Funk music is categorized as the dance music that mixes the elements rhythm and blues with the sound of soul music. Funk music originated around the 1960s but reached its peak during the 1970s. The expressions of funk can be seen through the music, clothing of musicians and hip dances that essentially gave the genre life in the Black Community. 

The Sound of Funk

Musically, the sound of FUNK refers to the style of aggressive urban dance music that are driven by hard syncopated bass lines and drumbeats and emphasized by many instruments involved in the rhythmic sound to create the “groove”

During the 1970s, the sound of FUNK became the musical standard for many bands such as Temptations, Ohio Players and Kool and the Gang. The sounds were driven by a beat accompanied by lush, melodic arrangements and potent, meaningful lyrics. During the 1980s, the sexual expressive aspects of FUNK were popularized through the works of Rick James and Prince, giving the genre more influence into other genres such as hard rock and punk.

Popular Style and Instruments

Many funk bands used many musical instruments including the electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard instruments, synthesizers and electric organs. These were the most unique instruments to the genre that differed from traditional band instruments such as the saxophone, trumpets, horns and trombones.

For women, 70s Funk Fashion can be seen through loose wide leg disco pants, large afros, cropped tops, and groovy colors that were loud and creative. For men, a similar funk fashion was expressed through the disco wide leg pants, large afros, unbuttoned shirts and tight bodysuits that were also creative with a disco feel. A great example of this is Soul Train. 

Funk music encompasses the essence of being black. The genre gave black musicians an outlet to freely and unapologetically express themselves through music, dance and style. Funk brought the groove to your soul allowing people to have fun and live their best lives. This genre is music is fun and comes alive when you hear it on the radio or see people dancing to it on television. Many of the greatest hits of all time derive from this genre. The legacy that Funk has had on the black community emulate the creativity that we as a culture possess. There aren’t any musical genres without mentioning or including FUNK!

Popular FUNK Songs

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