Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose, and perform their own musical material, including lyrics and melodies.
A musician is a person who plays a musical instrument or is musically talented. Anyone who composes, conducts, or performs music is referred to as a musician. A musician who plays a musical instrument is also known as an instrumentalist.
A lyricist or lyrist is a person who writes lyrics—words for songs—as opposed to a composer, who writes the song's melody.
A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.
In the United States, the category built on the folk-acoustic tradition.Singer-songwriters often provide the sole accompaniment to an entire composition or song, typically using a guitar or piano.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of more than 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.
Accompaniment is the musical part which provides the rhythmic and/or harmonic support for the melody or main themes of a song or instrumental piece. There are many different styles and types of accompaniment in different genres and styles of music. In homophonic music, the main accompaniment approach used in popular music, a clear vocal melody is supported by subordinate chords. In popular music and traditional music, the accompaniment parts typically provide the "beat" for the music and outline the chord progression of the song or instrumental piece.
"Singer-songwriter" is used to define popular music artists who write and perform their own material, which is often self-accompanied generally on acoustic guitar or piano.Such an artist performs the roles of composer, lyricist, vocalist, sometimes instrumentalist, and often self-manager. According to AllMusic, singer-songwriters' lyrics are often personal but veiled by elaborate metaphors and vague imagery, and their creative concern is to place emphasis on the song rather than their performance of it. Most records by such artists have a similarly straightforward and spare sound that placed emphasis on the song itself.
Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.
AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.
The term has also been used to describe songwriters in the rock, folk, country, and pop music genres including Henry Russell, Aristide Bruant, Hank Williams, and Buddy Holly. It came into popular usage in the 1960s onwards to describe songwriters who followed particular stylistic and thematic conventions, particularly lyrical introspection, confessional songwriting, mild musical arrangements, and an understated performing style.According to writer Larry David Smith, because it merged the roles of composer, writer, and singer, the popularity of the singer-songwriter reintroduced the Medieval troubadour tradition of "songs with public personalities" after the Tin Pan Alley era in American popular music.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Country music, also known as country and western, and hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s. It takes its roots from genres such as American folk music and blues.
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.
Song topics include political protest, as in the case of the Almanac Singers, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.
The Almanac Singers was an American New York City-based folk music group, active between 1940 and 1943, founded by Millard Lampell, Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. The group specialized in topical songs, mostly songs advocating an anti-war, anti-racism and pro-union philosophy. They were part of the Popular Front, an alliance of liberals and leftists, including the Communist Party USA, who had vowed to put aside their differences in order to fight fascism and promote racial and religious inclusiveness and workers' rights. The Almanac Singers felt strongly that songs could help achieve these goals.
Peter Seeger was an American folk singer and social activist. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene", which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, Seeger re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture, and environmental causes.
Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was an American singer-songwriter, one of the most significant figures in American folk music; his music, including songs, such as "This Land Is Your Land", has inspired several generations both politically and musically. He wrote hundreds of political, folk, and children's songs, along with ballads and improvised works. His album of songs about the Dust Bowl period, Dust Bowl Ballads, is included on Mojo magazine's list of 100 Records That Changed The World. Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Hunter, Harry Chapin, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jerry Garcia, Jay Farrar, Bob Weir, Jeff Tweedy, Bob Childers, Sammy Walker, Tom Paxton, AJJ, Brian Fallon, and Sixto Rodríguez have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence. He frequently performed with the slogan "This machine kills fascists" displayed on his guitar.
The concept of a singer-songwriter can be traced to ancient bardic oral tradition, which has existed in various forms throughout the world. Poems would be performed as chant or song, sometimes accompanied by a harp or other similar instrument. After the invention of printing, songs would be written and performed by ballad sellers. Usually these would be versions of existing tunes and lyrics, which were constantly evolving. This developed into the singer-songwriting traditions of folk culture.
Traveling performers existed throughout Europe. Thus, the folklorist Anatole Le Braz gives a detailed account of one ballad singer, Yann Ar Minouz, who wrote and performed songs traveling through Brittany in the late nineteenth century and selling printed versions.
In large towns it was possible to make a living performing in public venues, and with the invention of phonographic recording, early singer-songwriters like Théodore Botrel, George M. Cohan and Hank Williams became celebrities; radio further added to their public recognition and appeal.
