蓝草 Bluegrass

蓝草音乐(bluegrass music)美国基础音乐的一种形式,根源于爱尔兰、苏格兰和英国传统音乐。同Jazz音乐相似,在蓝草音乐中,每种乐器轮流主导演奏的节奏旋律,与此同时其他乐器作背景伴奏;而在古时音乐(old-time music)中,所有乐器或者同时协同演奏,或者由一种乐器主导演奏的节奏和旋律,而其他乐器只能伴奏。
与主流的乡村音乐不同,演奏蓝草音乐时基本使用原声学乐器,几乎很少会用到电声乐器。经常使用的乐器有小提琴(fiddle)、班卓琴(banjo)、原声吉他(acoustic guitar)、曼陀林(mandolin)和立式贝司(upright bass),这些乐器最初由农庄黑人舞蹈乐队普遍使用,这些乐队擅长布鲁斯和爵士音乐的集体表演,但与此同时他们也在遗弃这些原声学乐器,后来由白人音乐家们(van der Merwe,1989)重新使用并得以推广。

Bluegrass music grew out of traditional string band music that formed the roots of country music. In the '40s, country music began to splinter into different directions, as honky tonk and country-pop became genres of their own. A certain segment of country musicians continued playing traditional string music. Led by Bill Monroe, these musicians adhered to the songs, structures, and conventions of string bands, but they made the music faster, harder, and more technically demanding. The result was bluegrass; the genre was named after Bill Monroe's backing band, the Blue Grass Boys. After its inception in the mid-'40s, and its popularization in the '50s, the sound had become part of country music, and there were legions of bands that followed in their footsteps. In the late '60s, a number of bluegrass groups began expanding the possibilities of the genre, much to the chagrin of many of the music's most popular artists and dedicated fans. Consequently, the new breed of bluegrass groups were dubbed progressive bluegrass, while those that adhered to the music's heritage were tagged traditional bluegrass. Over the next three decades, progressive bluegrass changed frequently, while the sound of traditional bluegrass rarely varied.

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