This is a chart I created a few years ago, to show the influences in American music since the 1800’s. You will need to click on it to view it larger, or download it, if that is easier (see the links at the bottom of the page).

Most of the relationships between the musical styles were gathered from Wikipedia, and probably a few other websites, which I don’t remember now.

American Music History Chart

The purpose of the chart was to show two things:

  1. That there has been a decline or decay in American music through the violation of the laws of good music.
  2. That the “grandfather” of all these changes was Ragtime music, with it’s scientifically syncopated rhythm.

Of course, that is a simplification, but nonetheless a fact. What began as a seemingly innocent diversion from good rhythmic control, has ended up in musical styles that can best be described by the word, “chaos”.

The mistake many religious people make is that instead of going back to the beginning of the deviation, and forming their music anew with good principles, they instead try to go back somewhere along the line, pointing their finger to the obvious excesses of heavy rock, while cherishing their “nice” soft jazz music. This family tree shows the hypocrisy of doing that. All these styles share the same parents.

Matthew 7
16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

If the latest fruit on the tree is bad, then the tree itself is bad, anywhere down the line. It was this realization that made me cut off all musical styles from my life that departed from any of the good laws of music.

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