During the period from the 1940s through the 1960s, sparked by the American folk music revival, young performers inspired by traditional folk music and groups like the Almanac Singers and the Weavers began writing and performing their own original material and creating their own musical arrangements.
The term "singer-songwriter" in North America can be traced back to singers who developed works in the blues and folk music style. Early to mid-20th century American singer-songwriters include Lead Belly,Jimmie Rodgers, Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, Blind Willie McTell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Son House, and Robert Johnson. In the 1940s and 1950s country singer-songwriters like Hank Williams became well known, as well as Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger, along with Ronnie Gilbert and Lee Hays and other members of the Weavers who performed their mostly topical works to an ever-growing wider audience. These proto-singer-songwriters were less concerned than today's singer-songwriters with the unadulterated originality of their music and lyrics, and would lift parts from other songs and play covers without hesitation. The tradition of writing topical songs (songs regarding specific issues of the day, such as Lead Belly's "Jim Crow Blues" or Guthrie's "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)") was established by this group of musicians. Singers like Seeger and Guthrie would attend rallies for labor unions, and so wrote many songs concerning the life of the working classes, and social protest; as did other folksingers like Josh White, Cisco Houston, Malvina Reynolds, Earl Robinson, Ewan MacColl, John Jacob Niles, and Doc Watson, while blues singers like Johnson and Hopkins wrote songs about their personal life experiences. This focus on social issues has greatly influenced the singer-songwriter genre. Additionally in the 1930s through the 1950s several jazz and blues singer-songwriters emerged like Hoagy Carmichael, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Harry Gibson, and Nina Simone, as well as in the rock n' roll genre from which emerged influential singer-songwriters Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, Sam Cooke, Ritchie Valens, and Paul Anka. In the country music field, singer-songwriters like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, Billy Edd Wheeler, and others emerged from the 1940s through the 1960s, often writing compelling songs about love relationships and other subjects.
The first popular recognition of the singer-songwriter in English-speaking North America and the United Kingdom occurred in the 1960s and early 1970s when a series of blues, folk and country-influenced musicians rose to prominence and popularity. These singer-songwriters included Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Lennon, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell. Artists who had been primarily songwriters, notably Carole King, Townes Van Zandt, and Neil Diamond, also began releasing work as performers. In contrast to the storytelling approach of most prior country and folk music, these performers typically wrote songs from a highly personal (often first-person), introspective point of view. The adjectives "confessional" and "sensitive" were often used (sometimes derisively) singer-songwriter style.
In the rock band era, members were not technically singer-songwriters as solo acts. However, many were singer-songwriters who created songs with other band members. Examples include Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, Elton John (with Bernie Taupin), Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Robbie Robertson, Ian Anderson, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, and Peter Frampton; Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Country Joe McDonald, Barry Melton. Many others like Eric Clapton found success as singer-songwriters in their later careers.
The scene that had developed out of the American folk music revival, pioneered by Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger had grown to a major movement in the early 1960s, popularized by Joan Baez and her protégée, Bob Dylan, who had started reaching a mainstream audience with his hit, Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) bringing "protest songs" to a wider audience.There were hints of cross-pollination, but rock and folk music had remained largely separate genres, often with different audiences. An early attempt at fusing elements of folk and rock was highlighted in the Animals "House of the Rising Sun" (1964), a folk song, recorded with rock and roll instrumentation.
By the mid-1960s Bob Dylan took the lead in merging folk and rock, and in July 1965, released "Like a Rolling Stone", with a revolutionary rock sound, steeped in tawdry urban imagery, followed by an electric performance later that month at the Newport Folk Festival. Dylan plugged an entire generation into the milieu of the singer-songwriter. Often writing from an urban point of view, with poetry punctuated by rock rhythms and electric power, Dylan's fusing of folk and rock freed up emerging singer-songwriters to use elements of both traditions to tell their stories. In the mid- to late 1960s, bands and singer-songwriters began to proliferate the underground New York art/music scene. The release of The Velvet Underground & Nico in 1967, featuring singer-songwriter Lou Reed and German singer and collaborator Nico was described as the "most prophetic rock album ever made" by Rolling Stone in 2003.
