Bo Diddley beat

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Bo Diddley beat takes its name from Bo Diddley and his eponymous song

The Bo Diddley beat is a syncopated musical rhythm that is widely used in rock and roll and pop music.[1][2][3] The beat is named after rhythm and blues musician Bo Diddley, who introduced and popularized the beat with his self-titled debut single, "Bo Diddley", in 1955. Music educator and author Michael Campbell describes the Bo Diddley beat as:

a slightly altered version of the clave rhythm ... [The "Bo Diddley"] song shows the relationship between Afro-Cuban music, Americanized Latin rhythms, and rock rhythm ... [The beats] are more active and complicated than a simple rock rhythm, but less complex than a real Afro-Cuban rhythm.[4]

History and composition[edit]

Bo Diddley beat[5] Play .

The Bo Diddley beat is a variation of the 3-2 clave, one of the most common bell patterns found in Afro-Cuban music that has been traced to sub-Saharan African music traditions.[6] It is also akin to the rhythmic pattern known as "shave and a haircut, two bits", that has been linked to Yoruba drumming from West Africa.[7] A folk tradition called "hambone", a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes has also been suggested.[8]

According to musician and author Ned Sublette, "In the context of the time, and especially those maracas [heard on the record], 'Bo Diddley' has to be understood as a Latin-tinged record. A rejected cut recorded at the same session was titled only 'Rhumba' on the track sheets."[9] Bo Diddley employed maracas, a percussion instrument used in Caribbean and Latin music, as a basic component of the sound.[7] Jerome Green was the maraca player on Diddley's early records, initially using the instrument as a more portable alternative to a drum set.[10] When asked how he began to use this rhythm, Bo Diddley gave many different accounts. In a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he said that he came up with the beat after listening to gospel music in church when he was twelve years old.[10]

Use by other artists[edit]

Prior to Bo Diddley's self-titled song, the rhythm occurred in 13 rhythm and blues songs recorded between 1944 and 1955, including two by Johnny Otis from 1948.[11] In 1944, "Rum and Coca Cola", containing the beat, was recorded by the Andrews Sisters[5] and in 1952, a song with similar syncopation, "Hambone", was recorded by Red Saunders' Orchestra with the Hambone Kids.

Later, the beat was included in many songs composed by artists other than Bo Diddley:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Jonathan (June 3, 2008). "Bo Diddley, Guitarist Who Inspired the Beatles and the Stones, Dies Aged 79". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  2. ^ "Bo Diddley". Rockhall.com. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  3. ^ "Bo Diddley". Rollingstone.com. 2001. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Campbell, Michael (2009). Popular Music in America: And the Beat Goes On (3rd ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-495-50530-3.
  5. ^ a b c Hicks, Michael (2000). Sixties Rock. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-252-06915-4.
  6. ^ Peñalosa, David (2010). The Clave Matrix; Afro-Cuban Rhythm: Its Principles and African Origins. Redway, California: Bembe Books. p. 244. ISBN 1-886502-80-3.
  7. ^ a b c d e McDonald, Sam (September 7, 2005). "CHUNKA – CHUNKA – CHUNK A – CHUNK–CHUNK". Dailypress.com. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  8. ^ Roscetti, Ed (2008). Stuff! Good Drummers Should Know. Hal Leonard. p. 16. ISBN 1-4234-2848-X.
  9. ^ Sublette, Ned (2007). The Kingsmen and the Cha-Cha-Chá. Duke University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0822340410.
  10. ^ a b Strauss, Neil (August 25, 2005). "The Indestructible Beat of Bo Diddley". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  11. ^ Tamlyn, Garry Neville (March 1998). The Big Beat: Origins and Development of Snare Backbeat and other Accompanimental Rhythms in Rock'n'Roll (PDF) (Thesis). University of Liverpool. p. 284. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  12. ^ Rosen, Steven (March 16, 2011). "Behind the Song: 'Not Fade Away'". Americansongwriter.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Dean, Bill (June 2, 2008). "Rock Pioneer Bo Diddley Dies". Gainesville.com. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kot, Greg (June 2, 2008). "Bo Diddley Dead at 79". Chicagotribune.com. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Allen, Jim (February 1, 2022). "Tracing the Bo Diddley Beat". Uiscovermusic.com. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Ratliff, Ben (June 3, 2008). "Bo Diddley: The Beat That Will Go On". Nytimes.com. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  17. ^ Aquila, Richard (2016). Let's Rock!: How 1950s America Created Elvis and the Rock and Roll Craze. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 232. ISBN 978-1442269378.
  18. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "The Rolling Stones: Flowers – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Fremer, Michael (December 26, 2021). "Love's 'Forever Changes' Finally Gets Long Deserved First Class Vinyl Reissue". Analogplanet.com. Archived from the original on 2012-12-30. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  20. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Jefferson Airplane: 'She Has Funny Cars' – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  21. ^ Barton, Geoff (September 24, 2016). "The Story Behind The Song: Ace Frehley's New York Groove – Classic Rock". Teamrock.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  22. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "Elton John: Rock of the Westies – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Harris, John (2010). Hail! Hail! Rock'n'Roll: The Ultimate Guide to the Music, the Myths and the Madness. Hachette. p. 149. ISBN 0748114866. Retrieved July 5, 2012 – via Google.com.
  24. ^ Pareles, Jon. "RECORDINGS; Talking Heads Confronts the Modern World". nytimes.com. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  25. ^ Swanson, Dave. "When Primal Scream Created Their Own World With "Screamadelica"". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  26. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Allman Brothers Band: "Where It All Begins" – Review". AllMusic. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  27. ^ Cunnigham, Jen. "10 Times 'Weird Al' Parodied Pre-1980s Hits (And Was Awesome): 10) 'Party at the Leper Colony' (2003)". Rebeatmag.com. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  28. ^ Jack, Malcolm (February 13, 2014). "Ezra Furman – Review". Theguardian.com. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  29. ^ Hann, Michael (March 18, 2014). "Tune-Yards Comes Back with Water Fountain". Theguardian.com. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  30. ^ Block, Melissa. "Lord Huron Wants You to Dance at the Apocalypse". NPR.org. Retrieved April 1, 2021.