Rhythm and blues is more often than not abbreviated as R&B or RnB. It is a genre of pop African-American music. This genre was birthed in the 1940s. At this time, the suave and sophisticated yet rocking and jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat was making its way to more popularity. This is why the term “Rhythm and blues” or RnB was used to name this genre. It was meant to market the urban African Americans. Around the years 1950s to 1970s, bands have been formed with their RnB inspired hits. The bands were often consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, and sometimes background vocalists. The RnB lyrical themes often summarize or showcase the African-American experience of pain and their quest for freedom and joy. The lyrics focus more on the themes of success and failures, may it be socially, economically, emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, etc.
What are the kinds of rhythm and blues?
There are over 16 kinds of rhythm and blues. The most known kinds, however, are the contemporary RnB, disco and funk. Below are their definitions:
- The contemporary RnB possesses a furnished record of production It contains drum machine-backed rhythms. Occasionally, a saxophone-laced beatis used to give a jazz feel. The use of smooth and sweet style of vocal arrangement is also one of the characteristics of the contemporary RnB. Around 1900s, the electronic influences started to help shape up the contemporary RnB. Since then, there has been a constant use of hip hop or dance-inspired beats in contemporary RnB. The contemporary R&B vocalists are often known for their use of melisma or a group of notes sung together as one syllable.
- Disco is a genre of music that contains the elements funk, soul, and pop. This kind of music is so upbeat and subjectively swings people off their feet. The disco music was at its peak during 1970s. 1970s were the years when disco music was renewed. Another reason why it was popular in the 1970s is because it stood out from the other rising genres at that time. It was distinct from the other genres such as folk, country, etc. The disco music was often played in parties, celebrations, night outs, and mostly in the clubs. Most of its audiences, at that time, were club-goers. Usually, the African American are the most engrossed in this type of music. Amazingly, women embraced disco more than the men did. In time, this type of music has eventually expanded to several other popular genres.
- Funk is the type of music that gets its audiences flustered yet pumped. This is because of its exceptional beat. This type of music originated around the 1960s. This was also the time when the African-American musicians discovered the rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and R&B and many more upbeat genres of music. Funk music highlights melody and harmony but brings a strong rhythmicgroove of bass and drums as well. Organs or keyboards and drums also accompany the funk music. Depending on the performer, funk music can also be accompanied by horns like the trumpets, saxophones, flute, trombones and the like. Funk music is notable with its strong emphasis on the very first beat of its every measure, bass lines, patterns, etc.
The other kinds of RnB music fall under the 3 main categories of RnB that were briefly defined above. Somehow, the kinds of RnB are difficult to be distinguished from one another since they more or less possess the same elements and structure. They also utilize almost the same instruments.So if you want an upbeat in your music life then go for rhythm and blues as your emotions will really sway on to this kind. Listening to this genre will give you freedom and joy of expressing your emotions. So enjoy Rhythm and blues!