In the late '60s a New Wave of female singer-songwriters broke from the confines of pop, using the urban landscape as their canvass for lyrics in the confessional style of poets like Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. These pioneering women, appeared in a feature in Newsweek , July 1969, "The Girls: Letting Go: 'What is common to them – to Joni Mitchell and Lotti Golden, to Laura Nyro, Melanie, and to Elyse Weinberg, are the personalised songs they write, like voyages of self-discovery, brimming with keen observation and startling in the impact of their poetry."In The Guardian January 26, 2017, author Laura Barton, describes the radical shift in subject matter—they sang about politics, love affairs, the urban landscape, drugs, disappointment, and the life and loneliness of the itinerant performer. Lotti Golden, in her Atlantic debut album Motor-Cycle , chronicled her life in NYC's East Village in the late 1960s counterculture, visiting subjects such as gender identity (The Space Queens-Silky is Sad) and excessive drug use (Gonna Fay's). The women in the 1969 Newsweek article ushered in a new age of the contemporary female singer-songwriter that has informed generations of women singer-songwriters into the 21st century, with poet Warsan Shire as the muse for Beyoncé's 2016, Lemonade.
By the mid-1970s and early 1980s, the original wave of singer-songwriters had largely been absorbed into a more general pop or soft rock format, but some new artists in the singer-songwriter tradition (including Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Chris Isaak, Victoria Williams, John Mellencamp and Warren Zevon) continued to emerge, and in other cases rock and even punk rock artists such as Peter Case, Paul Collins and Paul Westerberg transitioned to careers as solo singer-songwriters. Kate Bush remained distinctive throughout with her idiosyncratic style.
In the late 1980s, the term was applied to a group of predominantly female U.S. artists, beginning with Suzanne Vega whose first album sold unexpectedly well, followed by the likes of Tracy Chapman, Nanci Griffith, k.d. lang, Shania Twain, Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Joan Osborne, and Tori Amos, who found success first in the United Kingdom, then in her home market. In the early 1990s, female artists also began to emerge in new styles, including Courtney Love and PJ Harvey. Later in the mid-1990s, the term was revived again with the success of Canada's Alanis Morissette and her breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill.
Also in the 1980s and 1990s, artists such as Bono, the Edge, Dave Matthews, Jeff Buckley, Richard Barone, Duncan Sheik and Elliott Smith borrowed from the singer-songwriter tradition to create new acoustic-based rock styles. In the 2000s, a quieter style emerged, with largely impressionistic lyrics, from artists such as Norah Jones, Conor Oberst, Sufjan Stevens, David Bazan, South San Gabriel, Iron & Wine, David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, Meg Hutchinson, Darden Smith, Josh Rouse, Steve Millar, Jolie Holland, Patrick Duff, Richard Buckner, Jewel, Jack Savoretti, Richard Shindell, and John Gorka. Some started to branch out in new genres such as Kurt Cobain, Noel Gallagher, T Bone Burnett, Eddie Vedder, and Pete Yorn. Others used drugs as a mind-altering way to boost creativity; for example, Emil Amos of Holy Sons took drugs daily from age sixteen on, wrote over 1,000 songs, and landed a record contract with an indie label.
Recording on the professional-grade systems became affordable for individuals in the late 1990s. This created opportunities for people to independently record and sell their music. Such artists are known as "indies" because they release their records on independent, often self-owned record labels, or no label at all. Additionally the Internet has provided a means for indies to get their music heard by a wider audience.
French "chanson" comes from an old tradition, since the Middle Ages. It is driven by the rhythms of the French language and has a generally higher standard of lyrics than in the English-speaking world. It can be distinguished from the rest of French "pop" music or soft rock format that began to spread in France during the 1960s until today, under the cultural influence of Anglo-American rock music and the rock band era.
The first modern French singer-songwriter was Charles Trénet, who began his solo career in 1938. He was the first to use jazz rhythms in chanson. He would remain an isolated act until the creative blooming of a new generation during the post-World War II era (mid-1940s and 1950s), where such artists as Léo Ferré, Georges Brassens, Félix Leclerc (from Quebec), Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel (from Belgium), Henri Salvador, Charles Aznavour and Barbara appeared, with contrasted and rich imagination. Most of them are recognized as great masters by younger generations of French artists, especially Ferré (for the richness of his lyrics, his melodic genius, his critical density on social issues and his body of work's profoundness) and Gainsbourg (for the bright and tasteful adaptation of pop or rock music with French language-driven rhythms).
