Music is the melody and the language of our hearts. It is an external manifestation of the aspirations, love, sorrow that we feel. It is like the words in our heart finds its way in music, and it is the best form of relaxation and well being for times immemorial. Our topic is however, a particular division of musical fraternity called the Country Music. As the name suggests, country music has a rich aroma of the feelings and sentiments of a rural image; it reminds us of the mountains, lush green meadows, the beautiful little country house, yellow sunshine and happy people and the guitar. So we would evaluate the following questions in our knowledge quest of country music.
A few lines of a country song, “ Have a little love on a little honeymoon, you got a little dish and a little spoon, a little bitty house and a little bitty yard, a little bitty dog and a little bitty car, Well, it’s alright to be a little bitty… A little hometown in a big old city, Might as well share, might as well smile; Life goes on for a little bitty while.”
The Origin of Country Music: Bristol, Tennessee are said to be the “Birthplace of Country music”, as per the 1998 United States Congress resolution. Country music was firstly characterized a gobbled set of words put in a melody, naïve, stereotype and tangy, to cater to a particular fraction of audience. It was termed cliché, as musicians played the same tunes with different set of words. These were a set of impartial judgments and mixed feelings that affected the growth of country music at birth, but its chastity and flavor could not have prevent the minds and hearts of hundreds of Americans and it became the most popular music forms in the 20th Century. It came to be a big success and eventually ranked as the best selling music after the rock or pop music. The musical journey of country music spans from the 19th century, with its subsequent changes and ordeal, and its different genre that has shaped and developed in the next 100 years of its birth.
The musical instruments used in the different phases of country music would give us a better insight to its physical journey. The first instrument that started country music was the fiddle (violin), which was very popular as it was easy to make, cheap and comfortable to carry. Preliminary it was the sole lead instrument, but with preceding time and popularity, new accessories added to the list, to further enrich the flavor of the music. The introduction of banjo, brought by the slaves in South America, became a popular form of instrument during the 1800. Then during 1900, guitar came into existence, used mainly for the rhythmic styles but later gained momentum as it started to carry new styles and forms of music. Soon it became the most popular form of mass instrument. Contemporary classical music soon transcended in the use of electric guitar and other parallel added instruments like the dobro, dulcimer, the autoharp, mandolin, zither, steel and bass guitar. You can also get the flavor of instruments like accordion, piano, harmonica, washboards or drums, which later added to give the hip hop in the country music flavor.
Country music has its roots influenced and introduced by the European settlers. In ancient times, scripting the folklore and history in the form of stories and parables were quite popular. People loved to hear history in short rhythmic tales and to make it more audible and famous, melody was synchronized. When America had the influx of British settlers, they imbibed the tradition of presenting history through music. It is said that country music was a first used by the settlers in Appalachian Mountains, to describe the vehement ordeal and difficult in livelihood that they faced. Music was the only form way to express their hardships. However, the sad and passive forms of melody eventually gave way to rhythm, fervor and energy. The ballads and music of the British Isles changed to music of joy and vitality. It soon left behind the shadows of mysticism, sad and monotonous epilogue… America soon adopted country music to be happy, chiastic and full of enthusiasm. The transformation was probably an effect of the rise of Victorian age, and the happy go lucky nature of American lifestyle. Country music became more concrete, focusing on real and current issues of the period. It was no longer stipulated for a limited rural audience, but attained a mass stature, narrating the events of the country as well as of the world.