This week we’ve been exploring funk music.
In Funk — Syncopation and the Teeter Totter Principal and Funk — The Teeter Totter principle in action. Cameo's "Rigor Mortis" we explored how various funk classics balance strong and weak beats to produce such danceable music.
In Funk — The Puzzle Principle we heard how funk is constructed of intricately designed (and precisely played) parts.
Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” illustrates both principles.
Note the Teeter Totter Principle in action here. The other instruments (two guitars, bass, and horns) work the syncopation, but the drums keep a fairly straight framework around all of it. Note how the groove come to life with the entrance of the drums. (A more syncopated drum part might weight things too heavily on the side of the weak beats.)
And note the intricate fitting together of the parts (the Puzzle Principle). As is often the case with funk, the song starts with the parts introduced one at a time. One guitar, then the second guitar, then the base, and then the rest of the band. Notice how this is not only fun, it teaches the listener how to assemble the parts in her mind and listen.
Thank you for reading.