Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer, often at slower tempos than other popular music. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves that created a "hypnotic" and "danceable feel".[2] Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths.

Funk originated in the mid-1960s, with James Brown's development of a signature groove that emphasized the downbeat—with heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure ("The One"), and the application of swung 16th notes and syncopation on all bass lines, drum patterns, and guitar riffs.[3] Other musical groups, including Sly and the Family Stone, the Meters, and Parliament-Funkadelic, soon began to adopt and develop Brown's innovations. While much of the written history of funk focuses on men, there have been notable funk women, including Chaka Khan, Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins, Brides of Funkenstein, Vicki Anderson, Anna King (The JB's singer), and Parlet.[4]

Funk derivatives include the psychedelic funk of Sly Stone and George Clinton; the avant-funk of groups such as Talking Heads and the Pop Group; boogie, a form of post-disco dance music; electro music, a hybrid of electronic music and funk; funk metal (e.g., Living Colour, Faith No More); G-funk, a mix of gangsta rap and funk; Timba, a form of funky Cuban popular dance music; and funk jam. Funk samples and breakbeats have been used extensively in hip hop and various forms of electronic dance music, such as house music, and Detroit techno. It is also the main influence of go-go, a subgenre associated with funk.[5]


The word funk initially referred (and still refers) to a strong odor. It is originally derived from Latin "fumigare" (which means "to smoke") via Old French "fungiere" and, in this sense, it was first documented in English in 1620. In 1784 "funky" meaning "musty" was first documented, which, in turn, led to a sense of "earthy" that was taken up around 1900 in early jazz slang for something "deeply or strongly felt".[6][7] Ethnomusicologist Portia Maultsby states that the expression "funk" comes from the Central African word "lu-funki" and art historian Robert Farris Thompson says the word comes from the Kikongo term "lu-fuki"; in both proposed origins, the term refers to body odor.[8] Thompson's proposed Kikingo origin word, "lu-fuki" is used by African musicians to praise people "for the integrity of their art" and for having "worked out" to reach their goals.[9] Even though in white culture, the term "funk" has negative connotations of odor or being in a bad mood ("in a funk"), in African communities, the term "funk", while still linked to body odor, had the positive sense that a musician's hard-working, honest effort led to sweat, and from their "physical exertion" came an "exquisite" and "superlative" performance.[9]

In early jam sessions, musicians would encourage one another to "get down" by telling one another, "Now, put some stank on it!". At least as early as 1907, jazz songs carried titles such as Funky. The first example is an unrecorded number by Buddy Bolden, remembered as either "Funky Butt" or "Buddy Bolden's Blues" with improvised lyrics that were, according to Donald M. Marquis, either "comical and light" or "crude and downright obscene" but, in one way or another, referring to the sweaty atmosphere at dances where Bolden's band played.[10][11] As late as the 1950s and early 1960s, when "funk" and "funky" were used increasingly in the context of jazz music, the terms still were considered indelicate and inappropriate for use in polite company. According to one source, New Orleans-born drummer Earl Palmer "was the first to use the word 'funky' to explain to other musicians that their music should be made more syncopated and danceable."[12] The style later evolved into a rather hard-driving, insistent rhythm, implying a more carnal quality. This early form of the music set the pattern for later musicians.[13] The music was identified as slow, sexy, loose, riff-oriented and danceable.[citation needed]

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中文: 放克