During the 1960s and 1970s, the most prominent singer-songwriters included Claude Nougaro, Jean Ferrat, Boby Lapointe, Michel Polnareff, Nino Ferrer, Christophe, Albert Marcœur, Bernard Lavilliers, Frédérik Mey and Jacques Higelin, amongst others.
Cantautori (Italian plural; the singular is cantautore) is the Italian expression corresponding to singer-songwriters in English. The word is a portmanteau of cantante (singer) and autore (writer).
The first internationally renowned cantautore was Domenico Modugno with his song "Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu)", a huge best seller in 1958; other early cantautori, who begun their career in the late 50s, are Gino Paoli, Luigi Tenco, Umberto Bindi, Giorgio Gaber and Enzo Jannacci.
Fabrizio De André, Lucio Battisti and Francesco Guccini began their career in the 60s, while Edoardo Bennato, Lucio Dalla, Francesco De Gregori, Franco Battiato, Rino Gaetano, Ivano Fossati, Antonello Venditti, Claudio Baglioni, Pino Daniele, Roberto Vecchioni, Angelo Branduardi and Eugenio Finardi all appeared in the 70s. Their songs are still popular today, often telling stories of marginalized (De André, Guccini, Dalla) and rebellious people (Finardi, De Gregori, Venditti), or having a political background (Venditti, Guccini).
Branduardi was instead much more influenced by Medieval and Baroque musical styles, while his lyrics are usually inspired by ancient fables. Battiato started as a progressive rock and cultivated music artist in the 1970s, shifting to an original blend of pop, electronic, new wave, and world music in the 1980s.
The Neapolitan cantautore Pino Daniele has often fused genres as diverse as R&B, fusion, blues, pop, jazz, and tarantella to produce a sound uniquely his own, with lyrics variously in Italian, Neapolitan, or English. Similarly Paolo Conte was often tagged as a cantautore, but was more into the jazz tradition.
In the 1980s Vasco Rossi was renowned for his blend of blues-tinged rock music mixed with Italian melodies. He was nicknamed the "only Italian rock star" (l'unica rock n'roll-star italiana) by his fans.
With a mixture between international sounds and Italian lyrics, in the 2000s Bugo become the "fantautore", a neologism conied for him.Despite not having achieved great fame, he is considered the pioneer of the renewal of Italian songwriting, far from the politicized of the 70s.
In the last 25 years the genre has been mainly represented by Samuele Bersani, Caparezza, and the so-called 2nd Roman school of cantautori (Max Gazzè, Niccolò Fabi, Daniele Silvestri).
The word has been borrowed into other languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan cantautor, French chantauteur, Maltese kantawtur, Romanian cantautor, and Slovenian kantavtor.
Beginning in the 1960s and following the Italian cantautori style of the 1950s (like the one of Domenico Modugno), many Latin American countries developed singer-songwriter traditions that adopted elements from various popular styles. The first such tradition was the mid-1960s invention of nueva canción, which took hold in Andean countries like Chile, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.
At around the same time, the Brazilian popular style bossa nova was evolving into a politically charged singer-songwriter tradition called Tropicalismo. Two performers, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso became two of the most famous people in all of Brazil through their work in Tropicalismo.
After World War II it was developed in Italy a very prolific singer-songwriter (in Italian cantautore) tradition, initially connected with the French school of the chansonniers, and lately developed very heterogeneously. Although the term cantautore normally implies consistent sociopolitical content in lyrics, noteworthy performers in a more inclusive singer-songwriter categorization are: Domenico Modugno, Luigi Tenco, Gino Paoli, Sergio Endrigo, Fabrizio De André, Francesco De Gregori, Antonello Venditti, Roberto Vecchioni, Ivano Fossati, Lucio Dalla, Francesco Guccini and Franco Battiato.
In neighbouring Malta, the main singer-songwriters are Walter Micallef, Manwel Mifsud and Vince Fabri. They all perform in Maltese.
Spain and Portugal have also had singer-songwriter traditions, which are sometimes said to have drawn on Latin elements. Spain is known for the Nova Cançó tradition — exemplified by Joan Manuel Serrat and Lluis Llach; the Portuguese folk/protest singer and songwriter José Afonso helped lead a revival of Portuguese folk culture, including a modernized, more socially aware form of fado called nova canção. Following Portugal's Carnation Revolution of 1974, nova canção became more politicized and was known as canto livre. Another important Spain singer-songwriters are Joaquín Sabina, José Luis Perales and Luis Eduardo Aute.
