Biography songs significance facts

He began singing at neighbourhood religious festivities when he was about 12 years old, and he and his band were performing outside various dance clubs in Dakar by the time he was in his early teens.

He was too young to play legally inside the clubs. That group, with its incorporation of the Senegalese tama talking drum and Wolof and Malinke songs into the popular music repertoirewas a pioneer of the music genre that eventually became known as mbalax. In he returned to the international scene by organizing the Great African Ball, an all-night concert and dance party held in New York City and Paris, which ran annually through The film and soundtrack were released publicly in He lost the portfolio during a cabinet reshuffle in September His later works included Historywhich features reworkings of his earlier music.

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Popular musicany commercially oriented music principally intended to be received and appreciated by a wide audience, generally in literate, technologically advanced societies dominated by urban culture.

Unlike traditional folk music, popular music is written by known individuals, usually professionals, and does not evolve through the process of oral transmission.

biography songs significance facts

History at your fingertips.Composer Franz Schubert received a thorough musical education and won a scholarship to boarding school. Although he was never rich, the composer's work gained recognition and popularity, noted for bridging classical and romantic composition. He died in in Vienna, Austria.

As a child, his talents included an ability to play the piano, violin and organ. He was also an excellent singer. Franz was the fourth surviving son of Franz Theodor Schubert, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Elisabeth, a homemaker. His family cultivated Schubert's love of music. His father and older brother, Ignaz, both instructed Schubert early in his musical life. Eventually, Schubert enrolled at the Stadtkonvikt, which trained young vocalists so they could one day sing at the chapel of the Imperial Court, and in he earned a scholarship that awarded him a spot in the court's chapel choir.

His educators at the Stadtkonvikt included Wenzel Ruzicka, the imperial court organist, and, later, the esteemed composer Antonio Salieri, who lauded Schubert as a musical genius.

Schubert played the violin in the students' orchestra, was quickly promoted to leader, and conducted in Ruzicka's absence. He also attended choir practice and, with his fellow pupils, practiced chamber music and piano playing. Inhowever, Schubert's voice broke, forcing him to leave the college, though he did continue his instruction with Antonio Salieri for three more years.

Inunder pressure from his family, Schubert enrolled at a teacher's training college in Vienna and took a job as an assistant at his father's school.

biography songs significance facts

Schubert worked as a schoolmaster for the next four years. But he also continued to compose music. In fact, between andSchubert proved to be a prolific songwriter.

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Bythe young composer had written a number of piano pieces, and had produced string quartets, a symphony, and a three-act opera. Boosted by a wealth of late 18th-century lyric poetry and the development of the piano, Schubert tapped the poetry of giants like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, showing the world the possibility of representing their works in musical form.

InSchubert, who had not only found a welcome audience for his music but had grown tired of teaching, left education to pursue music full-time. His decision was sparked in part by the first public performance of one of his works, the "Italian Overture in C Major," on March 1,in Vienna. The decision to leave school teaching seems to have ushered in a new wave of creativity in the young composer. That summer he completed a string of material, including piano duets "Variations on a French Song in E minor" and the "Sonata in B Flat Major," as well as several dances and songs.

Schubert's musical output also included the score for the play "Die Zauberharfe" The Magic Harpwhich debuted in August The resulting performances, as well as Schubert's other pieces, greatly expanded his popularity and appeal. He also showed himself to be a visionary. His composition "Quartettsatz [Quartet-Movement] in C minor," helped spark a wave of string quartets that would dominate the music scene later in the decade.

But Schubert had his struggles as well. Inhe was hired by two opera houses, the Karthnerthof Theatre and Theatre-an-der-Wein, to compose a pair of operas, neither of which fared very well. Music publishers, meanwhile, were afraid to take a chance on a young composer like Schubert, whose music was not considered traditional. His fortunes began to change inwhen, with the help of some friends, he began offering his songs on a subscription basis. Money started coming his way.

In Vienna especially, Schubert's harmonious songs and dances were popular. Across the city, concert parties called Schubertiaden sprung up in the homes of wealthy residents. By latehowever, Schubert encountered another difficult period.An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong's charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. Louis Armstrong was born on August 4,in New Orleans, Louisiana, in a neighborhood so poor that it was nicknamed "The Battlefield.

Armstrong had a difficult childhood: His father was a factory worker and abandoned the family soon after Louis's birth. His mother, who often turned to prostitution, frequently left him with his maternal grandmother. Armstrong was obligated to leave school in the fifth grade to begin working. A local Jewish family, the Karnofskys, gave young Armstrong a job collecting junk and delivering coal.

