The Concept of Style

Music relates traditions and communicates messages and thus it takes different styles and functions in various societies around the world. The different functions of music are based on religion, cultural practices and other nonreligious activities. The different Categories according to function are popular music, sacred music, secular and art music. There are many categories of music that are of different styles. Some styles are distinct while others cut across different musical styles and others borrow elements of one style and integrate it in another. Despite the magnitude of the entity, music is never stationary and its style changes according to time and location.For instance, western music is different from nonwestern music in terms of melody, texture and rhythm, tempo, dynamics and form. This is because cultures on the global scale have their own music practice. Nonwestern music is commonly not written down and thus is transmitted orally, unlike western music. African music has a more complex rhythm mostly layers of rhythm which is the same as layers of pitches in western music (Norton & Company 1). Moreover, the pitches in African music have longer or shorter intervals than western music, which is characterized, by half steps. The music is also monophonic which are mostly accompanied by a drone. African culture is divided at the Sahara desert, with those above influenced by the Middle East and those below having diversity in religion, culture and language (Forney & Joseph 215).To stress that music is not stationary, western and African music has blended to produce new types. One example is the jazz music, which is a blend of African improvisation, syncopation and call and response with European harmony, structure and instrumentation. This music was begun by Africa-Americans and was oral and borrowed chord progressions from western music (Norton & Company 1). It was solely created for dancing. The music advanced from folk roots to and was performed by professionals, moved from dancing to listening and appeased a more sophisticated audience. The harmony also became more complex.Some music is used to illustrate historical transitions. Over the years, music in the US changed to suit the 1945 to 1964 occurrences. This led to the creation of Rock and Roll music. Its style was borrowed from three contributors, which are Africa-American, music technological advances such as electric guitar, bass and organ, audio recordings and radio and television broadcasting. It also included music of the white America, which had its roots from European folk music and was characterized with vocal story telling (Chastain 2). The styles borrowed in Africa-American music was black church music, blues, jazz and black swing. This music, however, faced opposition from pop which led to its full eventually. Over this period, the white were inclined to pop music while the black retreated to R&B.These illustrations show that music has transitioned progressively using new styles of music borrowed elements from others. Presently, there is a blend of rap music with reggae, rock and even R&B, which has received tremendous appreciation by the young generation. …
Posted by: Charlene Tinker

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