In music, a canon is a contrapuntal compositional technique that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration. The initial melody is called the leader (or dux), while the imitative melody, which is played in a different voice, is called the follower (or comes). The follower must imitate the leader, either as an exact replication of its rhythms and intervals or some transformation of it.
Generally, this term ‘canon’ is applied to within music itself, but I am going to go ahead and re-shape it for my own uses. This has been on my brain lately. What songs are landmarks and set the tone for the following years of music? Who is being imitated and who is doing the imitating? It’s like tracing a musical family tree. Obviously music from present day is influenced by blues and rock and roll from the 60’s, but in the coming weeks, I plan on writing about previous decades and the songs that influenced those that followed and how it shaped the music for that time period. I’m going to look into who developed a signature style and how it influenced that decade’s style of popular music.
Now, I confidently call myself a music enthusiast, but a music historian I am not. So if any of my following posts on this topic seem off or you know of a different song that changed that decade’s landscape, please don’t hesitate to comment! Also, I will be going back to as many decades as I can, but probably about the 60’s I will stop because that’s sorta where my music knowledge begins to hit a brick wall. But I look forward to gathering research and seeing what you guys think in the coming weeks.
Next up, Music Canon’s: The 2000’s