In the latter part of the 1960s and into the 1970s, socially and politically aware singer-songwriters like Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés emerged in Cuba, birthing a genre known as nueva trova. Trova as a genre has had broad influence across Latin America. In Mexico, for example, canción yucateca on the Yucatán Peninsula and trova serrana in the Sierra Juárez, Oaxaca are both regional adaptations of trova. Today, Guatemalan Ricardo Arjona qualifies as Latin America's most commercially successful singer-songwriter. Although sociopolitical engagement is uneven in his oeuvre, some see Arjona's more engaged works as placing him in the tradition of the Italian cantautori.
In the mid-1970s, a singer-songwriter tradition called canto popular emerged in Uruguay.
With the influence of Tropicalismo, Traditional Samba and Bossa Nova, MPB (Música popular brasileira), or Brazilian Popular Music, became highly singer-songwriter based. For years solo artists would dominate Brazilian popular music with romantic cynicism alla Jobim or subliminal anti-government messages alla Chico Buarque. After the end of the military dictatorship in Brazil, Brazilian music became less politically and socially conscious. The censored Raul Seixas or the humorous spiritualist Jorge Ben were slowly obscured by funk carioca, axé music and Brazilian disco. In recent years, however, a new stock of socially conscious Brazilian singer-songwriters is beginning to break the almost strictly dance-music momentum that has reigned since the 1980s (see the 'Brazilian folk/folk-rock sub-article in Brazilian Music).
Since the 1960s, those singers who wrote songs outside the Soviet establishment have been known as "bards". The first songs traditionally referred to as bard songs are thought to be written in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and the very existence of the genre is traditionally originated from the amateur activities of the Soviet intelligentsia, namely mass backpacking movement and the students' song movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Many bards performed their songs in small groups of people using a Russian guitar, rarely if ever would they be accompanied by other musicians or singers. Though, bards using piano or accordion are also known. Those who became popular held modest concerts. The first nationwide-famous bards (starting their career in the 1950s) are traditionally referred to as the First Five: Mikhail Ancharov, Alexander Gorodnitsky, Novella Matveyeva, Bulat Okudzhava, Yuri Vizbor. In the 1960s, they were joined by Vladimir Vysotsky, Victor Berkovsky, Yuliy Kim, and many others.
In the course of the 1970s, the shift to the classical 6-string guitar took place, and now, a Russian guitar is a rare bird with the bards. In the same period, the movement of KSP (Kluby Samodeyatelnoy Pesni – amateur song fan clubs) emerged, providing the bards with highly educated audience, and up to the end of the 1980s being their key promotion engine. Bards were rarely permitted to record their music, partly given the political nature of many songs, partly due to their vague status in the strictly organised state-supported show business establishment of the USSR. As a result, bard tunes usually made their way around as folk lore, from mouth to mouth, or via the copying of amateur recordings (sometimes referred as magnitizdat) made at concerts, particularly those songs that were of political nature. Bard poetry differs from other poetry mainly in the fact that it is sung along with a simple guitar melody as opposed to being spoken. Another difference is that this form of poetry focuses less on style and more on meaning. This means that fewer stylistic devices are used, and the poetry often takes the form of narrative. What separates bard poetry from other songs is the fact that the music is far less important than the lyrics; chord progressions are often very simple and tend to repeat from one bard song to another. On the other hand, in the USSR the chief bard supporter was the state Union of Composers, and the main bard hater was the state Union of Writers. A far more obvious difference was the commerce-free nature of the genre: songs were written to be sung and not to be sold. The similar genre dominated by singers-songwriters is known as sung poetry in other Post-Soviet countries.
Singer-songwriters are popular in Bulgaria under the name "bards", or "poets with guitars". Their tradition is a mixture of traditional folk motifs, city folklore from the early 20th century, and modern influences. In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the Communist regime in the country started to tolerate the Bulgarian "bards", promoting the so-called "political songs", performed usually by one-man bands. A national festival tradition was established, under the title "Alen Mak" (Red Poppy), a symbol with strong Communist meaning in Bulgaria. At the same time, there were some prominent underground figures which were against the official Communist Party line, such as Angel "Jendema" Angelov, Yavor "Yavkata" Rilov, and Velizar "Valdes" Vankov.
