Brad Paisley and Country Music Essay

1318 Words Apr 16th, 2005 6 Pages
When country music began in America, there were no professional musicians. The typical musician sang only to entertain himself, his family or at local events. There is evidence of square dance-like events as far back as the 1830s (with origins in European country dancing). At first, most country music was either sung by itself or played on a lone fiddle or banjo. A good fiddler was a very popular person and was often asked to perform at events ranging from weddings to cattle drives. There was no concerted effort to preserve the songs played, but the songs that people loved lasted as they were passed from town to town or generation to generation. Songs traveled with wandering minstrels and soldiers as well as those who moved across the …show more content…
In other types of country music you might hear the accordion, the harmonica, the piano, washboards or drums which didn't become popular till the 1960‘s but are used a lot in today‘s bands. Country music began in music styles brought over by the European settlers. In medieval times, storytelling was a tradition that allowed history to be recorded when few were able to read and write. When the first British settlers came to America, they brought this tradition with them, along with songs they had learned in Europe. The people who settled in the Appalachian Mountains and the West did not have an easy life and their music was their only outlet. While country music began with ballads (a narrative that is sung) and songs of the British Isles, it changed in content and personality as it grew in America. The British songs were objective, often resembling gruesome stories. They had many themes of the supernatural, avenging spirits, loves found and lost, and violent happenings. In America, the songs became very subjective and personal, downplayed the supernatural, and, in songs of crimes, emphasized the evil acts while minimizing the gore. When the songs had to do with love gone bad, the American's ballad removed the violence and gruesomeness. The change may have been due to the philosophy of the Southern lifestyle. Another characteristic of the American ballad is the addition of moral ending to songs.
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