The Music That Makes Us

Group Members: Kayla Roddey, Naomi Moss, Rebekah Glover, Kaitlin Britton Wheeler, Aaliyah Armstrong, & Alyssia Horsley

The Evolution of R&B

  1. 1907Buddy Bolden composed “Funky Butt Hall,” which marks the first appearance of funk in a song. Jelly Roll Morton later adapts it into a song called, “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say.” “Funky Butt Hall”–Buddy Bolden. 
  2. 1920s1920 marked the hallmark of first recorded blues, when African American singer Mamie Smith recorded Crazy Blues.” It went on to sell over a quarter-million copies. R&B began to gain notoriety across the country during this time (1916 – 1970) because of The Great Migration. However, during this time, R&B was still perceived as being a more rural and unsophisticated genre compared to jazz. “Crazy Blues”–Mamie Smith 
  3. 1930s–1940s–The term “rhythm and blues” was created as a replacement for the controversial term “race music.” Artists who specialized in jazz music began to experiment with variations in instrument arrangements, particularly with an emphasis on saxophones and brass instruments. “It Don’t Mean a Thing”–Duke Ellington
  4. 1950s–During the 1950s and the 1960s, the sound of R&B began to change more stridently, with artists like Little Richard creating the “jump blues” style. “Lucille”–Little Richard
  5. 1960s–The 1960s ushered in an era of funk, soul, and disco. “R&B” was used as a blanket term for this type of music, and distinction from the umbrella derived from distinctive performance styles. This is when R&B began to take on its own unique form. “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”–The Supremes

6. 1970s–The 1970s saw increased popularity of disco, which became a staple of music. Disco music influenced the sounds and instruments that would shape R&B, such as the piano, synthesizers, and electric rhythm guitars. Artists such as Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye and Prince rose to prominence during this time. “Let’s Groove”–Earth, Wind and Fire

7. 1980s–In the 1980s, hip hop culture was created in the Bronx in New York. The advent of hip hop brought on major ventures within sound, such as rapping and DJing, which became more prevalent. With this prominence, R&B took on certain elements of hip hop such as drum machines, sound effects, and developed a rap music sensibility. This was known as the “new jack swing” era. “Remember The Time”–Michael Jackson

8. 1990s–Because the rise of hip hop heavily influenced youth’s tastes, straight R&B became difficult to market. It began to lean more heavily on hip hop and integrate the styles and image of the genre, which led to the creation of hip-hop soul. “Family Affair”–Mary J. Blige

9. 2000s–After the success of integration in the 1990s, R&B artists furthered their mixing of the two genres through their collaborations with producers and rappers. The style of R&B during this time heavily relied on the success of the 1990s. “1, 2 Step”–Ciara

10. 2010s–In a similar fashion to the 2000s, R&B incorporated influences from the iterations of hip hop in earlier eras. However, the 2010s embraced more electronic elements and computer-generated instruments. It integrated genres such as EDM and pop into its stylings and production. “Love Me Now”–John Legend

The Evolution of Jazz

Trad Jazz/New Orleans Jazz

This style of jazz is widely considered the first example of jazz we know of. Growing out of the rich and diverse culture of New Orleans, trad jazz combines a mixture of instruments like the trombone, cornet, and trumpet to create a lively and exciting sound. Many consider ragtime music to be the predecessor of this form of jazz.

Swing Jazz

Swing Jazz comes to life in the very early 1900s and is usually performed by large groups/ensembles. This form of jazz was very popular for its upbeat feeling and was well-loved among the dance scene


Beebop Jazz comes out of the mid-1900s and combines the techniques of its predecessors (trad and swing jazz). It is said to be a more complex version of the two and can be accompanied by scatting.  


Cool Jazz lives up to its name as being a much calmer and soothing version of the other types of jazz. It originated between the mid to late 1900s. 


Free Jazz also lives up to its name as it is known for not having an exact arrangement or composition, unlike many of the other listed forms of jazz. Free Jazz originates in the late 1900s.


Jazz Fusion “fuses” multiple genres together and is the most modern style of jazz. 

Evolution of Funk

The 1970s was a great decade for Black bands playing melodic music. Having been influenced by the early sounds of Stevie Wonder and the like, funk music is characterized by Album-oriented soul. Musicians like Smokey Robinson helped turn it into Quiet Storm music, Funk evolved into two strands, one a pop-soul-jazz-bass fusion pioneered by Sly & the Family Stone, and the other a more psychedelic fusion epitomized by George Clinton and his P-Funk ensemble. The sound of Disco evolved from black musicians creating Soul music with an up-tempo melody. Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Donna Summer and among others help popularize disco music. However, this music was integrated into popular music achieving mainstream success.

Genres of Funk: Quiet storm, Disco, Progressive soul

The Evolution of Gospel

Slave Spiritual

Incorporated African heritage and Christianity, unique to African-Americans, evolved into the blues and gospel music

Transitional Gospel

Began to incorporate jazz and blues, the bridge from spirituals to traditional gospel


Gospel Quartet

This is a gospel style that emerged in the 1930s

Traditional Solo

Has blues origins and is was spearheaded by Thomas Dorsey

Freedom Songs

Came about from Civil Rights Movement as a way of protest

Contemporary/Urban Contemporary

derives primarily from traditional black gospel music, and is infused with different forms of secular pop and r/b music.

Another example of Contemporary Gospel Music

An example of Urban Contemporary

Christian Rap

subgenre of Urban Contemporary Gospel, combines hip hop production with faith filled messages

Evolution of Hip Hop

Genres of Hip Hop:

Old-school Hip-Hop: simple rapping techniques & lyrics that focused on partying and having a good time. (mostly came from the Bronx)

Gangsta Rap: lyrics assert the culture of typical American street gangs and hustlers. lyrics sometimes voice rage against oppression and mass incarceration. (mostly in Los Angeles & West Coast)

Alternative: surrounds a wide range of styles that doesn’t fit the traditional stereotypes of rap. (mostly came from East Coast)

Latin Hip-Hop: the manifestation of a mixing of cultures. (mostly came from New York & West Coast)

Evolution of Disco


Derived from funk which comes from soul. It is a style of dance music characterized by hypnotic rhythm, by hypnotic rhythm, repetitive lyrics, and electronically produced sounds. Disco is a genre of dance music and a subculture that emerged in the 1970s from the United States’ urban nightlife scene.

Subgenres: Europop, Post Disco, New Wave

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.