[Dixielandjazz] Rap?

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Wed Dec 7 09:37:49 PST 2005

I'm not sure if you aren't mixing things upo a bit.  Gregorian Chant isn't 
the same thing.  There is rather lovely melodies that are associated with 
Gregorian. and very light on the rhythm.  I would find it very hard to 
equate Gregorian with today's Rap other than they both use words.  Gregorian 
doesn't even particularly rhyme.  I would even disagree that it is the same 
or related to early black music and work songs but rather to the Beatnick 
and 50's use of bongos and other rhythm instruments to read poetry by and 
this may even be a stretch too.

The thing that you have right is that there has been a steady degrading of 
musical form starting in the about 1700's which for a hundred years or so 
probabaly represent the high point of musical composition and skill.  That 
doesn't mean that there aren't those same high points today but overall it 
was a high point in musical history.  As other media became prominent we 
have had a steady deterioration that has accellerated much in the same way 
that information and technology has made quantum leaps and may be related. 
At the same time the methods of teaching have become more glitzy and fadish 
coupled with the reluctance of the public schools to educate students 

In the last 100 years we have gone from definate form to no form. 
Instrumental sounds to sounds of rhythm only.  Complicated chordal structure 
to three chords to one chord, to no chords at all. Actual words that you 
could understand to lyrics that you can't repeat in polite company that is 
if you can understand them without being bilingual in Eubonics.  I'm sure 
that everyone can come up with more examples of this slide.

I have a problem calling Rap music because it has almost none of the 
requirements of any sort of defination of music that I know.  How  they 
justify calling them Rap "singers" or calling Rap "music" or people who 
perform it "musicians" is simply beyond me.

The real question is what is next?  How far can the deterioration go?  Will 
everyone retreat into C&W which is the only form that seems to be reasonably 
stable at present?  Will the 5-10% of people who like jazz decline in 
numbers further?

It seems that the whole society in many ways is deteriorating to the lowest 
common denominator and those who have standards of conduct are becoming 
fewer.  Music is only the symptom.
Larry Walton
St. Louis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <DWSI at aol.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 6:33 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Rap?

> Bob Ringwald writes:
> Why don't they  call it what it is, "chant"?
> I understand that they are now  mixing Rap with Country & Western.
> It is called  "Crap."
> Bob: Great comment! When I stopped laughing I realized you had made a very
> important point. Chant is certainly what it is and chant is probably  one 
> of,
> if not the, earliest of our black musical forms isn't it? I  think they 
> were
> called field hollers in the slave era. Nothing wrong with chants  or field
> hollers. I knew a Madison Avenue executive who specialized in doing  field 
> hollers
> in public in the 70s. I guess we have to call rap (crap) music,  if we 
> call
> Gregorian chants music, but why did the instrumental music  die so quickly 
> in
> the pop form? We went from some great arrangements in the 50s,  60s, and 
> 70s,
> into increasingly wall-to-wall "loud" electrical music sound, then 
> suddenly
> into nothing but street chanting. Did the electric guitars drown out  the
> words--and the teens wanted to hear words again? Or what?
> Dan (back up piano man) Spink
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