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Re: [RedHotJazz] Blues roots (was: banjo di Johnny St.Cyr)

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  • David Richoux
    I have been catching up on this long thread! There is a very good book on this subject that endeavors to show the cross-over links between many of the
    Message 1 of 38 , Jul 29, 2009
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      I have been catching up on this long thread!

      There is a very good book on this subject that endeavors to show the
      cross-over links between many of the Euro/African/American musical
      forms in the 18th to 20th Centuries. I have been reading it for a few
      weeks now - it is very technical, but well written for the most part.
      Origins of the Popular Style - The Antecedents of 20th Century Popular
      Music
      Peter Van Der Merwe 1989
      Clarendon Press London ISBN 019816305 3

      Examples of similarities and developments of melody, harmony, rhythms,
      bass lines, chords, some lyrics and performance "style" are discussed.
      I won't give an specific examples, but he did explore a lot of music!

      You can preview many portions of the book at Google.com - search on
      the title or go here: http://tinyurl.com/n9z59l if you have a Google
      account.

      Dave Richoux

      On Jul 29, 2009, at 3:18 PM, Patrice Champarou wrote:

      > I take the opportunity to change the subject line, because we are no
      > longer
      > dealing with the banjo and moving a bit far away from the origins of
      > jazz!
      >
      > Patton and everybody else had to be taught by someone some time or
      > other.
      > Considering the various types of songs he performed, does it
      > necessarily
      > mean that whatever Sloan taught him had any relation to what we know
      > as
      > blues? If we follow this reasoning, why not assert that Henry Sloan
      > himself
      > was taught the blues by someone of the previous generation as well,
      > and go
      > back to the birth of mankind? We were dealing with rhythmic pattern,
      > and we
      > know that William Henry Lane initiated a step he called "shuffle" in
      > the
      > middle of the XIXth century, what evidence do we have that it had
      > anything
      > in common with T-Bone Walker's or Count Basie's rhythms?
      > The (probably made-up) story told by Handy is interesting as far as
      > blues
      > lyrics are concerned, there is nothing surprising in the
      > instrumentation
      > considering the popularity of Hawaiian music at the time, but what
      > always
      > amazed/amused me is that Handy, who could be so technically precise
      > about
      > his own compositions, does not provide a single objective indication
      > about
      > the melody he's supposed to have heard in Tutweiler. He never refers
      > to it
      > as blues either, and the encounter does not prevent him from later
      > explaining that the minor thirds and sevenths he introduced in his
      > own tunes
      > were meant to *imitate* (he never wrote "reproduce") the inflexions
      > of human
      > voice, as if it was something he had made up himself.
      > Same about Dr Peabody, if the a cappella worksongs he heard in the
      > open air
      > were the same type of melodies as the distinctive songs we know as
      > field
      > hollers, later collected by Lomax and others but deliberately
      > imitated and
      > turned into blues by several later singers, and as early as 1927 by
      > Texas
      > Alexander in two or three songs, the mode had to be quite different
      > from any
      > later blues mode - notably with the fourth degree of the scale as a
      > most
      > pertinent element in hollers, totally absent from the blues. I also
      > stupidly
      > tend to believe that the accompanied music Peabody heard in
      > Clarksdale was
      > called ragrtime by its performers because it *was* ragtime. John
      > Hurt was no
      > more an exception in 1928 than scores of pre-depression singers-
      > guitarists
      > and string bands who mainly used alterned basses or boom-tchang
      > patterns,
      > themselves probably more of the "top of the iceberg" than the buch of
      > excellent country professionals known by today's pre-war blues
      > listeners.
      >
      > I am sorry to be completely unable to hear any relationship between
      > Hooker's
      > style and Patton's, whether he ever happend to meet him (where?
      > when?) or
      > not. Hardly any of Patton's tunes had ternary rhythm, not until some
      > attempts he made in 1934, and most of the distinctive patterns of
      > early
      > Delta blues by the likes of Son House, Tommy Johnson or Willie
      > Brown, were
      > tricky accents based on purely binary rhythm. Yes, you can hear
      > ragtime
      > influence in some of Patton's songs the same way you can hear it in
      > Henry
      > Thomas - not as complex as classic rags, or even the "East Coast"
      > cycles of
      > fifths, of course, but basically the same type of syncopation.
      >
      > It would take a bit more knowledge than I have, and maybe specific
      > research,
      > to know which way there could have been interaction between Chopin and
      > Polish folk music, all I can say is that the little I've been
      > interested in
      > apart from pre-war American music (French folk songs, flamenco, some
      > South-American musics...) always revealed a dual intercourse between
      > composed music and folk music, between the learned and the
      > illiterate. In
      > our case, does it take anything away from the creativity of "country
      > blues"
      > musicians to admit that Patton had heard Bessie Smith on records,
      > just like
      > white Appalachian Dock Boggs had listened to Sara Martin, and not the
      > reverse?
      >
      > Patrice
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • Patrice Champarou
      ... 1859... ok, everyone has corrected :(
      Message 38 of 38 , Aug 13 9:44 AM
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        > (1959-1929)
        1859... ok, everyone has corrected :(
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