The “Other” Music Cities: Which Places Have Most Influenced Music?
We all know that Nashville is renowned for literally being called “Music City”, home to country artists and other talent that has made it big all over the world. Following in its Southern USA footsteps is New Orleans, widely believed to be the birthplace of jazz. But where else has influenced music, and how?
Rock and pop music today may not be what it is now if it weren’t for the absolute explosion that was The Beatles. Hailing from Liverpool in the UK’s North West, the four-piece created Beatles-mania, which swept the world in the 60’s like wildfire. Never before had a band captured hearts and a collective obsessiveness in this manner! Everyone who was anyone knew about John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison. They made their way into popular culture in a way that made people want to follow them outside of just their records.
Of course, music continues to influence popular culture to this day. It affects the fashion we wear, right down to the activities we get involved in. For example, games can even come with musical themes, like the popular Guitar Hero series, as well as in fan-friendly forms such as the Guns ‘N’ Roses and Motorhead slot games playable on the Zinger Bingo site, allowing fans to interact with one hobby while listening to the music from another.
Austin, TX, USA
Austin is known for being the Live Music Capital of the world and so it’s no surprise that lovers of music should flock here to see for themselves. It’s home to a multitude of venues and, of course, major festivals. It’s not uncommon to enter a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or anywhere else, and find yourself serenaded by an up-and-coming band or a unique singer-songwriter. It seems that the 250 music venues aren’t enough, and creatives will always be looking for a new place to play.
SXSW is largely considered to be the ultimate showcase of “who’s who” in the industry, from emerging artists with new music to seasoned international legends. The displays which go on here affect the music scene all over the world.
This beautiful European city is renowned for being “The Capital of Classical Music”. In times before recording artists and celebrity culture, Vienna was home to some of the most important composers of the classical music era in years gone by, such as Joseph Haydn and Ludwig Van Beethoven. The musicians achieving success during this early 19th Century period formed part of what is known as Viennese classicism.
Vienna’s legendary influence also has its own unique kind of folk music and many world-famous musical venues. It’s also not the only famous Austrian musical city, with Salzburg making its own name for itself with “The Sound of Music”.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
In the late 50’s and early 60’s, Bossa Nova made its name throughout Brazil. As a sub-genre with obvious nods to samba intertwined with American jazz influences, it’s now known as an important movement that transcends both. It forms a major part of Música Popular Brasileira, which means Brazilian Popular Music. Antonio Carlos Jobim (known as Tom Jobim), Vinícius de Moraes (nicknamed “Poetinha”), João Gilberto, and Roberto Menescal are widely respected as the founding fathers of the genre, and part of the reason for its immortal popularity.
If you visit Rio today, you can see how the music has affected the city, and you can even enjoy it for yourself, all over town.
Everyone knows that Detroit is the birthplace of Motown but what’s interesting to note is how other cities helped shape that and also the ways of the city itself. A journalist researching the genre noted that its roots came from migration from all over the USA, its new residents bringing a mix of church music, jazz, and blues.
However, he also said that the construction of Detroit itself, and the way that homes had typically just two storeys, as opposed to high-rise flats, allowed for the easy transportation of pianos and other instruments so integral to the sound.
“Mapping Detroit’s Hidden Social Geograph” (CC BY 2.0) by umseas
If urban design can influence a city’s sound, so too can its people and its history. Who knows which other cities will prevail as champions of a certain sound, across genres we haven’t even heard of yet?
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