• Welcome to the page of ethnomusicology! What? You don't know what ethnomusicology is? Well, it is the study of different types and styles of early music and their relationship to the peoples and cultures they belong to. For this page, I will be using ethnomusicology to connect the music of the past to the music of the present. Music is never ending. It has a starting point - traditional African songs - and from there the styles continue to grow, travel, and vary. However, it never loses its original structure. Remnants of music's origins can be found is any type of music that is out there today. So, the purpose of this page is give three examples of songs and show how they all relate to one another and to their African roots. It is quite interesting to know that people from hundreds of years ago who used primitive tools and spoke in different languages have influenced places and cultures from all over the world. Therefore, I would like anybody who has an interest to look through this page and hopefully learn something new about music. After looking at this page you might even find a new respect for where our origins lay - Africa.

FIRST SONG - From Anytime or Anywhere:

  • Song Name: Talk, Play, Love (TPL)
  • Band/Group: Anyband
  • Author(s): BoA, Xiah Junsu, Tablo, and Jin Bora
  • Year of Song: 2007
  • Genre: Korean-Pop (K-Pop)
  • Description: K-Pop is a style of music that has been becoming steadily more popular throughout the 2000's. It is a mixture of the current English pop music - R&B, dance, and hip-hop - and a type of music called bubblegum pop/rock. TPL fits the qualifications of bubblegum pop quite well. It has a fast and catchy melody, simple harmonies, quick and danceable beats, and a lot of repetition. Repetition such as when they repeated the verse "Anywhere you go, Anywhere you go, Anywhere you go, I'll be there" is easy to find in African music. In some forms of African music they begin with a main line and then branch off from that line, but that starting line is repeated several times in the song; that is called a chorus. The artists use two different styles of piano music - the classic, slow type and then a faster, almost techno type - drums which held a 4-beat rythm throughout the song, and two people took turns singing throughout the song. Even this very recent style of music can be connected with music styles of the past. Artists and composers have been using pianos for centuries ever since its primative froms became popular in the Classical Era of music, and drums have been, and still, are used by our ancestors in Africa. The simple 4/4-beat rythm is very common and is present in almost all forms of music. Also, every song tells a story. The most common story that is told is one about love for someone or something. This song is an example of that because it expresses a bond between two people. So, although it is different, this song has a lot in common with songs of the past and other songs of the present.
  • Source for Lyrics: http://www.lyricstime.com/anyband-tpl-talk-play-love-lyrics.html

SECOND SONG - Before 1974:four_tops_bw.jpg

  • Song Name: I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
  • Band/Group: The Four Tops
  • Author(s): Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Edward Holland, Jr.
  • Year of Song: 1965
  • Genre: Soul, Pop
  • Description: This song was one of the top hits of the 1960s. One of the interesting points of this song is the singing style. The lead singer, Levi Stubbs, sang in a way that was between singing and shouting. The other three singers supply the song with a type of softer melody in the background and give harmony to the stronger voice of Levi Stubbs. This is a style that is used frequently in current R&B and some pop songs. This song also has a constant beat; the only time when an instrument branches off from the repetitive style is during a short instrumental break. That is very common in African music. For example, in some African songs when they are shifting from one singer to another or if the singer or singers are preparing to sing the next verse, there is an instrumental break where either one or two instruments play with a new beat for a short time. Also, this song is used to express a longing for a significant other. The fact that this song tells a story and expresses a person's feelings shows a connection between the songs of the far past, recent past, and the present because that is an international reason for making music. This type of soul and pop song is thought to be a close relative of gospel in the evolutionary chain of music, and if you were to climb down far enough on that chain past rock, jazz, and all the way to work music you would reach the traditional songs that were sung in Africa. Finally, the instruments the song uses such as the piano and the guitar are two very commonly used instruments in songs, no matter the type of song.
  • Source for Lyrics: http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/oldschool/icanthelpmyself.htm

THIRD SONG - Language other than English:

  • Song Name: Hall Om Mig
  • Band/Group: Nanne Gronvall
  • Author(s): Lotta Engbergs
  • Year of Song: 1998
  • Genre: Dansband
  • Language: Swedish
  • Description: The genre Dansband is a Swedish style music which is also called Dansbandsmusik. It is believed that the development of Dansband was caused by the decrease in popularity of jazz music in the 1950s and 1960s. Then in the 1970s it became very popular in Sweden, Norway, and other countries. This type of music has been highly influenced by swing, schlager, country, jazz, and rock. For example, most songs with this type of song genre use guitars, electric guitars, saxophones, keyboards, drums, etc. In this song, starting from the beginning there is a constant 4/4-beat, which - as I stated earlier - is an international beat in music. Also, some of the instruments used are drums, an electric guitar, and a keyboard. The point of this song is to make the audience want to catch the beat and dance; it also tells of a very strong love - not the usual, soft love in "love songs". The fast dance beat shows its connection to jazz and rock, which are known for their strong yet rhythmic beats. Also, there is a steady flow of repetition. For example, the lines "sa hall om mig/slapp inte taget om mig" or "so hold me/don't let go of me/its like I'm bewitched by you" are repeated several times throughout the song; that is the chorus. So, even though it is a relatively recent song and it is from Sweden, it is very much like the music of decades passed and current music in America.
  • Source for Lyrics: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6991614/Nanne-Gronvall-Hall-Om-Mig