COM/155 - UNIVERSITY COMPOSITION AND COMMUNICATION I
March 15, 2014
Instructor: Kathleen Case
In contrary to common thought, classical and rap music have as many similarities as they do differences. The sound may be completely different, but there is a way to show emotion that will affect the listeners. For example, they both have ways to bring emotion and feeling into both performance and their audience’s effectiveness. Classical has an effect on the listeners that makes them cry, laugh and be happy. Rap music has an effect on a person that makes them get up and dance to the beat of the song. Classical and rap music are different in many ways but are also the same, especially in musical influences, musical evolution, and the musician’s techniques.
Classical music is the first type of music performed. Classical music started in the year 1150, with the development of Medieval music, where according to Naxos.com, where 1“The earliest written secular music dates from the 12th century troubadours (in the form of virelais, estampies, ballades, etc.), but most notated manuscripts emanate from places of learning usually connected with the church, and therefore inevitably have a religious basis. Gregorian chant and plainsong developed during the 11th and 13th centuries into organum (example: two or three lines moving simultaneously but independently, almost inadvertently representing the beginnings of harmony). Organum led to the Ars Nova period of the 14th century, represented by Philippe Di Vitry, Guillaume de Machaut, and Francesco Landini.” 2In the fifteenth century, the Renaissance Period (1400-1600) would bring more harmonious, choral singing, along with instrumental music. The Baroque era (1600-1750) introduced the world to modern orchestra music, along with opera, which included the overture, prelude, aria, recitative, and chorus. Although Baroque brought many musical genres that would maintain hold on composition for years, it was the Classical era (1750-1830) that introduced the form that dominates musical composition to this day. After the Classical era came the Early Romantic era (1830-1860). According to the Get Into Classical website 3” This was the point at which composers stopped trying to make technically perfect (and hence always a little cold and dry) pieces, and started to really express their feelings in the music”, which is why it was called early romantic music. Also according to the Get Into Classical website, 4“In general the more exciting instrumentation, rhythms and melodies make this era way more appealing to modern listeners than Classical and Baroque.” Ludwig van Beethoven, who is one of the most famous names in classical music, is one of the composers who started the early romantic music. After early the romantic era came the late romantic era (1860-1920), where composers started to write non-standard time signatures, and using non-standard instruments, as well. This era also brought larger orchestras to make the music more layered, textured, and subtle. In the Post Great War era (1920-present), where according to Naxos.com, 5“The period since the Great War is undoubtedly the most bewildering of all, as composers have pulled in various apparently contradictory and opposing directions.” Rap music has not been around as long as classical, but the evolution has been extraordinary.
Rap music began in the 1970’s with DJ’s playing popular soul and funk music, according to rapworld.com, 6Due to the positive reception, DJs began isolating the percussion breaks of popular songs. This technique was then common in Jamaican dub music and had spread to New York City via the substantial Jamaican immigrant community. These DJ’s developed “turntabling”, such as scratching, mixing, and beat juggling to go with these breaks that created a base to be rapped over. The first recording of rap was The Sugar Hill Gang’s