Music of New York City
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The music of New York City is a diverse and important field in the world of music; no American city has as central a place in music history as New York City. It has long been a thriving home for jazz, rock and the blues, and is the birthplace of salsa and hip hop. The city's culture, a melting pot of nations from around the world, has produced vital folk music scenes such as Irish-American music and Jewish klezmer. Beginning with the rise of popular sheet music in the early 20th century, New York's Broadway musical theater and Tin Pan Alley's songcraft, New York has been a major part of the American music industry.
The New York club scene is an important part of the city's music scene, birthplace to many styles of music from disco to punk rock; some of these clubs, such as Studio 54, Max's Kansas City, Mercer Arts Center, ABC No Rio, and CBGB's, reached an iconic statuses in the United States and the world. New York is home to several major jazz clubs, including Birdland, Sweet Rhythm (formerly Sweet Basil), Village Vanguard and The Blue Note, the latter being one of the premier spots for jazz lovers. There was a time—now long gone—when 52nd Street in Manhattan, with its numerous clubs, was one of jazz's epicenters. Future generations of music venues would retain the prolific elements of this culture. Since transmogrifying the local dance scene (deep house) to form "acid-jazz" in the late 1980s, Groove Academy/Giant Step has launched several major-label bands such as Groove Collective and Nuyorican Soul.
The Greenwich Village folk scene is home to venues such as the long-standing landmark Bottom Line. New York's rock scene includes clubs such as Irving Plaza, while the city's avant-garde "downtown" scene includes The Kitchen, Roulette and Knitting Factory. The Latin and world music scene features venues such as S.O.B.'s and the Wetlands Preserve, which closed in 2001.
Disco and house
Disco is an up-tempo style of dance music that originated in the early 1970s, with its center in the United States in New York. As discotheques grew more popular later in the decade, they began moving to larger venues. Many of these were in New York, including Paradise Garage and Studio 54.
In the early 1980s, house music, a direct descendent of disco, was forged in the underground clubs of Chicago, Detroit, and New York. The common element of most house music is a 4/4 beat generated by a drum machine or other electronic means (such as a sampler), together with a solid (usually also electronically generated) bassline. Upon this foundation are added electronically generated sounds and samples of music such as jazz, blues and synth pop.
Punk and alternative rock
New York City had the earliest documented punk rock scene in the United States. Drawing on local influences such as The Velvet Underground, Richard Hell and the New York Dolls, punk music developed at clubs such as CBGB and Max's Kansas City. Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Blondie, and other artsy New Wave artists were popular in the mid to late 1970s, as bands like the Ramones were establishing an American punk rock sound. No Wave existed almost only in New York and raised Glenn Branca, Lydia Lunch and Sonic Youth.