HOME

TheInfoList




In music, a call and response is a succession of two distinct
phrases In everyday speech, a phrase is any group of words, often carrying a special idiomatic meaning; in this sense it is synonymous with expression. In linguistic analysis, a phrase is a group of words (or possibly a single word) that functions as a c ...
usually written in different parts of the music, where the second phrase is heard as a direct commentary on or in response to the first. It corresponds to the
call-and-response Call and response is a form of interaction between a speaker and an audience in which the speaker's statements ("calls") are punctuated by responses from the listeners. This form is also used in music, where it falls under the general category of ...
pattern in human
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

communication
and is found as a basic element of
musical form In music, form refers to the structure of a musical composition or performance. In his book, ''Worlds of Music'', Jeff Todd Titon suggests that a number of organizational elements may determine the formal structure of a piece of music, such as "th ...
, such as verse-chorus form, in many traditions.


African music

In
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
n cultures, call and response is a pervasive pattern of
democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the a ...

democratic
participation—in public gatherings in the discussion of civic affairs, in religious
ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized, ...

ritual
s, as well as in vocal and instrumental
musical Musical is the adjective of music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), ...
expression.


African-American music

Enslaved Africans brought call and response music with them to the New World and it has been transmitted over the centuries in various forms of cultural expression—in religious observance, public gatherings, sporting events, even in children's rhymes, and, most notably, in
African-American music African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of music and musical genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to b ...
in its myriad forms and descendants. These include
soul In many religious, philosophical, and myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are usually non-humans, such as ...

soul
,
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...
,
blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in Plantation-era songs, African-American work songs, and Spiritual (music), spirituals. Blues ...

blues
,
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and ...
,
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and st ...

rock and roll
,
funk Funk is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in pra ...
and
hip hop Hip hop or hip-hop is a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabil ...

hip hop
. Hear for example the recordings entitled "Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons" collected by Bruce Jackson o
Electra Records
Call and response is widely present in parts of the Americas touched by the
trans-Atlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved List of ethnic groups of Africa, African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularl ...
. The tradition of call and response fosters dialogue and its legacy continues on today, as it is an important component of oral traditions. Both African-American women work songs, African American work songs, and the
work song A work song is a piece of music closely connected to a form of work, either sung while conducting a task (usually to coordinate timing) or a song linked to a task which might be a connected narrative, description, or protest song. Definitions and c ...
in general use the call and response format often. It can also be found in the music of the Afro west indies Caribbean populations of Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize. and many nations of the diaspora especially that of South Americas Brazil.


Cuban music (Salsa, Son, etc)

Known as Coro-pregón, it is extensively used in
Cuban music The music of Cuba, including its instruments, performance, and dance, comprises a large set of unique traditions influenced mostly by west African and European (especially Spanish) music. Due to the syncretic nature of most of its genres, Cuban mu ...
and derives from African musical elements, both in the secular
rumba The term rumba may refer to a variety of unrelated music styles. Originally, "rumba" was used as a synonym for "party" in northern Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country compri ...
and in the African religious ceremonies (
Santería Santería (), also known as Regla de Ocha, Regla Lucumí, or Lucumí, is an African diaspora religions, African diasporic religion that developed in Cuba during the late 19th century. It arose through a process of syncretism between the tradit ...
).


Peruvian music (Marinera, festejo, landó etc)

When enslaved African populations were brought to work in coastal agricultural areas of Peru during colonial times, they brought along their musical traditions. In Peru, those traditions mixed with Spanish popular music of the nineteenth century, as well as the indigenous music of Peru, eventually growing into what is commonly known as Afro-Peruvian music. Known as “huachihualo“, and characterized by competitive call-and-response verses, it is the defining trademark of various musical styles in Afro-Peruvian musical culture such as marinera, festejo, landó, tondero, zamacueca, and contrapunto de zapateo


Colombian Music (Cumbia)

Cumbia is a dance and musical form that originated with the enslaved African population of the coastal region of Colombia in the late 17th century. The style developed in Colombia from the intermingling of three cultures. From Africa, the drum percussion, foot movements and call-and-response. It’s melodies and use of the gaita or caña de millo (cane flute) represents the Native Colombian influence, and the dress represents the Spanish influence.


