Wednesday, July 16, 2008

should I be studying folklore instead?

Maybe.... I posted this on LJ and will just put it here for my reference.

I read this really long book about the history of bluegrass. And it yielded a few moments which made my jaw drop a little. Noteablely when it detailed how Flatt and Scruggs appearred on the Beverly Hillbillies and a few quotes I had to make note of below before the book goes back to Lincoln Center. The first quote is interesting because I keep going to see this mandolin player who pretty much always plays a Bach piece in his solo shows and the second because I have also heard some Beatles songs covered by bluegrass bands. It is interesting that these styles of music do have some history of being linked together, or in other words, their similiarities were noticed well before today's current bands were even born.

Bluegrass: A History by Neil V. Rosenberg, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1985
p. 189-90: Paul Rothchild: Becoming interested in the local folk scene, he began checking out the coffeehouses. One night he and his wife went to Club 47, the best known of the Cambridge coffeehouses. "We got over there, walked in the door, and heard bluegrass for the first time in my entire life. The Charles River Valley Boys were on stage. At one point in my life, I had been a serious student of Bach, and now I heard bluegrass. It was country Bach! It had contrapuntal arrangements, all the fugal stuff. I just completely went insane. We both fell apart. We stayed the whole night." original source: von Schmidt and Rooney, Baby Let Me Follow You Down, p. 142

p. 195: They utilized [David] Crosby's expertise at arranging vocal parts to delve into Beatle music. Though folk revivalists were not supposed to be involved with rock music, [Jim] McGuinn had been excited about the Beatles the moment he heard them. As he learned about their music he understood why it appealed to him: "It became just electrified folk music to me. And the Beatles, whether they knew it or not, were doing what I always dug in music, but with electric instruments. They were into modal music, like mountain music and banjo playing, bluegrass harmonies, and things like that." original source: Bud Scoppa, The Byrds p. 16

Book to read:Bob Artis, Bluegrass

Album to check out: 1971 John Hartford, Norman Blake , Tut Taylor, Vassar Clements - Aereo-Plain


Blogger pianogirlrach said...

uh-oh I'm gonna tell mom you want to be a musicologist of bluegrass! She jokingly tells me I should get my PhD in Musicology...well I think she has the wrong daughter...haha j/k

3:36 PM  

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