After the collapse of Communism in 1989, the singer-songwriters' tradition was re-established. Currently, the Bulgarian "bards" enjoy several festivals (local and international) per year, namely the PoKi Festival (Poets with Guitars, Poetic Strings) in the town of Harmanli, the Bardfest in Lovech, the Sofia Evenings of Singer-Songwriters, and others. Major figures in the Bulgarian tradition are Dimitar Taralezhkov, Angel "Jendema" Angelov, Yavor "Yavkata" Rilov, Velizar "Valdes" Vankov, Dimitar Dobrev, Andro Stubel, Branimir "Bunny" Stoykov, Dorothea Tabakova, Mihail Belchev, Assen Maslarski, Grisha Trifonov, Plamen Stavrev, Vladimir Levkov, Margarita Drumeva, Maria Batchvarova, Plamen Sivov, and Krasimir Parvanov.
Despite the communist isolation, the tradition of the singer-songwriter in Romania flourished beginning with the end of the 1960s and it was put in the context of folk music, with its three main styles in Romania: ethno folk, American-style folk and lyrical (cult) folk. The framework for many of these initiatives came under the form of Cenaclul Flacăra, a series of mass cultural events with an inevitable ideological touch. Still, with the merit of supporting great opening initiatives: the appropriation of Western artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others from the Woodstock generation, the public performance of gospel-like music, the opening to big international issues (pop culture, accountability of the leadership, tension surging during the Cold War-with surprisingly neutral positions etc.). Overall, the Romanian folk, in general, could be marked as an underground cultural movement, somewhere between non-aligned and protest music.
Rooted in the European Bänkelsang ("bench-singing") and Moritat traditions while also taking immediate inspiration from the French chanson scene and the American folk music revival, the 1960s and 1970s saw the emergence of a whole generation of German-language singer-songwriters called Liedermacher ("songmakers"), among them Hannes Wader, Franz Josef Degenhardt, Reinhard Mey and Konstantin Wecker from West Germany, Wolf Biermann from East Germany as well as Ludwig Hirsch and Georg Danzer from Austria. With regards to content and style, the Liedermacher spectrum ranges from political balladeering to rather observational storytelling and love songs. The lyrics often deal with topics such as social injustice, militarism, consumerism, environmental issues or the repercussions of the German Nazi past, often expressing technoskepticism and anti-establishment views.
In the mid-1960s, Sweden witnessed the renaissance of the „trubadur“, the Swedish version of the singer-songwriter. Cornelis Vreeswijk and Fred Åkerström were particularly influential in their efforts to blend the heritage of the “visa” (a specific way to render simple stanzaic poems or songs, given distinction by artists such as Carl Michael Bellman and Evert Taube) with modern approaches to balladeering.
Ede Staal (Warffum) (1941–1986), was a Dutch singer-songwriter from the Northern province of Groningen who sang mainly in the Groninger dialect of Dutch.
A song is a musical composition intended to be sung by the human voice. This is often done at distinct and fixed pitches using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various forms, such as those including the repetition of sections. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word "song" may refer to instrumentals.
Folk rock is a hybrid music genre combining elements of folk music and rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U.S., folk rock emerged from the folk music revival and the influence that the Beatles and other British Invasion bands had on members of that movement. Performers such as Bob Dylan and the Byrds—several of whose members had earlier played in folk ensembles—attempted to blend the sounds of rock with their preexisting folk repertoire, adopting the use of electric instrumentation and drums in a way previously discouraged in the U.S. folk community. The term "folk rock" was initially used in the U.S. music press in June 1965 to describe the Byrds' music.
The music of the United States reflects the country's pluri-ethnic population through a diverse array of styles. It is a mixture of music influenced by West African, Irish, Scottish and mainland European cultures among others. The country's most internationally renowned genres are jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, rock, rhythm and blues, soul, ragtime, hip hop, barbershop, pop, experimental, techno, house, dance, Boogaloo, and salsa. American music is heard around the world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some forms of American popular music have gained a near global audience.
A roots revival is a trend which includes young performers popularizing the traditional musical styles of their ancestors. Often, roots revivals include an addition of newly composed songs with socially and politically aware lyrics, as well as a general modernization of the folk sound.
The music of Finland can be roughly divided into categories of folk music, classical and contemporary art music, and contemporary popular music.
