Posted on Feb 17 2018 11:53 AM
Let me get my personal rant out of the way: In my personal opinion, Facebook is the melanoma of civilization, maybe even melanoma plus pancreatic cancer. Id rather die than sell my soul to Zuckerberg.
Tracing the roots of music is never all that simple. The roots of Surf Music could be said to be Spanish, but the Spanish got it from somewhere. A while back, I researched the Andalusian Cadence and every time you pull on the thread, it unravels something deeper. It is found in Flamenco, Western Clasiscal Music, Greek music and is thought to have roots in ancient Judah, which begs the question of whether they got it from their years of Babylonian exile or if its ultimate origin was Israeli. I dunno, but it’s sure fun to play, whether we are talking Stray Cat Strut, Runaway or Walk, Don’t Run.
I see Surf Music as a local phenomenon to Southern California which quickly spread. It didn’t occur in isolation, by any means, The Shadows were not playing Surf, per se, but they were doing some great things with Instrumentals and had a sound which, at the very least, shares some common elements with Surf. My point is that Surf was waiting to happen. Surf required clean and powerful amps and reverb, both of which were most readily available in Orange County. Surfing was a social phenomenon of the area and having it intersect with the newest trends in music is hardly surprising.
But music is not a static thing, it progresses, develops and migrates. Jazz is said to be a truly American form of music, but it spread quickly and was quite popular in Europe. A French violinist and a Belgian Gypsy guitarist took it in a new direction in the thirties and the song Nuages became a symbol of quiet protest in occupied France. Django escaped being a Holocaust victim because a few German officers loved his music. So, who does this art form belong to?
If we play music of Western Culture, we all owe a great deal to an Austrian composer known as W. A. Mozart, but I don’t think that many of us are losing sleep over appropriating from him. Music, especially music without lyrics, crosses cultural, National and ethnic boudaries freely and is truly universal.
Go to a gathering of Native Americans and you are likely to hear polkas played with skill and enthusiasm. The radio station of a nearby tribe also has an hour of Reggae music every day. Country music is also popular on many reservations.
One reason that various instrumentals have been so popular with European bands is that the cross language boundaries. For example, a Swedish band could sell recording throughout Europe and the US, which was a much larger marketplace than the relatively limited Swedish-speaking market. When viewed in this light, there’s no surprise that these bands proliferated and continue to do so today. In many cases, such bands brought new ideas to the music and only served to enrich the genre.
In the end, it’s just a Facebook post, and I see no reason to give it more attention than it deserves. If Facebook shut down tomorrow it wouldn’t bother me a bit.
The artist formerly known as: Synchro
When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
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