Beat music

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Not to be confused with Big beat. Beat music_sentence_0

This article is about the genre of music developed in the UK. Beat music_sentence_1

For the Apple Inc. music service, see Beats Music. Beat music_sentence_2

For other musical beats, see Beat (disambiguation). Beat music_sentence_3

"Merseybeat" and "Mersey Sound" redirect here. Beat music_sentence_4

For other uses of Merseybeat, see Merseybeat (disambiguation). Beat music_sentence_5

For the poetry anthology, see The Mersey Sound (anthology). Beat music_sentence_6

Beat music_table_infobox_0

BeatBeat music_header_cell_0_0_0
Stylistic originsBeat music_header_cell_0_1_0 Beat music_cell_0_1_1
Cultural originsBeat music_header_cell_0_2_0 Late 1950s – early 1960s, UKBeat music_cell_0_2_1
Derivative formsBeat music_header_cell_0_3_0 Beat music_cell_0_3_1
SubgenresBeat music_header_cell_0_4_0
Regional scenesBeat music_header_cell_0_5_0
Other topicsBeat music_header_cell_0_6_0

Beat music, British beat, or Merseybeat (after bands from Liverpool and nearby areas beside the River Mersey) is a popular music genre, influenced by rock and roll, skiffle, and traditional pop music, that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s. Beat music_sentence_7

Origin Beat music_section_0

The exact origins of the terms 'beat music' and 'Merseybeat' are uncertain. Beat music_sentence_8

The "beat" in each, however, derived from the driving rhythms which the bands had adopted from their rock and roll, rhythm and blues and soul music influences, rather than the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s. Beat music_sentence_9

As the initial wave of rock and roll subsided in the later 1950s, "big beat" music, later shortened to "beat", became a live dance alternative to the balladeers like Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, and Cliff Richard who were dominating the charts. Beat music_sentence_10

The German anthropologist and music critic Ernest Borneman, who lived in England from 1933 to 1960, claimed to have coined the term in a column in Melody Maker magazine to describe the British imitation of American Rock'n'Roll, Rhythm & Blues and Skiffle bands. Beat music_sentence_11

The name Mersey Beat was used for a Liverpool music magazine founded in 1961 by Bill Harry. Beat music_sentence_12

Harry claims to have coined the term "based on a policeman's beat and not that of the music". Beat music_sentence_13

The band the Pacifics were renamed the Mersey Beats in February 1962 by Bob Wooler, MC at the Cavern Club, and in April that year they became the Merseybeats. Beat music_sentence_14

With the rise of the Beatles in 1963, the terms Mersey sound and Merseybeat were applied to bands and singers from Liverpool, the first time in British pop music that a sound and a location were linked together. Beat music_sentence_15

The equivalent scenes in Birmingham and London were described as Brum beat and the Tottenham Sound respectively. Beat music_sentence_16

Characteristics Beat music_section_1

The most distinctive characteristic of beat music was its strong beat, using the backbeat common to rock and roll and rhythm and blues, but often with a driving emphasis on all the beats of 4/4 bar. Beat music_sentence_17

The rhythm itself—described by Alan Clayson as "a changeless four-four offbeat on the snare drum"—was developed in the clubs in Hamburg, West Germany, where many English groups, including the Beatles, performed in the early 1960s and where it was known as the mach schau (make show) beat. Beat music_sentence_18

The 8/8 rhythm was flexible enough to be adopted for songs from a range of genres. Beat music_sentence_19

In addition, according to music writer Dave Laing, Beat music_sentence_20

Beat groups usually had simple guitar-dominated line-ups, with vocal harmonies and catchy tunes. Beat music_sentence_21

The most common instrumentation of beat groups featured lead, rhythm and bass guitars plus drums, as popularized by the Beatles, the Searchers, and others. Beat music_sentence_22

Beat groups—even those with a separate lead singer—often sang both verses and choruses in close harmony, resembling doo wop, with nonsense syllables in the backing vocals. Beat music_sentence_23

