History, Music, Culture

Differentiating between musical periods Medieval to Postmodern

Renaissance-era instrument | Source: Dreamtime

Music, like people, is not static and changes over time. It is important to know about past musical eras and their history because it reminds us that the current sound of popular music is not permanent. It has been and will continue to change as our culture and technology evolves. In western music, there have been six and/or seven main music periods. This piece will characterize them and highlight the role of everyday people.

We will start with the Medieval period and move all the way up to modern times. When we think about popular music in 2020 it is…

Hardbass has fanatically stomped its way into the zeitgeist

Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash


Hardbass is a peculiarly attractive Russian genre. In the late 1990’s St. Petersburg DJ’s created electronic mixes for large exuberant clubs. Their mixes incorporated UK Hardcore’s tyrant energy with Hard House’s rhythmic beat. The genre’s architects included DJ Snat, Dr. Poky, X Project, and Sonic Mine. The music had a visual ascetic attached to it. Young people would dress up in sportswear and head-bop across the dance floor.

Gopniks became the spokespeople for the genre. Gopniks stands for lower-income millennial’s in Russia and other former soviet states. Before the Facebook revolution Gopniks would huddle in noticeable packs. At the club…

Take a trip through the history of music criticism

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

The Art of Music Criticism

According to Encyclopædia Brittanica music criticism is defined as “the rationalization of intuitive musical understanding”. Therefore, critics are tasked with applying their opinions and knowledge to the music. There are several issues that arise when critics dive into this art form. Firstly, they need to find a balance between objectivity and subjectivity. This may be alleviated through standard criteria through criticism theory. Second, they need to address the vanity or vulnerability of their critique. With this problem, critics need to recognize the needs and expectations of the audience. Will they want to read or watch this review?

The Irish poet…

Happy to contribute Josh! Thanks for leading the charge. Here's to another month of growth!

This Kentucky-based genre found its footing after a creative twist from 20’s string-band music

Photo by Daniel Campbell on Unsplash

A Genre is Born

Bluegrass is an incredibly intimate and captivating genre. Its origins date back to the early 1940s. Two artists are responsible for its meteoric rise and distinct style. The first is Bill Monroe. The Kentucky-born musician experimented through a series of string-bands in the 30’s and early 40’s before creating the Blue Grass Boys with Cleo Davis, Art Wooten, and Amos Garren. Through steady touring and tenacity the group starting forming bluegrass music. The band made several stylistic moves. First, they sang in high-pitched tenor. Second, their harmonies were close-knit and their their tempos were unbelievably fast. The genre developed into…

Check out this reliable playlist when you’re searching for new finds

Photo by James Stamler on Unsplash

Happy Friday!

This week I learned a valuable lesson about backing up your files. After factory resetting my laptop early this week I permanently lost all my coursework documents from the past two years. Fortunately, I only have a couple finals and papers left, so a lot of the next assignments require just my handy dandy brain. Unfortunately, some of the documents that would have helped with those assignments are gone. Other than that, I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of jobs. It looks like a…

The veteran DJ and producer utilizes some of the best musicians from around the world on his latest career-defining album.

Source: okayafrica.com

IEYL’s February 2021 Album of the Month: Subconsciously by Black Coffee


Nkosinathi Maphumulo, a.k.a. Black Coffee grew up in the small township community of Umlazi, South Africa in the late 1970’s. At 8, Maphumulo’s parent’s divorced and he and his siblings moved to the rural township of Ngangelizwe in the Eastern Cape providence to live with their grandmother. Before and after school Maphumulo would milk his grandmothers’ cows and on the weekend’s he would look after them for longer periods of time. During these moments Maphumulo would day dream about exploring the greater world and making an impact on millions of people. …

Learning about where country came from and where it could go.

Photo by Marie-Michèle Bouchard on Unsplash

Country music is not just growing and shifting, but it is thriving. There are a lot of shifts happening simultaneously. For instance, country production is being overplayed with pop music patterns and styles. Moreover, there is evident pop singing influences with country singer delivery. Underneath these changes are a group of subcategories. For one, there is R&B country a la Tierra. Musicians like Niko Moon are further expanding country’s barriers into Hip-hop’s sphere of influence. Furthermore, the leaders of progressive country (Kacey Musgraves, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris’s) are making lyrically inclusive and culture-changing music. The center of gravity for country…

A review of Rose Elinor Dougall’s third studio album, A New Illusion

Source: Manchestereveningnews.com

Rose Elinor Dougall started her career as a member of the indie pop group, The Pipettes. Since the band broke up and Dougall started honing her craft as a musician, she’s developed an impressive solo discography. While her debut album was more bedroom pop the follow up, Stellular was created for arenas. Which leads us to her latest project, New Illusion. Dougall has reeled in her pop leanings and put pen to paper. This album still has a great number of instrumentation and collaborators, but the songs are more sharply focused. With songwriting being the focal point, she has crafted…

A Review of The Gatlin Brothers 1981 album, Houston to Denver

Source: want2bwriter.com

The Gatlin Brothers have brought fabulous justice to the countrypolitan genre over the years. Their legacy is enshrined in smooth harmonies, clever lyrics, and awe-inspiring choir performances. Houston to Denver is one standout chapter in their impressive 30+ year music career. The album came out in the bands’ prime and is strong proof of their position at the forefront of country’s pop appeal.

Most artists add emotional layering to the track by adding heartfelt instrumentation. The Gatlin Brothers add it through harmonies. The three-piece band’s genetic chemistry shines through…

If Ever You’re Listening

For music listeners and makers alike. IEYL is a blog dedicated to unique music opinions. If you ever want to talk music one-on-one email me at StanTM4@gmail.com

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