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What is Funk Music its History?



Funk music is a genre of music that originated in the 1960s. The music style is characterised by its groove-oriented sound and the use of complex and syncopated rhythms. Funk music often feature a heavy, percussive beat and the emphasis of electric bass and horns. There are also the elements of soul, jazz and rhythm and blues (R&B) in funk. The genre originated from the United States and was influenced by a number of different musical traditions such as African-American and Afro-Carribean music.


Who Created Funk Music?


Funk music was greeted by a different number of musicians and groups in the 1960s through to the 1970s. Some of the early creators of funk music include James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and George Clinton with his various groups such as Parliament and Funkadelic. These musicians were known for their creative use of electric instruments, complex rhythms, and unique genre-blending styles. All of these helped to shape the sound of funk music and make it popular with the mass audience.


Famous Funk Musicians and their Songs


There have been many funk musicians throughout the history of the genre. Some of the most famous funk musicians and the songs they are known for include:


  • James Brown: “I Got You (I Feel Good), “I'm Black and I’m Proud”.

  • Sly and the Family Stone: ‘Dance to the Music”, “Everyday People”.

  • George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic: “Give Up the Funk”, “Flash Light”.

  • Prince: “Kiss”, “Purple Rain”.

  • Earth, Wind and Fire: “September”, Boogie Wonderland”, “Let’s Groove”.

  • Stevie Wonder: “Superstition”, “I Wish”, “Sir Duke”.

  • Chaka Khan: “I’m Every Woman”, “I Feel for You”.


These are only some of the well-known examples of funk musicians and their popular songs. There are many other musicians who contributed to the development and evolution of the genre.


Did Funk Music Die Out?


Funk music did not die out or disappear. However, it did evolve and change over time. In the 1980s to the 1990s, funk music was often overshadowed by other music genres such as pop, hip-hop, and electronic dance music, which led to a decline in its popularity.


However, funk music as a genre can still be heard in many contemporary musical styles, and the genre has surged in recent years with the rise of bands such as Vlfpeck, Lettuce and The Internet. Additionally, many funk musicians and bands continue to perform and tour, and their music remains popular with fans of the genre.


Which Music Instruments are Best for Playing Funk?


There is no “best” instrument for playing funk music. The genre can be performed using a wide variety of instruments. Some of the most commonly used instruments include the electric guitar, electric bass, drums and keyboard. Horns such as the trumpet and saxophone are also used. These instruments are often used to create the driving, groove-oriented rhythms and melodies that are characteristic of funk music. Many funk musicians also incorporate percussion, synthesizers and vocals into their music.


Want to learn more about funk or the music instruments used to create the genre? Ritmo Music Studio offers lessons in electric guitar, drums and keyboard. Come and meet us for a trial lesson!



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