Music has evolved tremendously throughout the years, starting from the 50s continuing all the way to the present day where it is still continuing to grow.  Some examples of the biggest changes in the music industry from the 40s to the 50s are made very evident in the changing in the style of which blues music was played Blues is a music genre that originated by African Americans in the Deep South of the United States around the end of the 19th century the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes (or “worried notes”), usually thirds or fifths (usually flat), are also an essential part of the sound. Electric guitars were developed during the 50s and used a great deal by blues artist. The use of electric guitar meant that the blues artist was able to play louder which meant they could be used for dancing and entertainment in big halls. Rock n roll was most popular/prominent throughout 1955-1959. During this time period the ‘Youth culture developed’ a great deal from which the word ‘teenager’ stemmed. Rock n Roll became ‘the soundtrack to rebellion and youthful independence’. Rock n Roll is a genre of music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, it features techniques from African-American genres such as  gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. Classic rock and roll is usually played with one or two electric guitars (one lead, one rhythm), a double bass or string bass or (after the mid-1950s) an electric bass guitar, and a drum kit, in early rock and roll styles (late 1940s and early 1950s), either the piano or saxophone was often the lead instrument, but these were generally replaced by guitar in the middle to late 1950s. Some of the most famous rock n roll artist from the 50s are; Chuck Berry, Billy Haley and Elvis Priestly. However, Elvis’s music was said to be of a genre of music called ‘Rockabilly’ not rock n roll. 1960s During the 1960s a lot of the trends from the 50s continued however rock n roll music started to merge into something more broad-based and rock n roll became ‘rock’. In the early-1960s, rock and roll in its purest form was gradually overtaken by pop rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock, and folk rock, which had grown in popularity. Teenage pop also became very popular, it was used to counteract the effect of rock and roll and create a cleaner and less dangerous image for the young generation, examples of artists who did this are; The beach boys ( and the Everly brothers. 1960s rock music also spawned a generation of popular singer-songwriters who wrote and performed their own work.  Funk and soul music also rose in popularity during this decade as well as  Latin American, Jamaican and Cuban music also achieved a level of popularity throughout the decade, with such genres such as Bossa nova, the cha-cha-cha,ska and calypso. Jamaican and cubn music achieved a degree of popularity throughout the decade, with genres such as Bossa nova, the cha-cha-cha, ska, and calypso. The British Invasion was a cultural phenomenon of the mid 1960s, when rock and pop music acts from the the UK (as well as other aspects of British culture), started to become extremely popular in the USA. Pop and rock groups such as The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits and others were at the forefront of the invasion.  the rebellious image of US rock n roll became very popular amongst the British teens in the late 1950s, and many artists made several attempts to replicate the American style (mostly failed). young British groups started to combine lots of different styles in different parts of the UK, such as the movement in Liverpool during 1962 which later went on to be known as ‘Mersey beat’.  Telstar by the Tornado’s was the first record by a British group to reach No.1 on the US hot 100. In October 1963, the first newspaper articles surrounding rock group the Beatles appeared nationally in the US, their royal variety performance in front of queen mother sparked music industry and media interest in the group. Many American print outlets and a few network television evening programs published and broadcasted stories on the phenomenon that later became known as “Beatlemania”.   1970s Many subgenres surfaced during the 1070s, examples of these are; prog rock and folk rock. Folk rock melodies combine amplified guitars and drum kits and is demonstrated by; James Taylor (, Bob Dylan and The Byrds. Progressive Rock was an attempt to elevate Rock to a higher intellectual plane, Songs would often include 20-minute-long guitar solos.  Bands include ‘YES’, and ‘PINK FLOYD’-  Experimental pop music also became very popular in the 70s and gained the notice of followers looking for something new and different and is notable for its contributions to electronic music, which had risen in popularity and continued in the development of synthesizers and harmonizers. More and more composers began to embrace the genre and it late mixed with pop to eventually create ‘synth pop’. In Latin America the ‘Nueva Canción’ movement grew in popularity and was labelled as the music of the hippie liberation theology. Merengue also experienced mainstream exposure across Latin America and the southern US border. 