October 26, 2021

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Music of 1920s versus 1970s

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The 1920s witnessed the dominance of popular music commonly known as pop music with the industry facing threats from technological advancements such as growth of radio and electrical recording. The invention of radio offered free music which needed no expensive musical instruments and musical skills required for creating personal music at home, or incurring expenses to play on the gramophone.

The 1920s witnessed the dominance of popular music commonly known as pop music with the industry facing threats from technological advancements such as growth of radio and electrical recording. The invention of radio offered free music which needed no expensive musical instruments and musical skills required for creating personal music at home, or incurring expenses to play on the gramophone. There was also some dominance of blues, Jazz music styles and travelling dance bands which occasionally played popular music. Owing to the desolation from the first world war, music styles during this period was optimistic and quite upbeat as the economy was doing well and parties roared regardless of the ban in the United States.

The music industry in the 20s was just being founded and a lot seemed possible at the time. The 1970s on the other hand witnessed a shift in music styles occasioned by the invention of the glam rock, a self-indulgent, extravagant form of rock incorporating colorful costumes, some makeup and elements of pop and hard rock. Glam rock was made famous by acts such as David Bowie, Gary Glitter and Elton John. Disco music also emerged in the 1970s with artists such as Sunshine Band, The Bee Gees, KC, Gloria Gaynor, and Donna Summer helping establish an electronic sound. Disco music styles spread more as a result of the Saturday Night Fever film success in 1977 with records created discos and dance floor being churned out by record labels.

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In 1920s, the Charleston was the most recognized and famous style. This was quite similar to Ragtime music from the Charleston show. Several orchestras and bands that had dance music style hits in this period transitioned between various genres on the basis of the common style at the time. The popularity of dance music was also reinforced by fashions during the period with lose fitting clothes such as the Flapper dress codes for women and sportswear being common for men. The 1970s on the other hand saw the disappearance of music festivals as a result of imminent dangers in attending them. Drugs, riots and violent groupings led to the cancellation of many possibly huge festivals.

As opposed to lose clothes, the 1970s saw an upsurge in glamorous imagery as well as glittering costumes which was characterized by the Rock and Rouge due to their seemingly bi-sexual overtones. Glam rock was also famous as T. Rex and Ziggy Stardust paraded their performances on stage. Startling effects such as fireworks reminded people of the theatrics as Alice Cooper spiced her concerts with the Broadway play based in hell. Pop and rock was so huge with legends such as Stevie Wonder and Barry White. This period also saw the emergence of Reggae in the United States championed by Jimmy Cliff and the Wailers and Johnny Nash creating the first reggae release.

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The 1920s music styles were a bit poor with regard to quality due to technological challenges as well as experiences. Nevertheless, it borrowed from earlier music styles. Pop music was for so long popular among many with artists creating songs that matched the style. This was the decade that signified the birth of modern music, the music industry was just starting to shape up and several technologies helped generate new music styles. The 1970s was seen as a bridge between serious music styles that was created from the sixties. Disco music was so pervasive that most artists created disco songs just to keep up with the trend including Rod Stewart and Blondie. Punk rock was also seriously developed with bands such as the Ramones and Sex Pistols making headlines.

Public performances were more common in the 1920s as radio was not so much developed, on the other hand the 1970s saw music styles that favored radio more due to the insecurities attributed to big gatherings and the rowdy groups. It is also important to note that the 1970s saw an emergence of professional music producers as opposed to 1920 where artists sang more on live shows.  There are significant differences in music styles of the 1920s and 1970s, given the time difference, so much had changed. People also change with time and artists created music that was of better quality with each change. There was also much flexibility in the 1970s music styles as compared to those of 1920s.

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