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Rhythm and blues

Music genre
NameRhythm and blues
Stylistic originsJazz
Blues (esp., jump, electric)
Cultural origins1940s � 1950s, USA
Typical instrumentsDrum kit � Double bassSaxophoneHornsPianoOrgan � Electric guitar � Vocals � Background vocalists
Mainstream popularitySignificant from 1940s to 1960s; iconic afterwards
Derivative formsFunk � SkaSoul
Rock and rollReggae - Disco later: Beat music - Power pop - Psychedelic rock - Garage rock - Pub rock (UK) - Mod revival
SubgenresContemporary R&BSmooth jazz
Fusion genresRockabilly
Local scenesNew Orleans R&B
Other topicsList of R&B musicians, British Invasion, Mod (lifestyle)

     Home | Music Genre | Rhythm and blues

Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.

The term has subsequently had a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s and beyond, the term rhythm and blues was frequently applied to blues records. Starting in the 1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term "R&B" became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. By the 1970s, rhythm and blues was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as contemporary R&B.

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