Soul and Funk Music Styles

Subcategories

Funk is a distinct style of music originated by African-Americans, e.g., James Brown and his band members (especially Maceo and Melvin Parker), and groups like The Meters. Funk best can be recognized by its syncopated rhythms; thick bass line (often based on an "on the one" beat); razor-sharp rhythm guitars; chanted or hollered vocals (as that of Marva Whitney or the Bar-Kays); strong, rhythm-oriented horn sections; prominent percussion; an upbeat attitude; African tones; danceability; and strong jazz influences (e.g., as in the music of Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Eddie Harris, and others).
Soul music is a combination of rhythm and blues and gospel which began in the late 1950s in the United States. Rhythm and blues (a term coined by music writer and record producer Jerry Wexler) is itself a combination of blues and jazz, and arose in the 1940s as small groups, often utilizing saxophones, built upon the blues tradition. Soul music is differentiated by its use of gospel-music devices, its greater emphasis on vocalists, and its merging of religious and secular themes.

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