All that’s old is eventually new again in pop culture, with the doo-wop vocal style of such 1950s groups as The Platters and The Drifters coming back over the decades to influence acts from Boyz II Men to BTS.
National Standards: 1-3, 5-7, 9, 11
Have the class read Techniques: Doo-Wop Songwriting (page 22 of the student edition).
Key points in the article:
- In the same way chokers were popular in the 1920s and 40s, then made resurgences in the 90s and again in the 2010s, musical styles fall in and out of favor
- Doo-wop began in the 1950s, getting its name from the syllables used for singing harmonies
Play the three scales from the first example on a piano. Explain that each scale contains exactly the same notes, but sounds different only because of the note each scale starts with.
Play “Casbah” by Sandy Nelson. Ask students to listen for the major triad in the melody, and how every measure begins on one of the tones of the G major chord.
Play the F minor melody from example three on a piano. Have students listen for the minor triad, especially how it contrasts with the B natural in the melody.
Play Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol’s “Caravan.”
Take note of the chord progression and how it changes every few measures. These chord changes are between C7 and F minor. Have students listen for how the soloist plays between the C Phrygian dominant scale and F natural minor to blend the two scales together.