Emergence Beat music_section_2

In the late 1950s, a flourishing culture of groups began to emerge, often out of the declining skiffle scene, in major urban centres in the UK like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London. Beat music_sentence_24

This was particularly true in Liverpool, where it has been estimated that there were around 350 different bands active, often playing ballrooms, concert halls and clubs. Beat music_sentence_25

Liverpool was perhaps uniquely placed within Britain to be the point of origin of a new form of music. Beat music_sentence_26

Commentators have pointed to a combination of local solidarity, industrial decline, social deprivation, and the existence of a large population of Irish origin, the influence of which has been detected in Beat music. Beat music_sentence_27

It was also a major port with links to America, particularly through the Cunard Yanks, which made for much greater access to American records and instruments like guitars, which could not easily be imported due to trade restrictions. Beat music_sentence_28

As a result, Beat bands were heavily influenced by American groups of the era, such as Buddy Holly and the Crickets (from which group the Beatles derived their name, combining it with a pun on the beat in their music), and to a lesser extent by British rock and roll groups such as the Shadows. Beat music_sentence_29

After the national success of the Beatles in Britain from 1962, a number of Liverpool performers were able to follow them into the charts, including Gerry & The Pacemakers, the Searchers, and Cilla Black. Beat music_sentence_30

The first act who were not from Liverpool or managed by Brian Epstein to break through in the UK were Freddie and the Dreamers, who were based in Manchester, a short distance away, as were Herman's Hermits and the Hollies. Beat music_sentence_31

Outside of Liverpool many local scenes were less influenced by rock and roll and more by the rhythm and blues and later directly by the blues. Beat music_sentence_32

These included bands from Birmingham who were often grouped with the beat movement, the most successful being the Spencer Davis Group and the Moody Blues. Beat music_sentence_33

Similar blues influenced bands who broke out from local scenes to national prominence were the Animals from Newcastle and Them from Belfast. Beat music_sentence_34

From London, the term Tottenham Sound was largely based around the Dave Clark Five, but other London-based British rhythm and blues and rock bands who benefited from the beat boom of this era included the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and the Yardbirds. Beat music_sentence_35

British Invasion Beat music_section_3

Main article: British Invasion Beat music_sentence_36

The Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show soon after led to chart success. Beat music_sentence_37

During the next two years, the Animals, Petula Clark, the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones, Donovan, Peter and Gordon, Manfred Mann, Freddie and the Dreamers, The Zombies, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Herman’s Hermits, and the Troggs would have one or more number one singles in America. Beat music_sentence_38

Freakbeat Beat music_section_4

Main article: Freakbeat Beat music_sentence_39

Freakbeat is a subgenre of rock and roll music developed mainly by harder-driving British groups, often those with a mod following during the Swinging London period of the mid to late 1960s. Beat music_sentence_40

Freakbeat bridges "British Invasion mod/R&B/pop and psychedelia". Beat music_sentence_41

The term was coined by English music journalist Phil Smee. Beat music_sentence_42

Allmusic writes that "freakbeat" is loosely defined, but generally describes the more obscure but hard-edged artists of the British Invasion era such as the Creation, the Pretty Things or Denny Laine's early solo work. Beat music_sentence_43

Other bands often mentioned as Freakbeat are the Action, the Move, the Smoke, the Sorrows, and Wimple Winch. Beat music_sentence_44

Decline Beat music_section_5

By 1967, beat music was beginning to sound out of date, particularly compared with the "harder edged" blues rock that was beginning to emerge. Beat music_sentence_45

Most of the groups that had not already disbanded by 1967, like the Beatles, moved into different forms of rock music and pop music, including psychedelic rock and eventually progressive rock. Beat music_sentence_46

Influence Beat music_section_6

Beat was a major influence on the American garage rock and folk rock movements, and would be a source of inspiration for subsequent rock music subgenres, including Britpop in the 1990s. Beat music_sentence_47

See also Beat music_section_7

Beat music_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat music.