The Musical And Art Genres Cultural Studies Essay

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The "arts" is a broad term since it is composed of many creative disciplines. It is much broader than the term "art," whose description usually mean only the visual arts. The arts encompass visual arts, literature and the performing arts, music, drama, dance and film, etc. This paper will focus on an art  form whose medium is sound which is music and visual arts which is intended to be appreciated or perceived primarily by sight. The musical genres that would be under study in this paper are rhythm and blues, gospel and calypso and the types of visual art are assemblage, mosaic and sculptures.

Rhythm and blues, which is often abbreviated to R&B, is a popular music genre combining jazz, gospel, and blues influenced by African American artists. This popular genre of music which originated in the 1940's was created and supported mostly by black Americans. The term had a number of shifts in meaning since in the early 1950s and beyond. Rhythm and blues was frequently applied to blues records and "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.

In the 1940s R&B initially emerged in the form of small-band 'jump' music with novelty-type vocalists and jazz-based horn men and organists. A more crooning style was introduced by the early 1950s since solo vocalists had blended blues with club techniques and broadened the music's appeal to white audiences. A more impassioned soul style that was a significant sound in popular music during the 1960s further directed an evolution because of 'doo-wop' harmony and gospel-based groups.

By the 1970s, rhythm and blues was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as contemporary R&B with artists such as Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Babyface, and Whitney Houston. Currently R&B is one of the most popular musical styles amongst all people. Now the names and faces of R&B are Alicia Keys, Brian McKnight, Mary J. Bilge, Beyonce, Keisha Cole, etc. Even though the music may evolve with time the 'soul' factor is never lost.

The gospels, which are four books in the New Testament, have a close connection to where Gospel which means good news, got it's from. That hints that gospel music is written to express either personal or a collective belief regarding Christian life, with its most common theme of praise, worship or thanks to God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. The history gospel music dates back to the days of slavery when African slaves were brought to a foreign and often hostile land. Many of these slaves brought with them a rich tradition of spiritual songs, and they would use these songs to communicate with others in the fields. Negro spirituals provided a sense of comfort during times of hardship, and many of these songs were combined with secular musical genres such as the blues or ragtime to form the earliest "black" gospel music. Since then Christian worship became a central part of the African-American community, and these spirituals formed the basis of their emotional and passionate worship style.

Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), is considered by many gospel devotees to be the "Father of black Gospel Music." Dorsey's brand of gospel music though it was not accepted at that time because of the jazz rhythms, blues flavour and rhythmic style had a positive influence, blessing its listeners and encouraging them to draw near God at its most basic level. Other composers, such as Lucy Campbell and Dr. Herbert Brewster, picked up the torch and the way was lit for another generation to take control. Gospel music is sacred music. The early gospel music did sound jus like the Blues, just the contemporary gospel music of today sounds like R & B and Hip-Hop. Some gospel greats are Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Kurt Carr, Mahalia Jackson, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams etc.

Gospel music can stir many different emotions. The spiritual and creative imaginations of its audience are usually captured. Gospel music is all about singers and making a joyful noise unto the Lord, whether you are a singer or listener. It is soul stirring and it invites the participation of all to come together through song, to honour the past, look forward to the future, and, renew our faith.

Soca is a modern form of calypso with an up-tempo beat which originated in the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago. There is a popular belief that Soca is a fusion of American soul music and traditional calypso, hence the name "so-ca," soul/calypso. However, soca music originated as a fusion of calypso with Indian rhythms, thus combining the musical traditions to the two major ethnic groups of Trinidad and Tobago. Soca or soul calypso is a form of dance music. Over the last 20 years, musicians played an important role in the evolution of soca from various Caribbean countries including Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, United States Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica and Belize.

The origins of soca started with the man Garfield Blackman or Ras Shorty (Lord Shorty) who is labelled "the father of soca". Unleashing "the soul of calypso," took the innovator, prolific musician and composer, Ras Shorty nearly a decade as he experimented with East Indian rhythms and Calypso, which was African derived before soca music was birthed. Soca has continued to grow and evolve giving rise to offshoots such as ragga soca and the increasingly popular chutney soca. It was used for both social commentary and humour just as calypso.

Today soca is the ultimate native musical form associated with the Eastern Caribbean. Notable Soca Producers and Composers include, Ibo Joseph, Leston Paul, Shawn Noel (Da Ma$tamind), Kenny Phillips, KC Phillips, Neil Bernard, Ossie Gurley, Kondwani "Kd" Applewhite and a host of others. Some of the popular soca artists are the Might Sparrow, Allison hinds, Bunji Garlin, Machel Montano, Lord Kitchner etc.

