Evolution of Music By Hana Thahireen

Music in the 1920s

The decade of the 1920s was dominated by blues and jazz music. Music was added to silent motion pictures and the phonograph was used to listen to music in the beginning of the decade (see picture to right). Indie record companies began, or rather independent labels that recorded for smaller artists that bigger companies avoided. As the Great Depression began late in the decade, sheet music and phonographs faded and radios entered the lives of Americans. The top hits of the 1920s were "Swanee" by The Man and the Legend, "Ain't Misbehavin" by Stormy Weather, and "Basin Street Blues" by The Glenn Miller Story.

Music in the 1930s

As the 1930s came along, swing music swung into action, along with jazz that carried along from the last decade. Jazz originated from African American communities in the South, specifically New Orleans. In New Orleans, music blended different cultures such as Caribbean and European. The 1930s were a rough time to be in the music industry as a result of the Great Depression. Common artists from the decade include Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller, and Frank Sinatra.

Music in the 1940s

The 1940s was dominated with Jazz, Latin, Country, Swing, and Ragtime music. Ragtime is commonly thought of as the first American originated genre of music. Music was used to convey negative themes such as depression, loneliness, and self pity. The electric guitar was invented and incorporated into mainstream music. Famous hits of the decade are "When You Wish Upon A Star" from the Disney movie, Pinocchio, "A String of Pearls" from the Glenn Miller Story, and "Mam'selle" by Frank Sinatra.

Music in the 1950s

In the 1950s, rock and roll, and pop gained popularity as a result of the invention of the electric guitar by Les Paul. The famous singers of the decade are Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly (see picture to right), and Elvis Presley. Popular songs of the decade include "Blue Suede Shoes" by Elvis Presley, "Rags to Riches" by Goodfellas, and "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly.

Music in the 1960s

The 1960s was the decade of the evolution of rock music. The general genres of music began to become more specific. For instance, rock music wasn't just "rock". The genre broke into smaller groups such as pop rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock, and folks rock. Funk and soul music began to rise as well. The Beatles (see picture to right) were increasingly famous. Their songs of the decade include "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", and "Hey Jude".

Music in the 1970s

The biggest music genres of the decade were disco and funk. Hip Hop emerged, but didn't gain fame until the 1980s. Hard Rock became the most popular variation of rock music. Famous artists include Led Zeppelin, The Jackson 5 (see picture to right), Queen, Kiss, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and Saturday Night Fever.

Music in the 1980s

Famous songs in the 80’s include Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat it, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Eye of the Tiger, etc. The singers of that time are Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Prince, George Michael, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Lionel Richie, etc. All of these names are still recognizable to this day, about 30-40 years later. So what made them such good singers that we still know their name after time? What qualities make us still remember Michael Jackson as the king of pop? A trait all of these singers had that made them stand out was they were unique. They didn’t follow music trends and made different music.

Music in the 1990s

Famous songs of the 90s are Smells Like Teen Spirit, Wannabe, Wonderwall, No Scrubs, Good Vibrations, Cotton Eye Joe, Creep, and more. The popular singers of that time include Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, and Cher. These singers are still known because while the 90s is about 20-30 years ago, many of the singers started their career while they were young and are now older and still creating music. This shows that good music and artists don’t disappear over time and people don’t forget them easily.

Music in the 2000s

Hit songs of the 2000s are Umbrella, Oops! I Did It Again, Single Ladies, Just Dance, Tik Tok, Milkshake, and Love Story. The decade was dominated by singers such as Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, Jay Z, Pink, Taylor Swift, etc. Similarly to the 90s, these singers started their career in this decade, so they are continuing it in the current decade. Many of the singers from the 90s carried on into the 2000s such as Britney Spears and Beyonce.

Music in the 2010s: Modern Times

Moving onto modern times, the famous songs from 2010 to 2017 include Someone Like You, Firework, Counting Stars, Sorry, Born This Way, and Shake it Off. Over time many different genres originated such as pop, rock, indie, country, folk, classic, EDM, rap, etc. As technology evolved, music did too and people were able to use computer softwares to digitally mix music. Music is listened to using apps such as Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, etc.

The button below is a link to a video I created that goes through the decades and compares music. I created the images using a website called Piktochart and out those images into iMovie to create the video.

The button below is my scratch project that compared music from the 1920s to modern day music.

Conclusion

Moving onto modern times, the famous songs from 2010 to 2017 include Someone Like You, Firework, Counting Stars, Sorry, Born This Way, and Shake it Off. Over time many different genres originated such as pop, rock, indie, country, folk, classic, EDM, rap, etc. As technology evolved, music did too and people were able to use computer softwares to digitally mix music. Music is listened to using apps such as Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, etc.

Sources

Works Cited

Agrawal, AJ. "The Evolution of the Music Industry - Where We Go From Here." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 July 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

"Google." Google. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

"Jazz History: The Standards (1920s)." Jazz History: The Standards (1920s). Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

"Music in the 1930s." RetroWaste. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

"Music in the 1940s." RetroWaste. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

"Music in the 1970s." RetroWaste. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Schulkin, Jay, and Greta B. Raglan. "The Evolution of Music and Human Social Capability." Frontiers. Frontiers, 27 Aug. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

The People History -- Steve Pearson. "Music Played in the 1950's Popular Music From the 50s." 1950's Music Played in the 50's Bands Groups Singers from The People History. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

The People History -- Steve Pearson. "Music Played in the 1960's Popular Music From the 60s." 1960's Music Played in the 60's Bands Groups Singers Memories from The People History Site. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

"The Evolution of Music: How Genres Rise and Fall over Time." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Credits:

Created with images by stevepb - "piano music score music sheet"

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