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They also encouraged him to sing and often invited him into their home for meals. On New Year's Eve inArmstrong fired his stepfather's gun in the air during a New Year's Eve celebration and was arrested on the spot. He was then sent to the Colored Waif's Home for Boys. There, he received musical instruction on the cornet and fell in love with music. Inthe home released him, and he immediately began dreaming of a life making music.

While he still had to work odd jobs selling newspapers and hauling coal to the city's famed red-light district, Armstrong began earning a reputation as a fine blues player.

Cole Porter

One of the greatest cornet players in town, Joe "King" Oliver, began acting as a mentor to the young Armstrong, showing him pointers on the horn and occasionally using him as a sub. By the end of his teens, Armstrong had grown up fast. Inhe married Daisy Parker, a prostitute, commencing a stormy union marked by many arguments and acts of violence.

During this time, Armstrong adopted a three-year-old boy named Clarence. The boy's mother, Armstrong's cousin, had died in childbirth. Clarence, who had become mentally disabled from a head injury he had suffered at an early age, was taken care of by Armstrong his entire life. Meanwhile, Armstrong's reputation as a musician continued to grow: Inhe replaced Oliver in Kid Ory's band, then the most popular band in New Orleans. He was soon able to stop working manual labor jobs and began concentrating full-time on his cornet, playing parties, dances, funeral marches and at local "honky-tonks"—a name for small bars that typically host musical acts.

Beginning inArmstrong spent his summers playing on riverboats with a band led by Fate Marable. It was on the riverboat that Armstrong honed his music reading skills and eventually had his first encounters with other jazz legends, including Bix Beiderbecke and Jack Teagarden. Though Armstrong was content to remain in New Orleans, in the summer ofhe received a call from Oliver to come to Chicago and join his Creole Jazz Band on second cornet.

Armstrong accepted, and he was soon taking Chicago by storm with both his remarkably fiery playing and the dazzling two-cornet breaks that he shared with Oliver. He made his first recordings with Oliver on April 5, ; that day, he earned his first recorded solo on "Chimes Blues. Armstrong soon began dating the female pianist in the band, Lillian Hardin. After they married inHardin made it clear that she felt Oliver was holding Armstrong back.

She pushed her husband to cut ties with his mentor and join Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, the top African-American dance band in New York City at the time. Armstrong joined Henderson in the fall of and immediately made his presence felt with a series of solos that introduced the concept of swing music to the band. Armstrong had a great influence on Henderson and his arranger, Don Redman, both of whom began integrating Armstrong's swinging vocabulary into their arrangements—transforming Henderson's band into what is generally regarded as the first jazz big band.

However, Armstrong's southern background didn't mesh well with the more urban, Northern mentality of Henderson's other musicians, who sometimes gave Armstrong a hard time over his wardrobe and the way he talked.

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Henderson also forbade Armstrong from singing, fearing that his rough way of vocalizing would be too coarse for the sophisticated audiences at the Roseland Ballroom. Today, these are generally regarded as the most important and influential recordings in jazz history; on these records, Armstrong's virtuoso brilliance helped transform jazz from an ensemble music to a soloist's art.

His stop-time solos on numbers like "Cornet Chop Suey" and "Potato Head Blues" changed jazz history, featuring daring rhythmic choices, swinging phrasing and incredible high notes.

He also began singing on these recordings, popularizing wordless "scat singing" with his hugely popular vocal on 's "Heebie Jeebies. The Hot Five and Hot Seven were strictly recording groups; Armstrong performed nightly during this period with Erskine Tate's orchestra at the Vendome Theater, often playing music for silent movies.

While performing with Tate inArmstrong finally switched from the cornet to the trumpet. A young pianist from Pittsburgh, Earl Hines, assimilated Armstrong's ideas into his piano playing.He created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in Western music and continued to play what he called "American Music" until shortly before his death in Born on April 29,Ellington was raised by two talented, musical parents in a middle-class neighborhood of Washington, D.

At the age of seven, he began studying piano and earned the nickname "Duke" for his gentlemanly ways. Inspired by his job as a soda jerk, he wrote his first composition, "Soda Fountain Rag," at the age of Despite being awarded an art scholarship to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Ellington followed his passion for ragtime and began to play professionally at age In the s, Ellington performed in Broadway nightclubs as the bandleader of a sextet, a group which in time grew to a piece ensemble.

Ellington sought out musicians with unique playing styles, such as Bubber Miley, who used a plunger to make the "wa-wa" sound, and Joe Nanton, who gave the world his trombone "growl.

