While this worksong was recorded in the middle of the twentieth century, it gives us a good idea of the sounds we might have heard out in the plantation field. Listen out for the call and response structure of the music.

 

This is blues guitarist and singer Blind Willie Johnson. Keeping the call and response pattern from the worksong, these early blues players began to accompany themselves on other instruments, and most often the guitar.

 

While we know Louis Armstrong as the singer of popular songs like "What a Wonderful World", his trumpet playing technique and improvisation were very important during the development of Jazz. The solo at the beginning of this piece "West End Blues" is almost like a cadenza, showing off his excellent technique and creative ideas.

 

Charlie Parker (known as Bird) was one of the musicians responsible for pushing the limits of Jazz with increasingly complex harmonies and improvisation.

 

During the 1940s and 1950s rock and roll music became incredibly popular with stars like Elvis Presley making use of television for the first time to get his music in to the living rooms of the United States. Much simpler and to the point than the complex jazz of the time, young people found this music immensely exciting.

 

Following on from the success of the rock and roll stars, record companies were always on the lookout for new artists and groups playing new styles. British groups like the Rolling Stones, who combined the simplicity of rock and roll with the rough edge of the blues, produced some of the earliest examples of rock music. The standard guitar, singer, drums and bass line up is still common in bands being formed today.

 

Worksong

While this worksong was recorded in the middle of the twentieth century, it gives us a good idea of the sounds we might have heard out in the plantation field. Listen out for the call and response structure of the music.

Early Blues

This is blues guitarist and singer Blind Willie Johnson. Keeping the call and response pattern from the worksong, these early blues players began to accompany themselves on other instruments, and most often the guitar.

Jazz

While we know Louis Armstrong as the singer of popular songs like "What a Wonderful World", his trumpet playing technique and improvisation were very important during the development of Jazz. The solo at the beginning of this piece "West End Blues" is almost like a cadenza, showing off his excellent technique and creative ideas.

Bird

Charlie Parker (known as Bird) was one of the musicians responsible for pushing the limits of Jazz with increasingly complex harmonies and improvisation.

Rock & roll

During the 1940s and 1950s rock and roll music became incredibly popular with stars like Elvis Presley making use of television for the first time to get his music in to the living rooms of the United States. Much simpler and to the point than the complex jazz of the time, young people found this music immensely exciting.

Rock

Following on from the success of the rock and roll stars, record companies were always on the lookout for new artists and groups playing new styles. British groups like the Rolling Stones, who combined the simplicity of rock and roll with the rough edge of the blues, produced some of the earliest examples of rock music. The standard guitar, singer, drums and bass line up is still common in bands being formed today.