The Music of New York reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Music of New York

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Music of the United States
History (Timeline and Samples)
Before 1940: Synthesis of Sources
1940s and 50s: Invention of Popular Music
1960s and 70s: Creation of a Counterculture
1980s to the present: Diversification of Styles
African American
Native American music (Inuit music>Inuit and Hawaiian)
Latin (Tejano and Puerto Rican)
Other immigrants (Jewish, European, South and East Asian, modern African, Middle-Eastern and Cajun and Creole)
Local music
AL - AK - AR - CA - CO - CT - DC - DE - FL - GA - GU - HI - ID - IL - IN - IA - KS - KY - LA - ME - MD - MA - MI - MN - MP - MS - MO - MT - NC - ND - NE - NV - NH - NJ - NM - NY - OH - OK - OR - PA - PR - RI - SC - SD - TN - TX - UT - VT - VA - VI - WA - WV - WI - WY

In the United States, New York City has long been a musical hub and, in some ways, the musical capital of the country.

Table of contents
1 Hip hop
2 Jazz
3 Salsa
4 Tin Pan Alley
5 Punk rock
6 Early 2000s
7 References

Hip hop

New York City is a prominent part of hip hop music. The genre began there at neighborhood block parties when DJs like DJ Kool Herc began isolating percussion breaks in funk and R&B songs, eventually rapping while the audience danced. For many years, New York was the only city with a major hip hop scene, and all of the early recordings came from New York. People like Kurtis Blow and LL Cool J brought hip hop to the mainstream for the first time, while so-called East Coast rap was perfected by artists including Eric B. & Rakim.

By the early 1990s, however, West Coast rap, from Los Angeles, was gaining national fame. In 1992, Dr. Dre's The Chronic became a national hit and made the West Coast the most popular center of hip hop. The East Coast, however, included multi-platinum artists like Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G, along with critically acclaimed acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Busta Rhymes.


In New York City, jazz was fused with stride (an advanced form of ragtime) and became highly evolved. Fletcher Henderson's jazz orchestra, first appearing in 1923, included Coleman Hawkins and later, Louis Armstrong, became wildly popular and helped invent swing music. When Duke Ellington moved to New York City, he inaguarated a legion of jaz musicians that did the same and moved the center of jazz's development from Chicago to New York. The bop revolution of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker began in New York, as did the free jazz movement of the 1960s. New York is still one of the most important cities for jazz in the world, if not the most important ; as currently demonstrated by the acid jazz movement.


Invented by Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants, salsa singers like Tito Puente helped diversify New York's scene.

Tin Pan Alley

By the end of the
19th century, Tin Pan Alley, a group of songwriters in New York City, dominated American popular music with their sheet music. Tin Pan Alley lasted into the 1960s.

Punk rock

New York City had the earliest
punk rock scene. Drawing on local influences like The Velvet Underground, Richard Hell and the New York Dolls, punk developed at clubs like CBGB's and Max's Kansas City. Patti Smith, Talking Heads and other artsy New Wave artists were also extremely popular in the mid- to late 1970s as bands like The Ramones were establishing and American punk rock sound.


In the early
1980s, hardcore punk was developing primarily in Southern California and Washington DC. In New York, the hardcore scene was founded by 1981, and bands like Reagan Youth, and Kraut led the initial charge, along with The Stimulators, who didn't play hardcore but were still influential in its development. By 1985, the New York hardcore scene had become inhabited by straight edge fanatics and skinheads, including bands like Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Heart Attack, Kraut, Youth of Today and Murphy's Law. The Beastie Boys started out with New York's hardcore scene before switching to hip hop and reaching national fame.

Early 2000s

New York continues to be one of the main centers for rock music in the U.S. with bands like The Strokes, Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and has also produced the electroclash scene featuring performers like Fischerspooner and Adult.


Blush, Steven. American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Feral House. 2001. ISBN 0-922915-717-7