Ellington made hundreds of recordings with his bands, appeared in films and on radio, and toured Europe on two occasions in the s. Ellington's fame rose to the rafters in the s when he composed several masterworks, including "Concerto for Cootie," "Cotton Tail" and "Ko-Ko. Perhaps Ellington's most famous jazz tune was "Take the A Train," which was composed by Billy Strayhorn and recorded for commercial purposes on February 15, It was Ellington's sense of musical drama that made him stand out.

His blend of melodies, rhythms and subtle sonic movements gave audiences a new experience—complex yet accessible jazz that made the heart swing. Ellington's autobiography, Music Is My Mistresswas published in Ellington earned 12 Grammy awards from tonine while he was alive. At the age of 19, Ellington married Edna Thompson, who had been his girlfriend since high school, and soon after their marriage, she gave birth to their only child, Mercer Kennedy Ellington.

On May 24,at the age of 75, Ellington died of lung cancer and pneumonia. His last words were, "Music is how I live, why I live and how I will be remembered. We strive for accuracy and fairness.

If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives.Porter was the grandson of a millionaire speculator, and the moderately affluent circumstances of his life probably contributed to the poise and urbanity of his musical style.

He began violin study at the age of six and piano at eight; he composed an operetta in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan at 10 and saw his first compositiona waltz, published a year later.

As a student at Yale University B. He made his Broadway debut with the musical comedy See America Firstwhich, however, closed after 15 performances. He was not, as later reported, in French military service. They spent the next two decades in lively partying and social traveling, sometimes together, sometimes apart. He concurrently worked on a number of motion pictures.

Porter was one of the wittiest of all lyricists, with a subtlety of expression and a mastery of the interior rhyme. His work continues to stand as the epitome of sophisticated, civilized detachment in the popular song form. His large output might have been even more vast had not a horse-riding accident in left him a semi-invalid, necessitating 30 operations and the eventual amputation of a leg.

Print Cite. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login. External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History.

Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Among his finer works are Oh, Boy! Musicaltheatrical production that is characteristically sentimental and amusing in nature, with a simple but distinctive plot, and offering music, dancing, and dialogue.

The antecedents of the musical can be traced to a number of 19th-century forms of….

biography songs significance facts

Santa Monica was laid out in by Senator John P. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.Like Stevie Wonderhe was a rare composer who could perform at a professional level on virtually all the instruments he required, and a considerable number of his recordings feature him in all the performing roles.

Later records incorporated a vast array of influences, including jazzpunkheavy metalthe Beatlesand hip-hopusually within an overall approach most informed by funky up-tempo styles and soulful ballads ; the latter often featured his expressive falsetto singing.

Taking an early interest in music, Prince began playing the piano at age 7 and had mastered the guitar and drums by the time he joined his first band at age With very few African American residents, his hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was an unlikely site for the development of a major Black star, but Prince even managed to lead other local musicians, most notably Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewisto major success.

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Much of his work, in its lyrics and imagery, struggles with the constriction of social conventions and categories. Prince explored typographical oddities in his song titles and lyrics as another way of evading convention.

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In he announced that he had changed his name to a combination of the male and female gender signs—. There is also a strong religious impulse in some of his music, sometimes fused into a kind of sacred erotic experience that has roots in African American churches. Purple Rain made him one of the major stars of the s and remains his biggest-selling album. The album, which was the Academy Award -winning soundtrack to a film of the same name, also earned a Grammy Award.

Thereafter, he continued to produce inventive music of broad appeal; outside the United States he was particularly popular in Britain and the rest of Europe. As a backlog of his completed but unreleased recordings piled up, he gave songs to other performers—some of whom recorded at and for Paisley Parkthe studio and label he established in suburban Minneapolis—and even organized ostensibly independent groups, such as the Time, to record his material.

His album Emancipation celebrated the forthcoming end of his Warner Brothers contract, which enabled him to release as much music as he liked on his NPG label. Later he explored marketing his work on the Internet and through private arrangements with retail chains as a means of circumventing the control of large record companies.

Inhowever, he released Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic under the Arista label; a collaboration with Sheryl CrowChuck DAni DiFranco, and others, the album received mixed reviews and failed to find a large audience.

Prince who, following the formal termination of his contract with Warner Brothers instopped using the symbol as his name was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in That year he also released Musicologyan album that both sold well and was much praised by critics. Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, An autopsy later revealed that he had died from an accidental overdose of fentanyla powerful opioid.

His memoir, The Beautiful Oneswas released in It included text as well as photographs and original lyrics. Prince Article Media Additional Info. Print Cite. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login. External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. See Article History. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.

Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. She also performed live with him on his tour the following year. Copeland became a strong advocate for diversifying the field of ballet and creating access for dancers of varying racial and economic backgrounds. Prince would make much more of the approach.

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Meanwhile, a clutch of local alternative rock….Ma Rainey was the first popular stage entertainer to incorporate authentic blues into her song repertoire. She performed during the first three decades of the 20th century and enjoyed mass popularity during the blues craze of the s.

Rainey's music has served as inspiration for such poets as Langston Hughes. Described by African American poet Sterling Brown in Black Culture and Black Consciousness as "a person of the folk," Rainey recorded in various musical settings and exhibited the influence of genuine rural blues. She is widely recognized as the first great female blues vocalist.

Rainey worked at the Springer Opera House inperforming as a singer and dancer in the local talent show, "A Bunch of Blackberries. Billed as "Ma" and "Pa" Rainey the couple toured Southern tent shows and cabarets.

Though she did not hear blues in Columbus, Rainey's extensive travels had, bybrought her into contact with authentic country blues, which she worked into her song repertoire.

While performing with the Moses Stokes troupe inthe Raineys were introduced to the show's newly recruited dancer, Bessie Smith. Eight years Smith's senior, Rainey quickly befriended the young performer. Despite earlier historical accounts crediting Rainey as Smith's vocal coach, it has been generally agreed by modern scholars that Rainey played less of a role in the shaping of Smith's singing style. Though they shared an extraordinary command of the idiom, the two women delivered their messages in styles and voices that were dissimilar and manifestly personal.

With the help of Mayo "Ink" Williams, Rainey first recorded for the Paramount label in three years after the first blues side recorded by Mamie Smith. Already a popular singer in the Southern theater circuit, Rainey entered the recording industry as an experienced and stylistically mature talent.

Not like Ma. That same year, Rainey recorded "See See Rider," a number that, as Arnold Shaw observed in Black Popular Music in Americaemerged as "one of the most famous and recorded of all blues songs. Rainey's was the first recording of that song, giving her a hold on the copyright, and one of the best of the more than versions. In AugustRainey — along with the 12 string guitar of Miles Pruitt and an unknown second guitar accompanist — recorded the eight-bar blues number "Shave 'Em Dry.

McNeil observed that the number "is typical of Rainey's output, a driving, unornamented vocal propelled along by an accompanist who plays the number straight. Her artistry brings life to what in lesser hands would be a dull, elementary piece. Unlike many other blues musicians, Rainey earned a reputation as a professional on stage and in business.

We never tried to put any swindles on her. During Rainey's five-year recording career at Paramount, she cut nearly ninety sides, most of which dealt with the subjects of love and sexuality — bawdy themes that often earned her the billing of 'Madam Rainey. Ma Rainey's blues were simple, straightforward stories about heartbreak, promiscuity, drinking binges, the odyssey of travel, the workplace and the prison road gang, magic and superstition — in short, the southern landscape of African Americans in the Post-Reconstruction era.

With the success of her early recordings, Rainey took part in a Paramount promotional tour that featured a newly assembled back-up band. Inpianist and arranger Thomas A. Serving as both director and manager, Dorsey assembled able musicians who could read arrangements as well as play in a down "home blues" style. Rainey's tour debut at Chicago's Grand Theater on State Street marked the first appearance of a "down home" blues artist at the famous southside venue.

Draped in long gowns and covered in diamonds and a necklace of gold pieces, Rainey had a powerful command over her audiences. She often opened her stage show singing "Moonshine Blues" inside the cabinet of an over-sized victrola, from which she emerged to greet a near-frantic audience. She was in the spotlight. She possessed listeners; they swayed, they rocked, they moaned and groaned, as they felt the blues with her. Though the TOBA and vaudeville circuits had gone into decline by the early s, Rainey still performed, often resorting to playing tent shows.

Following the death of her mother and sister, Rainey retired from the music business in and settled in Columbus.

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For the next several years, she devoted her time to the ownership of two entertainment venues — the Lyric Theater and the Airdome — as well as activities in the Friendship Baptist Church. A great contributor to America's rich blues tradition, Rainey's music has served as inspiration for African American poets such as Hughes and Sterling Brown, the latter of whom paid tribute to the majestic singer in the poem "Ma Rainey," which appeared in his collection Southern Road.

In Black PearlsDaphane Harrison praised Rainey as the first great blues stage singer: "The good-humored, rollicking Rainey loved life, loved love, and most of all loved her people.


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