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Encyclopedia > Surf music
Surf music
Stylistic origins: Rock and roll, Blues, Country, European folk music, Middle Eastern folk music, Mexican folk music
Cultural origins: 1956 - 1958 California, United States
Typical instruments: Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Saxophone
Mainstream popularity: High mainstream success in the early 1960s, revival in late 1980s and into 1990s
Derivative forms: Surf Rock - Surf pop

Surf music is a genre of popular music associated with surf culture, particularly Orange County and other areas of Southern California. Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Blues music redirects here. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... A car from 1956 Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jan. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... A sunburst-colored Precision Bass The electric bass guitar (or electric bass; pronounced , as in base) is a bass stringed instrument played with the fingers (either by plucking, slapping, popping, or tapping) or using a pick. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family. ... In the early 1960s, one of the most popular forms of rock and roll was surf rock. ... Surf-pop was a genre of pop music popular from the mid- to late-1960s and characterized by its unsophisticated song structure, frequent use of vocal harmonies, and lyrics related to the surf culture popular in the United States Pacific coastal region at that time. ... A genre [], (French: kind or sort from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for a category of literary composition; the term is also used for any other form of art or utterance. ... For the music genre, see Pop music. ... Surf culture is the people, language, fashion and sporting life surrounding the sport of modern surfing. ... Cities in Orange County Orange County is a county in Southern California, United States. ...


It has two basic subgenres: A genre is any of the traditional divisions of art forms from a single field of activity into various kinds according to criteria particular to that form. ...

  • Surf pop music, including both surf ballads and dance music that includes a vocal line. Sometimes called "beach music" as it was popular amongst non-surfers as well. (Surf pop should not be confused with the "shag tempo" beach music of the Carolinas, however.)
  • Surf rock, generally instrumental in nature with an electric guitar or saxophone playing the main melody

Many notable surf bands have been equally noted for both surf instrumental and surf pop music, so surf music is generally considered as a single genre despite the variety of these styles. Surf-pop was a genre of pop music popular from the mid- to late-1960s and characterized by its unsophisticated song structure, frequent use of vocal harmonies, and lyrics related to the surf culture popular in the United States Pacific coastal region at that time. ... Surf-pop was a genre of pop music popular from the mid- to late-1960s and characterized by its simple song structure, frequent use of vocal harmonies, and lyrics related to the surf culture popular in the United States Pacific coastal region at that time. ... For the novel, see Beach Music (novel). ... In the early 1960s, one of the most popular forms of rock and roll was surf rock. ... 1950s, 1960s The Astronauts The Atlantics The Beach Boys The Bel-Airs Bruce & Terry Al Casey The Challengers The Chantays The Clee-Shays Jerry Cole Dick Dale Eddie & the Showmen The Fantastic Baggys The Honeys The Impacts Jan & Dean Bruce Johnston The Lively Ones Marketts Terry Melcher Mr. ...


Recordings are normally attributed to the bands that performed them, rather than to individual artists.


Additionally, surfers have internalized a form of reggae music and created their own Rasta identity. Both in Puerto Rico and the United States, youth surfers in the late 80's and early 90's found their own niche in the reggae world. Interestingly enough, the surfers in both countries were not urban youth, such as the genre had previously been identified, but were upper middle class, light skinned "blanquitos" or whities[1]. This shows the diversity of the surfing subculture and its ability to adopt aspects of completely different cultures. Also, this permits a cross-cultural connection to be formed between the origins of the music base (Jamaica in the case of reggae) and the locations where it is being listened to by the surfers (the United States and Puerto Rico) [2]

Contents

Surf Rock

Generally dance music of medium to fast tempo, with electric guitars dominating the sound, and almost always in straight 4/4 common time. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Tempo (disambiguation). ... An electric guitar An electric guitar is a type of guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into electrical current, which is then amplified. ... A Swung note is a rhythmic device, also known as a shuffle note; it is an augmentation of the initial note in a pair and diminution of the second. ... The time signature (also known as meter signature) is a notational device used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each bar and which note value (minim, crotchet, eighth note and so on) constitutes one beat. ...


