Rhythm and blues

Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities 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]In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy,[3] as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

The term "rhythm and blues" has undergone a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, it was frequently applied to blues records.[4] Starting in the mid-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. In the 1960s, several British rock bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Animals were referred to and promoted as being R&B bands; posters for the Who's residency at the Marquee Club in 1964 contained the slogan, "Maximum R&B".[5] Their mix of rock and roll and R&B is now known as "British rhythm and blues". By the 1970s, the term "rhythm and blues" changed again and 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". It combines rhythm and blues with elements of pop, soul, funk, hip hop, and electronic music. Popular R&B vocalists at the end of the 20th century included Prince, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder,[6] Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston,[6][7][8] and Mariah Carey. In the 21st century, R&B has remained a popular genre becoming more pop-oriented and alternatively influenced with successful artists including Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, The Weeknd, and Mark Ronson.[9]

Etymology, definitions and description

Although Jerry Wexler of Billboard magazine is credited with coining the term "rhythm and blues" as a musical term in the United States in 1948,[10] the term was used in Billboard as early as 1943.[11][12] It replaced the term "race music", which originally came from within the black community, but was deemed offensive in the postwar world.[13][14] The term "rhythm and blues" was used by Billboard in its chart listings from June 1949 until August 1969, when its "Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles" chart was renamed as "Best Selling Soul Singles".[15] Before the "Rhythm and Blues" name was instated, various record companies had already begun replacing the term "race music" with "sepia series".[16]

Writer and producer Robert Palmer defined rhythm & blues as "a catchall term referring to any music that was made by and for black Americans".[17] He has used the term "R&B" as a synonym for jump blues.[18] However, AllMusic separates it from jump blues because of R&B's stronger gospel influences.[19] 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.[13] Well into the 21st century, the term R&B continues in use (in some contexts) to categorize music made by black musicians, as distinct from styles of music made by other musicians.

In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, and saxophone. Arrangements were rehearsed to the point of effortlessness and were sometimes accompanied by background vocalists. Simple repetitive parts mesh, creating momentum and rhythmic interplay producing mellow, lilting, and often hypnotic textures while calling attention to no individual sound. While singers are emotionally engaged with the lyrics, often intensely so, they remain cool, relaxed, and in control. The bands dressed in suits, and even uniforms, a practice associated with the modern popular music that rhythm and blues performers aspired to dominate. Lyrics often seemed fatalistic, and the music typically followed predictable patterns of chords and structure.[20]

Other Languages
asturianu: Rhythm and blues
azərbaycanca: R&B
беларуская: Рытм-н-блюз
български: Ритъм енд блус
bosanski: R&B
brezhoneg: Rhythm and blues
čeština: Rhythm and blues
Ελληνικά: Rhythm and blues
Esperanto: Ritmenbluso
Fiji Hindi: Rhythm and blues
français: Rhythm and blues
hrvatski: Ritam i blues
Bahasa Indonesia: R&B
íslenska: Ryþmablús
Kiswahili: Rhythm na blues
latviešu: Ritmblūzs
Lëtzebuergesch: Rhythm and Blues
lietuvių: Ritmenbliuzas
македонски: Ритам и блуз
Bahasa Melayu: Rhythm and blues
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ရစ်သမ် အန် ဘလူးစ်
Nederlands: Rhythm-and-blues
नेपाल भाषा: रीदम एन्ड ब्लुज्
norsk nynorsk: Rhythm and blues
português: Rhythm and blues
русский: Ритм-энд-блюз
саха тыла: R&B
sicilianu: Rhythm and blues
Simple English: Rhythm and blues
slovenčina: Rhythm and blues
slovenščina: Ritem in blues
српски / srpski: Ritam i bluz
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Rhythm and blues
українська: Ритм-енд-блюз
Tiếng Việt: Rhythm and blues
žemaitėška: Rėtmabliozos