Dec. 4, 2014
In the mid 1960’s African-American musicians carved out a fresh new genre of music. Funk as it came to be known, was a musical concoction based on several different musical styles such as Soul, Jazz and R&B. For the first time, melody and harmony took a back seat. Focusing instead on a central rhythmic groove. Interweaving rhythms were complemented with a single riff or a vamp based on a single chord. Traditionally speaking Funk music featured instruments such as Electric Guitar, Bass, Drums and Organ. The inclusion of a horn section also became extremely common in Funk music. Saxophones, Trumpets and Trombones all feature heavily in Funk and again were often used to accentuate rhythmic hits. During the 1960’s the influence of the syncopated style of Cuban music influenced the development of Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans. Musicians from outside New Orleans would soon learn to adapt these rhythmic methods and to incorporate these in the development of funk music. Most notably James Brown and those he wrote and performed with - made the transition from shuffle rhythms and 12/8 ballads to songs featuring a 4/4 time signature and an entirely new approach to drumming that emulated the famous New Orleans style. Browns original style of funky soul would soon influence a whole new generation of funk bands that emerged throughout the 60’s and 70’s.