This thesis examines aesthetics, sonic characteristics, and performance practices of zydeco music as heard in south Louisiana today. The first chapter describes the roles of instruments in a zydeco band, focusing specifically on the importance of the kick drum and the snare drum. It also details the evolution of the modern zydeco sound and how certain instruments, their modifications, and their timbres came to characterize the style especially prevalent among a group of artists who play for zydeco trail rides. The second chapter examines the tempo of modern zydeco music through quantitative analysis of musical recordings. This chapter also elucidates the use of beat patterns and drumming techniques within the genre, providing evidence for a current preference for the boogaloo beat over the on-the-one and the double beats. The third chapter discusses sonic goals and values of the sound engineer in zydeco music in live performance. This chapter also includes analysis of the frequency spectrum profiles of live zydeco recordings which depict how sound reinforcement practices, instrument modifications, and playing techniques discussed in the thesis are manifested in these performances. Research methods employed for this thesis include interviews with zydeco musicians, empirical analysis of live musical recordings, and examination of spectrograms.
|Advisor:||DeWitt, Mark F.|
|Commitee:||Bradford, Wesley, Kulp, Jonathan, Munson, Chris|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Music history, Music theory, Music|
|Keywords:||Cajun, Creole, Drums, Louisiana, Sound engineering, Zydeco music|
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