When found or miscellaneous objects are put together they form a three-dimensional artistic composition which is known as an artistic process called an Assemblage. Materials used by an assemblage artist ranges from found objects, fragments and bits, often everyday manufactured materials or junk never intended as art materials. This word used to describe the type of art "assemblage" originated in the 1950s when a series of collages of butterfly wings, entitled assemblages d'empreintes was created by Jean Dubuffet.

In years prior Dubuffet artist such as Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso had been working with found objects for many years. In their company was the first woman to try her hand at an assemblage who was Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. The Louise Nevelson and Dada Baroness are also two of the most noted artist in this artistic field who created some great work.

There are several artists who are primarily known for assemblage such as a Chicago artist, by the name of John Chamberlain, who is recognized for his sculptures that were made of welded pieces of wrecked automobiles. Joseph Cornell arranged images of renaissance paintings, old photographs and collections of objects, which were used in delicate boxes that were usually glass-fronted. An American artist, Robert H. Hudson is also noted in this field.

Scenes of modern life were created with discarded objects by Edward Kienholz, who collaborates with his wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz, to create large-scale, free-standing assemblages, complete with models of persons. In 1994, Jean-Jacques Lebel installed a large assemblage entitled Monument à Félix Guattari in the Forum of the Centre Pompidou. An artist who is usually known for her abstract expressionist "boxes", Louise Nevelson, grouped together to form a new creation. In her assemblages she used everyday discarded things and found objects, which was used to create an assemblage of three stories high.

Mosaic art can be defined as the art of creating images with the assembling of small pieces of coloured glass, stone, or other materials. It can be used to express decorative creativity, or for a cultural and spiritual experience as in a church or cathedral, or a feature of interior decoration. Tesserae or small pieces of stone or glass of different colours, normally roughly cubic, are used to create a pattern or picture.

Early mosaics are dated at a temple building in Ubaid, Mesopotamia, in the second half of 2nd millennium BC where mosaics made of different materials were found. In early Christian art mosaics on the wall and ceiling were used in the building of Christian basilicas in the late 4th century. In the 5th century Ravenna, the capital of the Western Roman Empire, became the centre of late Roman mosaic art. A high artistic quality of mosaics was used to decorate the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in 425-430. Galla Placidia had established another great building which was the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista. After escaping death from a deadly storm in 425 she vowed to erect it. Depicted in the mosaics were the portraits of Peter Chrysologus, the bishop of Ravenna and members of the western and eastern imperial family.

The Baptistery appeared to be predated by the mosaic pavement of the Vrina Plain basilica of Butrint, Albania by almost a generation. It dates to the last quarter of the 5th or the first years of the 6th century AD. A variety of motifs is displayed in the mosaic including, flowers, sea-creatures, fruits, birds, trees, terrestrial beasts and abstracts. They were designed to portray a terrestrial paradise of God's creation. On this design they are two large tablets that carried inscriptions. Surrounding the smaller of the two inscriptions were a crab, a variety of fish, a lobster, mushrooms, shrimps, a stag, flowers, and two cruciform designs, which had significant meanings.

Sculpture can be defined as a three-dimensional artwork which is created by shaping or combining hard, commonly stone (either rock or marble), metal, glass, or wood, plastic material, wire, sound, text, or light. Some sculptures are created when they are found, from carving, others are assembled, built together and fired, welded, moulded, or cast and are often painted.

Sculptures use of materials that can be moulded or modulated which qualifies it to be considered as one of the plastic arts. Sculptures can be seen in most of the public art. A sculpture garden consists of many sculptures together in a garden setting. Some common types of sculptures are: free-standing sculpture which is sculpture that is surrounded on all sides, except the base, by space. It is meant to be viewed from any angle, and is also known as sculpture "in the round" .Sound sculpture, light sculpture, jewellery are also types. Another is Relief which is the sculpture is still attached to a background, Site-specific art, Kinetic sculpture which involves aspects of physical motion, Fountain which is the sculpture is designed with moving water, Mobile, Statue which is representation-list sculpture depicting a specific entity, usually a person, event, animal or object, Bust - representation of a person from the chest up, Equestrian statue - typically showing a significant person on horseback, Stacked art which is a form of sculpture formed by assembling objects and 'stacking' them and Architectural sculpture.

Rhythm and blues, gospel, calypso, assemblage, mosaic and sculptures though they are just a small group from the many forms of art have contributed in their own way and have expressed the emotions and thoughts of the many artists who contributed to each of those art forms. Artists will continue to invent and continue to introduce new ways of expressing emotions and conveying messages.

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