Precedent

In 1644,
lining out Lining out or hymn lining, called precenting the line in Scotland, is a form of a cappella hymn-singing or hymnody in which a leader, often called the clerk or precentor, gives each line of a hymn tune as it is to be sung, usually in a chanted for ...
– where one person sang a solo (a precentor) and others followed – is outlined by the
Westminster Assembly The Westminster Assembly of Divines was a council of Divinity (academic discipline), divines (theologians) and members of the English Parliament appointed from 1643 to 1653 to restructure the Church of England. Several Scots also attended, and ...
for psalm singing in English churches. It has influenced popular music singing styles. Precenting the line was characterised by a slow, drawn-out
heterophonic In music, heterophony is a type of texture (music), texture characterized by the simultaneous variation (music), variation of a single melody, melodic line. Such a texture can be regarded as a kind of complex monophony in which there is only one bas ...
and often profusely ornamented melody, while a clerk or precentor (song leader) chanted the text line by line before it was sung by the congregation. Scottish Gaelic psalm-singing by precenting the line was the earliest form of congregational singing adopted by Africans in America.


Folk music

Call and response is also a common structure of songs and carols originating in the middle ages, for example All In the Morning and Down In Yon Forest, both Traditional Derbyshire carols.


Classical music

In Western
classical music Classical music generally refers to the formal musical tradition of the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various s, s and , depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of , , and ...

classical music
, call and response is known as
antiphon An antiphon (Greek language, Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί "opposite" and φωνή "voice") is a short chant in Christianity, Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose a ...
y. The ''New Grove Dictionary'' defines antiphony as "music in which an ensemble is divided into distinct groups, used in opposition, often spatial, and using contrasts of volume, pitch, timbre, etc.""Antiphony", article in the ''New Grove Dictionary of Music'' (2001). Oxford University Press. Early examples can be found in the music of
Giovanni Gabrieli Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554/1557 – 12 August 1612) was an Italian composer and organist. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, and represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School, at the time of the shift fr ...

Giovanni Gabrieli
, one of the renowned practitioners of the
Venetian polychoral style The Venetian polychoral style was a type of music of the late Renaissance music, Renaissance and early Baroque music, Baroque eras which involved spatially separate choirs singing in alternation. It represented a major stylistic shift from the pr ...
:] Gabrieli also contributed many instrumental canzonas, composed for contrasting groups of players: Heinrich Schutz was one of the first composers to realise the expressive potential of the polychoral style in his "Little Sacred Concertos". The best known of these works is ''Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich?'' a vivid setting of the narrative of the
Conversion of Paul Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ''Cyberman'' * "Conversion" (''Stargate Atlantis''), an episode of the television series * "The Conversion" ...
as told in Acts 9 verses 3-4: "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" "The musical phrase on which most of the concerto is built is sounded immediately by a pair of basses":Taruskin, R. (2005, p. 69) ''The Oxford History of Western Music; the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries''. Oxford University Press. This idea is "then taken up by the alto and tenor, then by the sopranos, and finally by the pair of violins as transition to the explosive tutti": ] "The syncopated repetitions of the name Saul are strategically planted so that, when the whole ensemble takes them up, they can be augmented into
hocket In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated conce ...

hocket
s resounding back and forth between the choirs, adding to the impression of an enveloping space And achieving in sound something like the effect of the surrounding light described by the Apostle." In the following century,
J.S. Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the late Baroque music, Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Cello Suites (Bach), Cello Suites and ''Brandenburg Concertos''; keyboard ...
featured antiphonal exchanges in his
St Matthew Passion The ''St Matthew Passion'' (german: Matthäus-Passion, links=-no), Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, BWV 244, is a ''Passions (Bach), Passion'', a sacred oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orches ...
and the
motet In Western classical music Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both Religious music, liturgical (Religion, religious) and secular music, secular music. Historically, the term 'classica ...
s. In his motet ''Komm, Jesu, komm'', Bach uses eight voices deployed as two antiphonal choirs. According to
John Eliot Gardiner Sir John Eliot Gardiner (born 20 April 1943) is an English conductor, particularly known for his performances of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque music ...
, in this “intimate and touching” work, Bach “goes many steps beyond the manipulation of spatially separate blocks of sound” and “finds ways of weaving all eight lines into a rich contrapuntal tapestry.” The development of the classical orchestra in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries exploited the dramatic potential of antiphonal exchanges between groups of instruments. An example can be found in the development section of the finale of
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 17565 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical periodClassical period may refer to: *Classical Greece, speci ...