Surf guitarists are noted for extensive use of the "wet" spring reverb sound and use of the tremelo arm on their guitar to bend the pitch of notes downward. Tube (valve) amplification, often through a Fender amplifier, is standard to achieve the Surf sound. The use of vibrato units (or more properly, tremolo) is also common; these were typically built into the guitar amplifiers of the late 1950s and 1960s, and more recently in effects pedals. Distortion is not commonly used, but occasionally a fuzz effect may be heard (such as in Dick Dale's single Let's Go Trippin'. This article is about audio effect. ... A tremolo arm, tremolo bar, vibrato bar, whammy bar, or wang bar is a lever attached to the bridge and/or the tailpiece of an electric guitar or archtop guitar to enable the player to quickly vary the tension and sometimes the length of the strings temporarily, changing the pitch... It has been suggested that Fender Amplifier History be merged into this article or section. ... A vibrato unit is an effects unit used to modify the sound of an electric guitar by producing a regular variation in the amplitude of the sound. ... Tremolo is a musical term with two meanings: A rapid repetition of the same note, a rapid variation in the amplitude of a single note, or an alternation between two or more notes. ... A guitar combo amplifier A guitar amplifier is an electronic amplifier designed for use with an electric or electronic musical instrument, such as an electric guitar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Effects unit. ... Lets Go Trippin is a song by Dick Dale. ...


A typical surf instrumental band has the following instruments at its core:

The addition of tenor or baritone saxophone was common in the "classic" era of the early 1960s, but is rare today. Additional guitars, organ, electric piano, or hand drums or other percussion are also frequently used. Surf music borrows freely from Latin American music, especially Mexican, and to some extent from Spanish Flamenco. Lead guitar refers to a role within a band, that provides melody or melodic material, as opposed to the rhythm of the rhythm guitar, bass, and drums. ... Stratocaster redirects here. ... The Fender Jazzmaster is an electric guitar that was first introduced at the 1958 NAMM show and was designed as a more upmarket instrument than the Fender Stratocaster, which was originally to replace the current Telecaster model. ... The Fender Jaguar is an electric guitar that was introduced in 1962. ... Mosrite was an American guitar manufacturing company, based in Bakersfield, California, from the late 1950s to the mid 1990s Founded by Semie Moseley, Mosrite guitars were played by many rock and roll and country artists such as Kurt Cobain, Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, Buck Trent, The Ventures, the MC5, Arthur... Rhythm guitar is a guitar that is primarily used to provide rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment for a singer or for other instruments in an ensemble. ... Stratocaster redirects here. ... The Fender Jazzmaster is an electric guitar that was first introduced at the 1958 NAMM show and was designed as a more upmarket instrument than the Fender Stratocaster, which was originally to replace the current Telecaster model. ... Danelectro DC-3 reissue. ... A sunburst-colored Precision Bass The electric bass guitar (or electric bass; pronounced , as in base) is a bass stringed instrument played with the fingers (either by plucking, slapping, popping, or tapping) or using a pick. ... The Fender Precision Bass, known as P-bass for short, is the first model of the electric bass designed by Clarence Leonidas Fender and brought to market in 1951. ... Danelectro DC-3 reissue. ... A drum kit (or drum set or trap set) is a collection of drums, cymbals and sometimes other percussion instruments, such as a cowbell, wood block, chimes or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single drummer. ... Gretsch is a U.S. musical instrument manufacturer currently being distributed by guitar company Fender and drum craft company Kaman. ... Rogers derived from old German meaning, famed spear. Rogers is the name of several places in the United States of America: Rogers, Arkansas Rogers, Minnesota Rogers City, Michigan Rogers, Nebraska. ... The saxophone (colloquially referred to as sax) is a conical-bored instrument of the woodwind family. ... A hand drum is any type of drum that is typically played by striking it with the bare hand rather than a stick, mallet, hammer, or other type of beater. ... Flamenco is a Spanish musical genre with strong, rhythmic undertones and is often accompanied with a similarly impassioned style of dance characterized by its powerful yet graceful execution, as well as its intricate hand and footwork. ...


