Rhythm and blues

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FunkSkaSoulRock and roll - Reggae

Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s.[1] The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.[2]

The term has subsequently had a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s and beyond, the term rhythm and blues was frequently applied to blues records.[3] Starting in the 1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term "R&B" became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. By the 1970s, rhythm and blues was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as contemporary R&B.

Contents

Etymology

Jerry Wexler of Billboard magazine coined the term "rhythm and blues" in 1948 as a musical marketing term in the United States.[4] It replaced the term "race music", which originally came from within the black community, but was deemed offensive in the postwar world.[5][6] Writer/producer Robert Palmer defined rhythm & blues as "a catchall term referring to any music that was made by and for black Americans".[7] He has used the term "R&B" as a synonym for jump blues.[8] However, Allmusic separates it from jump blues because of its stronger, gospel-esque backbeat.[9] Lawrence Cohn, author of Nothing but the Blues, writes that "rhythm and blues" was an umbrella term invented for industry convenience. According to him, the term embraced all black music except classical music and religious music, unless a gospel song sold enough to break into the charts.[10]

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