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The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999 (American Made Music (Paperback)) Paperback – July 27, 2006
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From the Publisher
This study finds African influences of melody, harmony, rhythm, and form in the top 25 songs from each decade of R&B and
--- Provides a very original analysis of the past fifty years of American popular music
--- Studies rhythm & blues from a historical/musicological point of view by transcribing the songs and then analyzing the musical traits found in the music so that the conclusions are based on statistical data rather than opinion alone
--- Establishes specific connections between African musical traditions and recent African American popular music
--- Expands our American Made Music Series
From the Inside Flap
A study that finds African influences of melody, harmony, rhythm, and form in the top 25 songs from each decade of R&B
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But The New Blue Music is different. It is primarily an analysis of the MUSIC itself. The author not only has a PhD in music and is a professional music teacher and arrange, he also spent many years as a performer. So he combines the dedication of a music fan with the savvy of a musician and the expertise of an academic musicologist.
In that regard, I found chapter 2 particularly enlightening. That chapter contains perhaps the most thorough and readable analysis of the components of 20th century African-American music I have ever read. The subsequent chapters analysis each decade from the 1950s onward and show how popular African-American of each decade (be it blues, R&B, soul, funk, or whatever) incorporates these components to varying degrees.
While clearly written, this is not light reading. This is a serious work of scholarship, and an invaluable contribution to the field.