This basic configuration is identical to that adopted in the early development of rock and roll music, and the two styles developed in parallel, with some bands clearly in both genres. Both styles influenced the development of the electric guitar, electric bass and drum kit, in the process each affecting the other. For example, Dick Dale the self-proclaimed "King" of the surf guitar, worked closely with Leo Fender to design higher-wattage amplifiers, which in turn allowed rock musicians to play louder. Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... This article is about the surf guitarist. ... Leonidas Fender (August 10, 1909 - March 21, 1991), also known as Leo Fender, was an American luthier who founded Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, now known as Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, and later founded G&L Musical Products (G&L Guitars). ...


Surf music was one of the first genres to universally adopt the electric bass. The Fender Precision Bass was virtually standard amongst early surf groups, and was cutting-edge at the time. Unlike the double bass, a simple electric bass line can be learned by musicians with a minimal skill level. Thus, it was common practice to assign a marginal guitarist to play bass in many groups. Still, the promotion of more creative uses of electric bass as part of surf music influenced both rock and jazz music of the era. A sunburst-colored Precision Bass The electric bass guitar (or electric bass; pronounced , as in base) is a bass stringed instrument played with the fingers (either by plucking, slapping, popping, or tapping) or using a pick. ... The Fender Precision Bass, known as P-bass for short, is the first model of the electric bass designed by Clarence Leonidas Fender and brought to market in 1951. ... Side and front views of a modern double bass with a French bow. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ...


Surf music also shared with rock and roll and jazz in the development of drum kit technique. Both surf and rock music (and some jazz styles) adopted a back beat as standard at about the same time, and using similar fills and rhythms. Both surf and rock styles were predominantly 4/4 common time. It can also be said that Surf drummers looked to the jazz world for inspiration; Gene Krupa, a hard-hitting jazz drummer, was a specific influence on the surf genre. A drum kit (or drum set or trap set) is a collection of drums, cymbals and sometimes other percussion instruments, such as a cowbell, wood block, chimes or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single drummer. ... In music a back beat (also called the, or a, backbeat) is a term applied to the beats 2 and 4 in a 4/4 bar or a 12/8 bar [1] as opposed to the odd downbeat, (quarter beat 1). ... The time signature (also known as meter signature) is a notational device used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each bar and which note value (minim, crotchet, eighth note and so on) constitutes one beat. ... Gene Krupa (January 15, 1909 – October 16, 1973) was a famous and influential American jazz and big band drummer, known for his highly energetic and flamboyant style. ...


History

Southern California ca. 1960 was a melting-pot of many strains of musical thought. Rock and Roll music was popular, with instrumental rockers such as Duane Eddy, Link Wray, and Santo and Johnny proving that strong vocal ability was unnecessary to achieve a level of stardom. Los Angeles was a hub of Jazz activity, and the biggest acts typically played there. Unlike much of the US at the time, large numbers of Mexicans lived in this part of California, and their music was no doubt heard by many aspiring musicians of the era. Rock instrumentation, with an aggressive jazz-influenced drummer and some Latin influences equals Surf music. It merely required a few local talents to achieve a level of popularity before a trend was born. In actuality, Dick Dale had essentially created the surf sound around 1957. Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Duane Eddy (born April 26, 1938), is a Grammy winning guitarist. ... Link Wray and His Ray Mens The Swan Singles Collection 1963-1967 Fred Lincoln Link Wray Jr (May 2, 1929 – November 5, 2005) was an American rock and roll guitar player most noted for pioneering a new sound for electric guitars in his hit 1958 instrumental Rumble, by Link... Santo & Johnny were an American rock and roll duo from Brooklyn. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ...


Most Early surf bands were formed in Southern California area, with groups such as Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, the Challengers, Eddie & the Showmen and the Surfaris. Orange County in particular had a strong surf culture, and the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa hosted many surf-styled acts. A typical night's entertainment featured not only Surf music, but cover versions of popular hits of the day. This article is about the surf guitarist. ... Challengers ) is a shōnen-ai manga by Hinako Takanaga. ... Eddie & the Showmen were a surf rock band of the 1960s. ... The Surfaris were a surf rock band formed in California in 1962, and are best known for two songs that hit the charts in the Los Angeles area, and nationally by May, 1963 : Surfer Joe (the A side), andWipe Out on the B side of a 45 RPM single. ...


