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As one of the most diversified countries in the world, the United States of America offers a wide variety of popular music genres. The multi-ethnic population of the country exhibits a range of musical styles deriving from the several historical cultures. West African, Irish, Scottish, and various other European civilizations are among the prominent ethnic or cultural influences on American music. Nearly 20 different music genres are prevalent in the USA, and some of the significant ones include jazz, country, blues, rock, rhythm, and many others (Vernell, 78). Considering that the USA has the world's leading music market, it is worth recognizing that the industry had a retail value of 4,898.3 million dollars back in 2014. The music from the American music industry has been adopted the world over. My popular music is country music. This argumentative research essay analyses various features of country music, for instance, a tune, genre, style, musical instruments and composer features amongst others. The assignment also addresses historical development, contemporary relevance, and the sound of the music. Country music critical features such as tune, genre, style, instruments used, compositions and artistic inputs created new economic, sociological, and geographical outline in the music market industry.
American population both young and old adores the country music. Country music displays distinctive tunes, style, instruments and many other features. The music employs a simple chord progression. Normally, the music model relies on the limited number of chords; therefore, it is not musically convoluted; a key feature that enhances the popularity and playability the music. The composition of the music demands presence of a strong story line as notable in many country music pieces. Moreover, the composition employs simple and effortlessly memorable chorus that backs up the storyline thus improving the ability to memorize the music. The on average, the music approach has multiple identifiable instruments such as guitars, banjos, fiddles and pedal steel guitars which are commonly notable in the music performance. The music is heavily associated with a non-urban geographic location as opposed to some modern music genres like hip hop or RnB. Some of the favorite country music artists are Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, and Dolly Parton amongst others (Carr, 132).
Country music is one of the early genres in the contemporary American famous music. The music originated from the southeastern states of the USA and portrayed a combination of the folk music borrowed notably from three main regions, the British Isles, church music and black Americans. The early prominent instruments included in country music were acoustics, for instance, guitar, mandolin and autoharp. The history of the music is apportioned into the three main parts: in the 1920s, between 1930 and 1960 years and later after 1960.Some of the recognizable country music pieces were recorded back in the 1920s whereby the productions of the Carter Family grew to popularity. The productions by the Carter Family included memorable collections of folk songs and writing of new songs. Another early artist was Jimmie Rodgers. Jimmie learned how to play guitar and singing of blues while working on the railroad (Malone, 134). He equally adopted incorporation of old-time music, folk songs and the combination of the styles in the creation of new songs.
Jimmie employed unique vocal approach known as yodeling. His initial hit record, Blue Yodel, was well received in the music market, creating a mark of half a million copies in 1927. Around the period from 1930 to 1960, many American families did not have access to the Television. They mostly listened to the radios, and one of the famous Radio programs was live country-music show known then as the "Grand Ole Opry." The broadcast aired from Nashville, Tennessee, was the focus of the country-music stage and listeners were provided with old-time music and other styles such as Western music kinds. The era's country music style had horse-like clip-clop rhythms and compositions were mainly regarding lovesick Cowboys and even war gun-battle outlaws. Some of the notable styles are bluegrass established in the 1950s; country rock music commenced in the mid-60s, country pop in the 1960s and many other styles (Billboard, 160). The country music rarely exhibits any political preference amongst fans and is loved by all political sides. The music styles push for meditation and use of few instruments. Older people in the society are increasingly associating with the music as compared to the young ages. Research also heavily shows that many people who value to the genre prefer rural life sociological structure (Malone, 214).
The country music's style of the Western dance referred to as the Western swing grew in popularity in Texas, Oklahoma and even California. The style used improved musical instruments such as the pedal steel guitar to widen the strength of the loudness of music especially during concerts in the large dance halls. The music styles also had a combination of the Western country style and swing jazz. This new style had early new bands, for instance, Bob Wills. Another country music style that was advanced was called rockabilly after the Western swing bands started mixing R&B music with country music instrumentation. There was the establishment of bluegrass as another style in the genre in the early 1950s. The music approach created competition for the old-time country music that was headed by Bill Monroe. Later in the 1970s, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band rose to popularity with their music in bluegrass style (Malone, 214).
Country music remains one of the most loved music genres in America. The music has notable contemporary relevance through the presence of the massive fan base and presence of many artists showing love for that music genre. In many regions countrywide, fans adorn their best pair of jeans and cowboy boots which are the true regalia associated with country music lovers. Some of the distinguished regions in which the music concert are regularly held are mainly Nashville, Pigeon Forge, Memphis and Hurricane Mills all in Tennessee. Other areas include Meridian in Mississippi, Branson in Missouri, Dyess in Arkansas and Winchester in Virginia (Ellison, 82). The fan base of the country music has long been thought to be people from rural settings, contrastingly less educated, less sophisticated and less technologically informed in the society. Research on the country music indicated that average lover of country music is aged 45 years and was found to have an annual income of $75,392. The research also found out that nearly 75% of the country music fans owned homes whose average worth was an average of $228,586 (Billboard, 90 The research also learned that around thirty-two percent lovers of the music had 2 to 3 children. On the contrary, the research found out that that 42 percent of the American population loved country music. The percentage resembles 95 million of the American population (Ellison, 152).
Sound of the music
The country music tune, style, instruments, and several other artistic inputs create a combination of distinct feelings to the listeners. Many listeners refer to the music approach as relieving. The fans say that the music is soothing and easy to listen to. The singer's voice combined with the prudent application of instruments presents an impressive opportunity to the listeners. The artists convey treasured and educative information to the listeners apart from the relaxation achieved from the music (Carr, 162). The music genre is special in a manner that listeners can follow easily on what message the artists convey as opposed to new music genres such as hip-hop and rapping whereby it is at times difficult to listen to due to the speed by which they are sang. Music is one of the tools employed in relaxing the body and the mind and country music is one of the distinct music approaches used. The music is normally played in in relaxation zones, for instance, in hotels, beer drinking sessions and many other venues globally. The love for the music has grown beyond America's borders to many other nations. The artists, such as Kenny Rodgers are accepted globally for informative country music (Joli, 89).
In summary, country music's current approval by many people in the American society shows the continuous contributions by many stakeholders in the industry. The history of the genre is traceable from the 1920s and to this day the music still goes strong. Many changes in styles have been undertaken by various generations that have contributed to the establishment and development of the music. The popularity of the music is measurable going by the huge number of people who attend the concerts of country music. Many fans of the music genre are old people as the average age of fan base is 45 years. The music beats are contrastingly slow and employ few instruments as compared to several other music genres such as rock, reggae, hip-hop and many other music segments. The slow nature and ease of memorizing the music endear the old people to the music approach. Country music's key features, for instance, tune, genre, style, and instruments employed creates a sociological and geographical outline in the music market industry.
Vernell Hackett, New Statistics About Country Music Fans Revealed at Billboard Country Summit. June 08, 2011
Billboard Staff, The 30 Greatest Country Artists of the Modern Era: Critics' Picks; Billboard biz. (2015)
Joli Jensen. The Nashville sound: Authenticity, commercialization, and country music. Country Music Foundation, 2012.
Carr, Patrick, ed. The illustrated history of country music. Three Rivers Press, 2012.
Malone, Bill C. Country music, USA. Vol. 54. University of Texas Press, 2016.
Ellison, Curtis W. Country music culture: From hard times to heaven. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2015.
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