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Get Into The Groove!


Music, simplistically defined as a simple notation of 12 notes in an octave on a scale, is a seemingly frivolous yet indispensable component of life. While it may not constitute an all-important element on Maslow's hierarchical scale of needs, it really is food for the soul.

Early tribes learnt to put together different sounds in rhythmic pulses, believing that these would ward off evil spirits. Music is now used for countless purposes: entertainment, religious rituals, cultural events, calming babies before they are born, soothing them after birth... and the list goes on. Music can soothe tired minds, lift spirits and heal tattered souls. Without it, life would seem bleak.

Popular music is now a common form, familiar to all. While it is a reflection of modern-day subcultures and a convenient source of entertainment for most, it does not appeal to everyone. Music appreciation is subjective; it touches individuals in different ways. Certain people may connect only with a certain type and tempo of music.

Which genre works best for you? If you want to explore various kinds of music to find which suits you, well-known genres include Classical, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Hip Hop, Rock, Country, Electronic and Contemporary-New Age. There's bound to be one that moves you.

 

Groove On, Baby

Provocative and groovy, but what exactly are hip-hop and R&B?

Hip-Hop

Also known as rap music, it originated in New York City in the 1970s and has its roots in African-American music. It draws its influence from disco, funk and R&B. It usually involves a DJ who dishes out samples and beats while an emcee raps over it. It's the music part of a cultural movement which also involves breakdancing and graffito art. Examples include The Black Eyed Peas and Jay-Z.

R&B

The term, meaning "rhythm and blues", was coined by Billboard Magazine's Jerry Wexler in the 1940s to describe an African-American sound which combined blues and jazz. However, contemporary R&B, as known today, is a soul-funk influenced form of pop music which arose from the demise of disco in 1980. Artistes include Usher and R. Kelly.

Other Off-Shoots

Gangsta Rap

A style of rap music incorporating controversial lyrics which usually promote drug use and violence. It is widely associated with inner-city gangs in the United States. Rappers from the American west coast also made what is known as G-Funk (Ghetto or Gangster-Fink) famous. It is typified by slow hypnotic grooves and deep basslines. Examples of such artistes include lee T and N.W.A.

New Jack Swing

This is the combination of hip-hop and R&B rhythms. It was popular from the 1980s to the mid-1990s. Examples include Bell Biv Devoe and Jodeci.

Neo Soul

This is a combination of contemporary R&B, 1970s-style soul and hip-hop. Exponents include Alicia Keys, Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu.

 

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