The popularity of the genre led groups from other areas to try their hand as well. Both the Astronauts (Boulder, Colorado) and The Trashmen (Minneapolis, Minnesota) played surf music and their Billboard hits "Baja" (Astronauts, #94, 1963) and "Surfin Bird" (#4, 1964) showed that the popularity of the genre was spreading widely. The Rivieras from South Bend, Indiana, hit #5 in 1964 with "California Sun". The Trashmen were a rock and roll band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1962. ...


The Atlantics, from Sydney, Australia, were not exclusively surf musicians, but made significant contributions to the genre, the most famous example with being their hit "Bombora" (1963). Another Australian surf band who were known outside their own country's surf scene was the Joy Boys, whose hit "Murphy the Surfie" (1963) was later covered by the Surfaris. The Atlantics were an Australian surf rock band in the early 1960s and arguably Australias most successful of the genre. ... This article is about the metropolitan area in Australia. ... The Surfaris were an American surf music band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. ...


European bands around this time generally focused more on the style played by the Shadows. A notable example of European surf instrumental is Spanish band Los Relampagos' rendition of "Misirlou". The Dakotas, who were the British backing band for mersey-beat singer Billy J. Kramer gained some attention as surf musicians with "Cruel Sea" (1963), which was later covered by the Ventures and eventually other instrumental surf bands, including the Challengers and the Revelairs. The Shadows were an English instrumental rock n roll group active from the 1950s to the 2000s. ... The Dakotas is a group of British invasion musicians, which initially convened as a backing band in Manchester, England. ... Billy J. Kramer (born William Howard Ashton, 19 August 1943, in Bootle, Liverpool, England) was a British Invasion / Merseybeat singer. ...


For decades, "Surf Rider" theme (The Lively Ones) was used in TV program in the Soviet Union called "International Panorama".


While known as a genre that developed on the West Coast of the United States in the 1960s, a 1990s revival has sparked a resurgence worldwide. Man or Astro-man?, Los Straitjackets, Pollo Del Mar and many others perform on a regular basis. Other groups such as Simon and the Bar Sinisters and Southern Culture on the Skids also dabble in this genre. Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... Man or Astro-man? is a surf rock group that formed in Auburn, Alabama in the late 1980s and came to prominence in the 1990s. ... Los Straitjackets is a Nashville based band known primarily for performing instrumental surf music. ... Pollo Del Mar are a surf rock band from San Francisco, California. ... Southern Culture on the Skids, also known to fans as SCOTS, is an American music group composed of Rick Miller (vocals, guitar), Dave Hartman (percussion), and Mary Huff (vocals, bass guitar). ...


Examples

Surf Instrumental Record Labels: Misirlou (Greek: Μισιρλού, Egyptian Girl; from Turkish Mısırlı Egyptian, from Arabic مصر, Miṣr, Egypt), is a popular Greek song with a cult-like popularity in four very diverse styles of music: Greek rebetiko, Middle-Eastern belly dancing, Jewish wedding music (Klezmer), and American surf rock. ... This article is about the surf guitarist. ... Walk Dont Run (1960) The Ventures are a rock instrumental band formed in 1958, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, two Seattle masonry workers. ... The Chantays were a surf rock band from the early 1960s, best known for only one hit, the instrumental Pipeline (1963, see 1963 in music). ... Bombora is an indigenous Australian term for large sea waves breaking over submerged rock shelves. ... The Atlantics were an Australian surf rock band in the early 1960s and arguably Australias most successful of the genre. ... Wipe Out is a song written by Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson. ... The Surfaris were an American surf music band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. ... Martin Cilia was born in Essex, England in 1958. ...

  • Double Crown Records – Bellingham, Washington
  • MuSick Records – California
  • Rickshaw Records - Southern California
  • Golly Gee Records – California
  • Deep Eddy Records – Austin, Texas
  • Necro-Tone Records – Massachusetts
  • Green Cookie Records – Thessaloniki, Greece
  • High Noon Records - Columbus, Ohio
  • Bombora Creative - Adelaide, Australia

Surf Pop

Surf pop music can be split into two styles. Surf-pop was a genre of pop music popular from the mid- to late-1960s and characterized by its unsophisticated song structure, frequent use of vocal harmonies, and lyrics related to the surf culture popular in the United States Pacific coastal region at that time. ...