Germany claims some of the most renowned composers, singers, producers and performers of the world. Germany is the largest music market in Europe, and third largest in the world.
The most distinctive music of Uruguay is to be found in the tango and candombe; both genres have been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Uruguayan music includes a number of local musical forms such as murga, a form of musical theatre, and milonga, a folk guitar and song form deriving from Spanish traditions and related to similar forms found in many Hispanic-American countries.
Music of the Philippines include musical performance arts in the Philippines or by Filipinos composed in various genres and styles. The compositions are often a mixture of different Asian, Spanish, Latin American, American, and indigenous influences.
Lounge music is a type of easy listening music popular in the 1950s and 1960s. It may be meant to evoke in the listeners the feeling of being in a place, usually with a tranquil theme, such as a jungle, an island paradise or outer space. The range of lounge music encompasses beautiful music–influenced instrumentals, modern electronica, while remaining thematically focused on its retro-space-age cultural elements. The earliest type of lounge music appeared during the 1920s and 1930s, and was known as light music. In the 21st century, the term lounge music may also be used to describe the types of music played in hotels, casinos, supermarkets, several restaurants, and piano bars.
The term bard came to be used in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, and continues to be used in Russia today, to refer to singer-songwriters who wrote songs outside the Soviet establishment, similarly to folk singers of the American folk music revival. Because in bard music songwriters perform their own songs, the genre is also commonly referred to as author song. Bard poetry differs from other poetry mainly in being sung with simple guitar accompaniment as opposed to being spoken. Another difference is that it focuses less on style and more on meaning. This means that fewer stylistic devices are used, and the poetry is often in the form of a narrative. What separates bard poetry from other songs is that the music is far less important than the lyrics; chord progressions are often very simple and tend to repeat from one bard song to another. A far more obvious difference is the commerce-free nature of the genre; songs are written to be sung and not to be sold, as the bards are often working professionals in a non-musical occupation.
The music history of the United States includes many styles of folk, popular and classical music. Some of the best-known genres of American music are blues, rock and roll, and country. The history began with the Native Americans, the first people to populate North America. The music of these people was highly varied in form, and was mostly religious in purpose.
Progressive folk was originally a type of American folk music that pursued a progressive political agenda, but in the United Kingdom the term became attached to a musical subgenre. The latter describes a substyle of contemporary folk that draws from post-Bob Dylan folk music and adds new layers of musical and lyrical complexity, often incorporating various ethnic influences.
Contemporary folk music refers to a wide variety of genres that emerged in the mid 20th century and afterwards which were associated with traditional folk music. Starting in the mid-20th century a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process and period is called the (second) folk revival and reached a zenith in the 1960s. The most common name for this new form of music is also "folk music", but is often called "contemporary folk music" or "folk revival music" to make the distinction. The transition was somewhat centered in the US and is also called the American folk music revival. Fusion genres such as folk rock, folktronica, and others also evolved within this phenomenon. While contemporary folk music is a genre generally distinct from traditional folk music, it often shares the same English name, performers and venues as traditional folk music; even individual songs may be a blend of the two.
This article includes an overview of the events and trends in popular music in the 1960s.
Music of the United Kingdom developed in the 1960s into one of the leading forms of popular music in the modern world. By the early 1960s the British had developed a viable national music industry and began to produce adapted forms of American music in Beat music and British blues which would be re-exported to America by bands such as The Beatles, The Animals and Rolling Stones. This helped to make the dominant forms of popular music something of a shared Anglo-American creation, and led to the growing distinction between pop and rock music, which began to develop into diverse and creative subgenres that would characterise the form throughout the rest of the twentieth century.
Popular music of the United States in the 1960s became innately tied up into causes, opposing certain ideas, influenced by the sexual revolution, feminism, Black Power and environmentalism. This trend took place in a tumultuous period of massive public unrest in the United States which consisted of the Cold War, Vietnam War, and Civil Rights Movement.
Malaysian pop or abbreviated as M-pop or Malay pop refers to popular music forms in Malaysia. Although popular music in various languages such as Mandopop are popular and have been produced in Malaysia, Malaysian pop refers to music recorded primarily in the Malay language in Malaysia.
[...] the singer-songwriter is a fairly recent phenomenon in the centuries-old history of American folk music.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Singer-songwriters .|