1980s The 1980s bore witness to the emergence of dance music and new wave. Throughout the 1980s there was a rise in the use of digital recordings as well as in the usage of synthesizers with synth pop and other electronic genres such as; electro, techno, house and euro dance however these genres didn’t really rise in prominence until the 1990s. The 1980s was also the decade in which legendary artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince and Whitney Huston who were all among the most successful musicians during this time. Michael Jackson was the first African-American artist to have his music video aired on MTV in heavy rotation as well as Donna Summer was the first African- American female artist to do the same. The 80s saw great socioeconomic change due to advances in technology which all could’ve contributed to the amazing success of the artists previously mentioned. Michael Jackson’s thriller album (1982) is the best-selling album of all time, selling as many as 110 million copies worldwide. which could be seen as a direct result of these changes. Without the advances made in technology, the music of the artists couldn’t successfully reach a wider audience worldwide and acclimate such a large was the use of music videos becoming a permanent fixture on MTV that gained these artists worldwide mass audiences. Madonna’s music video to ‘like a virgin’ (which became one of the bestselling albums of all time and ‘like a prayer’ (referred to as “the closest to art we will ever get”) made a music videos as a marketing tool and was amongst the first to make them an art form and many of her songs topped the chart worldwide.  1990s During the 1990s music genres such as R&B, Hip-hop and dance pop grew ponderously and were becoming very popular during the decade (particularly within the inner cities), Urban music in the late 1980s- 1990s often blended with styles such as soul, funk and jazz. Rap became also became especially popular during the decade with the event of the golden age of hip hop and maintained high levels of success. Hip hop’s golden age is the period in time in mainstream hip hop (during the time of the 1980s-1990s) performed particularly by artists and musicians originating in the New York metropolitan area (late 1980s), when music was said to be characterized by its diversity, quality, innovation and influence. The artists most often associated with the period are; LL cool J, beastie boys, jungle brothers and others. The decade is often recognized for its creativity, regarded as “a time when it seemed that every new single reinvented the genre”.  Movements such as grunge and, the rave scene and hip hop spread around the world to young people during the decade which was of course helped by the technological advances that were continuing to happen with things such as cable television and the world wide web then being used.  House techno rose to international success in the decade, alongside electronic dance music with genres such as trance, intelligent dance, Eurodance and bubblegum dance. All these genres managed to achieve high levels of success. The decade also featured the rise of contemporary country music as a major genre which had originally started in the 1980s.  2000s In contrary to many of the past decades, the 2000s did not see the creation or emergence of any new styles of music (with the exception of a few indie- related genres such as emo). Instead it was more converging/ varying of pre-existing genres, as seen in the creation and commercial success of the British grime genre and trap (and Chill wave in the USA). However, there are many distinguishable elements that can be linked to the decade from a musical standpoint; the usage of pitch correction software’s such as auto-tune, there’s also been a rise in the usage of the internet, media player programmes such as iTunes and YouTube. Both of which are beneficial to the artists of the decade because it makes it easier for them to distribute music, build a fanbase, acclimate a loyal following and build up hype for new music, however this new technology can sometimes make it harder for the artists today to make money as they are no longer making money through CD sales seeing as fans can now just stream their music online. On the other hand, many could argue that this could be beneficial to the artists as people wall over the world can now listen to their music making it easier for them to build a fan base meaning that more people will buy tickets for things such as world tours and through merchandise sales. Contemporary R is one of the most popular genres of the decade (especially in the earlier years of the 2000s) and has been immensely popular throughout the decade with world famous artists such as Beyoncé (who was named one of the most successful female artists of the decade –tied with Rihanna)  Genres such as J-pop and K-pop have also become extremely popular in the 21st century and has remained popular throughout it. Reggaetón has also become a definitive genre throughout the decade; Latin music alongside salsa and merengue with hip hop and rap music became popular from the middle of the decade onwards. The internet has been beneficial to the music industry as it has allowed unprecedented access to music and allowed artists to distribute music freely without a record label. 


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