5 June 2023

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This week it's all about: Country and Western

Country and Western music acquired its name in the 1940s and rapidly exploded in popularity across the USA. This was because of two key reasons; 

  1. The advent of small radio stations which dedicated sections of their airtime to rural, homemade music.
  2. The migration of masses of people from the countryside to the big cities to find work following the great depression of the 1930s gave an exponential increase to its audience.

Often it comprised simple ballads and dance tunes with folk-style lyrics, and harmonies often accompanied by string instruments such as banjos, electric and acoustic guitars, steel guitars, fiddles and harmonicas. 

The term country music is used today to describe many styles and subgenres. The origins of country music are found in the folk music of working class Americans and blue-collar American life. It has been inspired by American popular music, and American folk music which had its roots in Celtic music, early music of the British Isles, cowboy songs, French folk music, African-American music and other traditional folk music traditions. 

Much Country Music can involve line dancing due to its catchy beat and symmetrical structures which means it is built in clear groups of 2, 4, 8 and 16 bar groups. Such as Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus began their careers on the Country and Western scene and are now hugely successful mainstream artists. 

MABAL is music played through the school's speaker system during break and lunch.  Chosen by Mr Taylor, Lead Teacher for Music, this is designed to offer exposure to the curriculum in different ways, and support pupils' appreciation of music.

The focus is on one theme each week across a genre, a country or from history.  The theme could also link to the season or an event in school, such as the production.  Any further suggestions are welcomed - pupils should see Mr Taylor or email a.taylor@priory.lancs.sch.uk 

Tags: Music