Surf Ballads

Surf ballads tend to be slow and dominated by male vocal harmonies, often including a falsetto descant part and sometimes also a falseto lead. They may be in any time signature. Themes tend to be romantic and linked to surf culture. They can be said to descend directly from the Rhythm and Blues harmony groups of the late 1950s. Surf-pop was a genre of pop music popular from the mid- to late-1960s and characterized by its simple song structure, frequent use of vocal harmonies, and lyrics related to the surf culture popular in the United States Pacific coastal region at that time. ... Falsetto (Italian diminutive of falso, false) is a singing technique that produces sounds that are pitched higher than the singers normal range, in the treble range. ... Descant or discant can refer to different things in music; A form of medieval music where one person sang a fixed melody, and others accompanied with improvisations. ... The time signature (also known as meter signature) is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and what note value constitutes one beat. ... Surf culture is the people, language, fashion and sporting life surrounding the sport of modern surfing. ... R&B redirects here. ...


Examples:

Surfer Girl was the third album officially released by The Beach Boys and their second longplayer in 1963. ... The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. ... Don’t Worry Baby is a song written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian. ... The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. ...

Beach Music

This is medium to fast dance music which adds a male or female vocal line and often harmonies, but shares many of the instrumental roots of surf rock music. Themes of the lyrics often derive from surf culture, teenage issues, and can be lighthearted or even humorous. Such music appealed to non-surfers on a level that the instrumentalists did not. With the exception of Dick Dale, the Beach Music groups enjoyed much higher sales and popularity than the Instrumental bands. They were also more likely to gain the national spotlight and make the Billboard chart. This article is about the surf guitarist. ... Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry. ...


Examples:

Jan & Dean were a rock and roll duo, popular from the late 1950s through the mid 1960s, consisting of William Jan Berry (3 April 1941 – 26 March 2004) and Dean Ormsby Torrence (born 10 March 1940). ... The Surfaris were an American surf music band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. ... Patricia Thelma Little Pattie Amphlett (born March 17, 1949) in Paddington, Sydney, is an Australian singer. ... The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. ...

Sources

  1. ^ Giovannetti, Jorge L. "Popular Music and Culture in Puerto Rico: Jamaican and Rap Music as Cross-Cultural Symbols." In Musical Migrations: Transnationalism and Cultural Hybridity in the Americas, ed. Frances R. Aparicio and Cándida F. Jáquez, 81-98. New Y
  2. ^ World Cities and World Beat: Low-Wage Labor and Transnational Culture George Lipsitz The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 68, No. 2, Orange Empires. (May, 1999), pp. 213-231. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0030-8684%28199905%2968%3A2%3C213%3AWCAWBL%3E2.0.CO%3B2-C

See also

  • Category:Surf groups for:
    • Bands and artists principally associated with surf music.
    • Bands and artists associated with several genres but who have made a significant contribution to surf music.
  • List of surf musiciansSurf Rock
The Astronauts The Atlantics The Beach Boys The Bel-Airs Bruce & Terry Al Casey The Challengers The Chantays The Clee-Shays Jerry Cole Dick Dale Eddie & the Showmen The Fantastic Baggys The Honeys The Impacts Jan & Dean Bruce Johnston The Lively Ones Marketts Terry Melcher Mr. ... In the early 1960s, one of the most popular forms of rock and roll was surf rock. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Surf music - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1215 words)
Surf guitarists produce a distinctive tone colour not unlike a hawaiian guitar by use of the bridge pickup, treble boost, and distinctive use of the tremolo arm.
Surf music was the first genre to universally adopt the electric bass; the upright or string bass has never been used to any great extent, as the more sustained and trebly sounds favored by surf bands are not easily obtained from it.
Surf music was associated with the Stomp, the Frug, the Watusi and similar dances suitable for beach parties, but in which the partners never touched.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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