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Visual & Performing Arts
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Reasons As To Why Ray Charles Music Was Special (Coursework Sample)


The task required one to explore the so not unscrutinized kind of music. One was supposed to identified a musician , say what makes the person music special, identifying characteristics and what influences his music


Ray Charles
Ray Charles was an American singer, pianist, bandleader and also a composer. In his time, Charles was the leading entertainer referred to as ‘the Genius’. He is credited for the early development of soul music-a combination of blues, gospel rhythm, and jazz. He began his music at a tender age –five on the piano in Florida after his parents had moved there (Lotha, 1). At the age of six and due to glaucoma condition, Charles went blind and for this reason, he had to attend St Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind. Here, he studied music and learned how to play piano, saxophone, trumpet and so many other musical related instruments. But his love for piano saw him leave school at the age of just fifteen to play piano professionally. Due to the immediacy of the emotions, he was capable of evoking in his performances; Charles was very successful in building a career in music. He emerged as a jazz pianist and a blues in the late 1940s. He recorded some classics that sold millions of copies in the early 1950s. By the year 1954, he had managed to merge gospel influences and blues. His prowess on the piano and band arrangement revived the quality of jazz music then (Lotha, 1). Not only did he do jazz, but other music genres also. He did pop music where he recorded a couple of hit such as ‘Georgia on My Mind’ that became best-sellers. His singles and albums (such as Western Music and Modern sounds in the country) sold millions of copies. But later, his music put more emphasis on pop renditions jazz standards as well as show tunes. His music career saw him tour the US and other parts of the World together with his band. He also appeared in many television programs as well as films such as “the Blue Brothers.’ Until his death, Charles was a recipient of many both national international music awards. For instance the lifetime achievement award, 13 Grammies
Reasons as to why Ray Charles music was special
Ray Charles’ music way special in that he had managed to merge R&B, gospel vocals, blues, contemporary jazz and also country music to come up with a new style of music that was like no other. This is what we know as soul music today. This was unlike other musicians then who did blues, pop, jazz or even R&B. His singing was another aspect that made his music special. He had a singing style that can be said to be one of the most emotion and unique (Rolling Stone, 1). It’s only a few musicians then such as Billie Holiday and Elvis that could come close. It is well known, that Charles had one of the unique voices in the music industry then. His music was unique because he used to improvise things in between the music such as ‘Huh-Hey’ or even little laugh something that not so many musicians can do on their songs He was able to sly using a song. There are many feelings in his songs. One can just feel him by just listening to his songs. His singing also had something different apart from singing soulfully. In his music, Charles imparted his soul such that when one listens to his music he can realize that it’s something that is coming from deep within. He had managed to take the music to a whole new level by just taking the grunt, whoop, groan and the yelp and turned them into music (Rolling Stone). His artistic control of the recordings is something that makes his music different from the rest of the musicians then. He had a very high degree of artistic control which he put in his 1960s hits. The fact that he had a high degree of artistic control made his music special and thus helping to acquire stardom in pop music. He could easily attach R&B to pop music and it worked very well.
Characteristics of Ray Charles music
Ray Charles developed and also did soul music. This kind of music has its origins in rhythm, gospel and blues genres. Charles and other musicians then popularized this kind of music then especially in big cities such as New York, Chicago and Detroit (Carter, 1). Charles music then has got certain characteristics in terms of various musical aspects that identify with it.
This type of music lends emotions. So the soul singer then- Charles made use of a variety of tones that range smooth and gentle, to harsh and raspy so as to put across different emotions.
Rhythm and blues
This kind of music had a rhythm that was very definitive due to the fact that it borrows heavily 3 and 12 bar lyrical style that is mostly used in rhythm (Carte, 1). So, pioneers of this music, Charles included used a very definitive kind of rhythm.
Call and response
This is a situation, where the singer calls a saying or even a phrase for that matter and then he or sh...
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