Mozart
’s Symphony No. 41: Even terser are the exchanges between wind and strings in the first movement of
Beethoven's 5th Symphony The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, opus number, Op. 67, was written between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music and one of the most frequently played symphonies, and it is widely consider ...
. Here, the development culminates in a "singularly dramatic passage" consisting of a "strange sequence of block harmonies": Twentieth century works that feature antiphonal exchanges include th
second movement
of Bartók's ''Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta'' (1936) and
Michael Tippett Sir Michael Kemp Tippett (2 January 1905 – 8 January 1998) was an English composer who rose to prominence during and immediately after the Second World War. In his lifetime he was sometimes ranked with his contemporary Benjamin Britten ...
’s ''Concerto for Double String Orchestra''br>(1938)
One spectacular example from the 1950s is Karlheinz
Stockhausen Karlheinz Stockhausen (; 22 August 1928 – 5 December 2007) was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. He is known for his ground ...

Stockhausen
's ''
Gruppen ''Gruppen'' (german: Groups) for three orchestra An orchestra (; ) is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both Religiou ...
'' for Three Orchestras (1955–1957), which culminates in a "synchronized build-up of brass 'points' in the three orchestras ... leading to a climax of chord exchanges from orchestra to orchestra". When heard live, this piece creates a genuine sensation of music moving i
space
"The combination of the three orchestras leads to great climaxes: long percussion solos, concertante trumpet solos, powerful brass sections, alternating and interpenetrating."Worner, K.H. (1973, p.163) ''Stockhausen: Life and Work''. London, Faber.


Popular music

Call and response is common in modern Western
popular music Popular music is music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its ...
. Cross-over
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and ...
,
rock 'n' roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and sty ...
and
rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no ...
exhibit call-and-response characteristics, as well.
The Who The Who are a British rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compound, chem ...
's song "
My Generation "My Generation" is a song by the English rock band the Who The Who are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitar ...
" is an example: Middleton, Richard (1990).
Studying Popular Music
'. Milton Keynes, UK: Open University Press. . p. 49.


Leader/chorus call and response

A single leader makes a musical statement, and then the chorus responds together. American bluesman
Muddy Waters McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by Afric ...

Muddy Waters
utilizes call and response in one of his signature songs, "
Mannish Boy "Mannish Boy" (or "Manish Boy" as it was first labeled) is a blues standard Blues standards are blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans f ...
" which is almost entirely leader/chorus call and response. Another example is from Chuck Berry's " School Day (Ring Ring Goes the Bell)". A contemporary example is from
Carly Rae Jepsen Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 21, 1985) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Mission, British Columbia Mission is a district municipality in the Lower Mainland of the Provinces and territories of Canada, provin ...
's "
Call Me Maybe "Call Me Maybe" is a song recorded by Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen for her extended play, EP ''Curiosity (EP), Curiosity'' (2012) and later appeared on her second studio album ''Kiss (Carly Rae Jepsen album), Kiss'' (2012). The song was writ ...
". This technique is utilized in Jepsen's song several times. While mostly in the chorus, it can also be heard in the breakdown (approximately 2:25) between the vocals ("It's hard to look right") and distorted guitar.


Question/answer call and response

Part of the band poses a musical "question", or a phrase that feels unfinished, and another part of the band "answers" (finishes) it. In the blues, the B section often has a question-and-answer pattern (dominant-to-tonic). An example of this is the Christmas song " Must Be Santa": A similar question-and-answer exchange occurs in the movie ''
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of Morocco. Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the Atlantic Ocean, it is the second largest city in the Maghreb ...
'' between Sam and the band in the song "Knock On Wood":


See also

*
Antiphon An antiphon (Greek language, Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί "opposite" and φωνή "voice") is a short chant in Christianity, Christian ritual, sung as a refrain. The texts of antiphons are the Psalms. Their form was favored by St Ambrose a ...
*
Countersubject In music, a subject is the material, usually a recognizable melody, upon which part or all of a musical composition, composition is based. In forms other than the fugue, this may be known as the theme. Characteristics A subject may be perceivab ...
*
Responsory A responsory or respond is a type of chant in western Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ...
*
Military cadence In the armed services, a military cadence or cadence call is a traditional call-and-response work song sung by military personnel while running or marching. In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Un ...
* African-American women work songs


References


External links


Call and Response in Blues
- with references to blues songs and historical evolution.

- with references to call and response in black gospel music
Gospel Music History
- Gospel Music Encyclopedia citing the origins of the different types of call and response and different gospel music style {{Musical form Musical techniques Jazz techniques Formal sections in music analysis Jazz terminology Kirtan