For My American Cowboy - JL
Partners in English:
There is a great wealth of world music out there just waiting to be discovered by many newcomers to the English language and to enthusiasts of world instruments. One of the most unique world instruments is the internationalfiddleand in this section I am introducing theAmerican bluegrass fiddle.
For example, there is the English fiddle and the Chinese fiddle. In addition to these fiddles there are the Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian, Cajun, Mexican, Eastern European, Indian and a host of other forms of fiddle world instruments. The classic roots of many of the styles of the American bluegrass fiddles have originated from English, Irish, and Scottish settlers and can be heard in the featured American classic song from 1979,“The Devil Went Down toGeorgia.”(Click onto the link below for a really great cultural experience)
In my last article I requested that you perform a “cultured English test”, specifically: a way to measure your aptitude for knowledge of authentic American culture. I labeled it,“100% Cowboy.”
While you are busy testing your100% Cowboyhere is another classic Chinese bit of culture worth knowing as it relates to the American fiddle. It is the Chinese erhu fiddle.(Pronounced are-who).Of course the history of the erhu fiddle lends to the history of one of the most richly mystical sounds in Chinese music originating from a westward migration family of instruments collectively called the Hu-Qin. This ancient world instrument, the fiddle, is the great ancestor of both the violin and erhu and is thought to have appeared in Persia some 3,000 years ago. Incidentally, the first violins appeared in Europe and on a route eastalong the Silk Roadwith the erhu being first recognized during theSong Dynasty(AD 420-79).
Go tothe link above and listen to the American bluegrass fiddle being played by the Charlie Daniels Band. Thecrescendois toward the end when the fiddle is played at its highest level and speed. The fiddle’s ultimately beautiful and astoundingly magnificent flow has a sound which distinctly captures theAmericanred, white and blue spirit.
From fiddle playing to the use of the natural voice there is an infamous American crooner who comes to mind using a “natural wind instrument.” This gentleman was an old timer named Otis Redding. Otis Redding has a great American“oldie but goodie”song called, “The Dock of the Bay, 1968” which contains some pretty ample professionalwhistling.
(My advice would be to download this classic oldie just for thewhistlingor you can catch it at the link above). An oldie like The Dock of the Bay and the old country – western tune from the Charlie Daniels Band are the epitome of great American music. It is interesting to note that the music from these artists is in the hearts and souls of every American baby boomer and for that matter anyone over the age of thirty-five. Below are some of the styles of music from the native English speaking countries.
Classic English Conceptual Music / Sounds:
· American Country-Western & British Genres of Music(Listen to the American bluegrass fiddle, the English fiddle. Also take note of Rap, Rock n’ Roll, Pop, Alternative, and Blues styles of American music)
· Irish Celtic, Medieval and Irish Country Music(listen to the Irish fiddle, tinwhistles, flutes, accordions, tenor banjo, guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, uilleann pipes, bagpipes & harps. Also the bodhrans, spoons and bones)
· Australian Country Music(listen to the Didjeridoo wind instrument)
· Canadian Country Music(listen to Flutes and Drums)
· South African Country Music(listen to Akadinda, pipes, bows, and horn instruments)
· New ZealandCountry Music(listen to the wind and stringed instruments)
Classic American Music:
· The Devil Went Down to Georgia– Song, byThe Charlie Daniels Band(listen to the American fiddle)
· Sweet Home Alabama– Song, byLynard Skynard(listen to the classic American guitar as this song has become a classic “theme song” for my country)
· Dock of the Bay – Song, byOtis Redding(listen to the American whistling)
· Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy– Song, byBig and Rich(listen to theharmonicaand to the American fiddle, non-classic)
|About the author:
Gia Lovelady-Johnson is an English Language Consultant and a private American College Admissions Counselor from the United States of America who teaches English at several locations throughout Shanghai. Ms. Lovelady-Johnson's specialty is a principle methodology for teaching English, "The Notebook Project", which is proven widely successful and whose fast-track format for teaching adults and university students spoken English and American Culture is gaining in popularity in Shanghai.