Funk originated in the mid-1960s by musicians who began mixing the genres of Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Jazz. The genre is characterized by a strong groove, usually carried out by bass guitar or drumkits, a prominent use of extended chords, and a percussive guitar style using a wah pedal. Funk usually focuses less on melody and more on the danceable rhythm and groove.
One of the founders of funk was James Brown, who implemented a signature groovy sound by emphasizing the downbeat and singing in a distinctly emphatic voice. Other seminal acts in funk include Sly & The Family Stone, Funkadelic and Parliament (both headed by George Clinton who created the P-Funk sound), and The Meters.
Funk has also been fused with numerous genres, such as jazz (for Jazz-Funk), Latin-associated genres (for Latin Funk), and Rock (for Funk Rock).
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, funk expanded even further, incorporating elements from Disco, Electro, and Hip Hop. During this time Prince and Rick James along with others were vital in the development of Synth Funk.
Funk also advanced in countries outside of the United States of America. In West Africa, a particular blend of Vodoun and funk arose, resulting in what many call Afro-Funk. The most important artist of this style was T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. In Nigeria, Fela Kuti melded Highlife, Yoruba music, and funk to create what is known as Afrobeat. India, Ethiopia, and some European countries all had a hand in the development of distinct funk styles that broke away from the American norms.(by Rateyourmusic)
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