Thursday, December 29, 2011

The History of Music and its Culture and Current Polemics of Local Music Industry

1) Music is part of our culture and daily lives. Wherever we go, we would hear songs, either in the house or in the car or while in the shopping center. A friend of mine used to said, one who do not like music has no taste. I would agree to this notion, we will know one taste after read his / her  taste in music. When we have seen one taste in jazz or blues, his / her taste would differ with those who like the other kind of songs.

2) Music were divided into 2 different distinctive, which is modern music and classical music. Modern music derived from the blues, which was invented by African American slaves during the end of 19th century, the genres that were combine of native African influences with the European influences. It was started somewhere in North Coast of US. While classical music on the other hand, derived from western music of Europe, and being played largely by white people.

3) Blues is the root of modern music that we are currently listening, either its Rock or R&B or Jazz or Rap or Hip Hop, all are rooted from the same root which is Blues. That why, one would says, music is universal, it is derived from the same root, and progressively evolve through times and culture.

4) Music also part of the culture. When African slaves were brought to American, working in white large plantations of cotton, tobacco, sugar and coffee in North Coast of America. These black African slaves were not only brought their culture, but also brought their music to American soil. In other words, culture and music are interrelated, which would define and influence the music that brought through cultural impact indirectly or directly.

5) Initially, black were not allowed to play musical instruments or sing a song, but as the time goes by, they were eventually allowed to play musics and sings, but were prevented from reading notes or cords to prevent them from being literated in music. Luckily, its turn-out to be a blessing in disguise, when they became not too dependence on the notes and chords structure as taught in classical music. Most of the early Blues musicians are alliterated to chords and notes i.e. BB King and Eric Johnson etc. By being alliterates to notes and chords, these early Blues men has developed a playing technique by relying on their feel, consequently notes and chords became free structure which allowed the black to develop the early Blues songs. There is when the Blue note being discovered, and became a fundamental ingredient for Blues rooted music. This Blue note often found in African work songs as well, which was developed to be a common feature in Blues song i.e. call-and-response format.

6) The history of native African slaves in US, are originated from West Coast, Central and Southeast Africa. Some of these countries, were used to be colonized by Islamic Empire of Arabs, which brought their culture and music upon the colonized African countries. Therefore, the Arabian influences can also be found in Blues. Brian Jones, one of the founder of British band, Rolling Stones, after visited Morocco 1965 was amazed to discovered the music he played were used to be played 175 years ago in Morocco. This discovery shows the Arabian leaving some influences to the Blues. Indeed some of the Western Blues or Rock musicians i.e. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Beatles, Sting etc, started to create their music with the blend of Arabian music as what Sting did through his Desert Rose, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page through their Most High.

7) Our local artists i.e. M Nasir and Ramli Sarip follow the same footstep by blending our local Malay music with the Arabian genre, resulted a new breed of Malay songs, looked more rugged and catchy through among current listeners. It was named as a Malay modern music or "Musik Nusantara as M Nasir called it".

8) This music reaches its peak during 90's and early 2000. Unfortunately, this momentum failed to carry-on by other Malaysian musicians, probably due to local musicians are not well competent to this trend or simply not interested in it. Furthermore, our local music industry is too small and recording studios don't look at it viable for commercial success.

9) As mentioned in previous post, Mencari Identiti Muzik Malaysia, Malay song need identity as Indonesian has Keroncong, Jamaican with their Reggae and US has Jazz. Unfortunately, the new breeds of local musicians are not well competent and some of them do not have a good basic learning in music. Most of them are more interested to fill the gap at mediocre level and don't know how to contribute to the local music industry. They simply do not have a soul and can't think like an original musician.

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