures.

I agree that some of the most fruitful North American geographies for the ongoing mash-up were Appalachia and (especially) the Mississippi delta.

01-12-2010, 09:05 AM
I'll give 'em Jazz, but the Brits outdid them in Rock.

01-12-2010, 10:18 AM
Thing is America catalyzed all that stuff into what it is today. Its roots may be from elsewhere, but it wouldn't exist in the for it does without the mix of cultures that existed here. Except for Native American music and I don't hear much of that on the radio.

And even though people like to think differently, we get to claim punk and definitely hardcore.


01-12-2010, 01:19 PM
delta blues

chicago blues

texas swing ..

01-12-2010, 01:21 PM
.. most Western music comes from Gregorian chant or African drumming.

i''ll see your gregorian chant and raise you a sea shanty

01-12-2010, 03:51 PM
You guys surely can't be forgetting native american (injun) music are you? :confused:

01-12-2010, 03:57 PM
i''ll see your gregorian chant and raise you a sea shantyHow 'bout you sing one, and I'll raise a pint?

01-12-2010, 05:13 PM

01-12-2010, 05:22 PM
Quote - "There is a school of thought which believes 'Native Americans' came from elsewhere."

True, but the music (as we know it) was probably developed (and almost certainly refined) after migrating here...assuming that the migration actually happened.

Jeff C

01-12-2010, 05:35 PM
:) It's actually difficult to prove either way....

Jeff C

John Meachen
01-12-2010, 07:05 PM
Of all the genres mentioned in this thread,how many require apology rather than celebration of their existence?