1970's Music

1970's Music.mp4

Music of the 1970's

Music in the 1970's saw many developments and expanded on ideas previously introduced in the 1960's.  The 1970's brings us Disco music for a few short years, it embraced the dance scene and gave the youth a new way to express themselves, it also brought progressive rock that takes you on a journey and answers some of the political questions of the day for the youth of America.  By the end of the 1970's New Wave music was becoming increasingly popular as it was fun, romance and easy to dance to.

More important that all of this however was the booming popularity of Funk which was the real music of the 1970's, it took elements from nearly every other genre and blended them together to create a unique and funky sound.  It spoke of real troubles and struggles the working class face on a day to day basis and build comradery amongst the people.  


Task 1: Watch the Introductory Video to this Unit (5 minutes)

Task 2: Review the provided images, videos and attached links for Music of  the 1970's (15 minutes)

Task 3: Complete a Timeline by Selecting FIVE (5) Songs Throughout the Decade (1970 - 1979) to Show Shifting Interests of Americans in the 1970's (30 minutes)

Task 4: Submit Completed Timeline to Google Classroom


Disco music would never reach the height of its popularity without the presence of the large dancing movement that popularized this music genre all around the world. It was originally formed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the popularity of Rock music and the stigmatization of alternative music styles which were preferred by the youth. By incorporating the elements of funk, soul, pop and salsa, dance music and dances quickly rose in popularity in North America, reaching the height of power mid-1970s to early 1980s when disco dances in discotheques represented some of the most sought-off forms of entertainment by young men and women from many different backgrounds. Fueled by the musical hits of disco performers such as Donna Summer, Boney M, the Bee Gees, The Trammps, Sylvester, Chic and Gloria Gaynor, and the sudden rise of popularity of several disco-themed Hollywood films (most notably “Saturday Night Fever” from 1977 and “Thank God It's Friday” from 1978), disco dance evolved into a popular dancing form that is still practiced today.  (http://www.dancefacts.net/dance-list/disco-dance/ )

The Bee Gees


The Village People

Progressive Rock

Progressive rock reached its peak around 1973. The album charts were dominated by the likes of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Tales from Topographic Oceans by Yes; gargantuan works of art focused on deep concepts and challenging musical soundscapes.

Prog rock was everywhere, and the bands involved were constantly experimenting with new ways to be progressive, fuelling artistic analysis from their most dedicated fans, university students. Italy had a substantial prog scene at this point, and several bands from North America competed with the (mostly British) circle of prog rock bands, including Rush and Kansas, who were successful in their own right. (https://recording-history.org/a-brief-history-of-progressive-rock/ )

Pink Floyd 



Punk Rock/New Wave

New wave emerged onto the music scene in the late 1970’s as a subset of rock music. It was a term coined by music critics to refer to bands who were new on the scene and not quite creating punk rock, but still possessed the individuality and irreverence of bands in that genre. By the end of the 1970’s new wave was the standard term for bands emerging in the underground rock scene in the UK.  

In the states, radio stations and venues began using the term new wave thinking that using punk rock would effect sales. Some of the first bands to play CBGB in New York under the classification of new wave included The Talking Heads and Blondie.  Part of new wave’s success was that unlike its predecessor, punk, it had no political ties. It was fun, romantic, vivacious music which was easy to dance to and appealed to the youth of the time. Much like punk, there was a visual style that often accompanied new wave artists’ music.  (https://www.rockinflux.com/news/2019/5/9/the-history-of-new-wave-and-why-we-love-it )

The Ramones 

The Clash

David Bowie 

Funk & Soul

The word “funk” comes from the latin word “fumigare” which means “to smoke”. Funk was originally introduced into English to describe a strong smell and was first used around 1620.  About a century later, the adjective “funky” was derived, meaning musty. This word was then picked up by the jazz communities in the 1900s and used as slang to describe something that was earthy or deeply felt.

By the 1950s and 1960s, the use of “funky” to describe jazz was common, and this is how the genre “funk” got its unique name.  Funk is a very danceable genre. It is upbeat, rhythmic and, for lack of another word, undeniably funky. Funk puts more emphasis on bass line as opposed to melody. It incorporates a variety of rhythm instruments, with bass and drums playing an important role in most funk songs. Funk usually doesn’t limit itself to the regular verse/chorus structure of most songs. The song goes where the music carries it, and often each section of the song is given fairly equal weight and importance.  Funk was the voice of a generation in the 1970s. It expressed the struggles of the working-class community, giving them music to share and identify with. (https://youtubemusicsucks.com/history-of-funk-music/ )


The Jackson 5 

Earth, Wind & Fire