How music has influenced African American life, 1619-2011 - Essay Example

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This short essay shows us how the music is influencing on our lives. The example which has been taken - is African-American people during last centuries…
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How music has influenced African American life, 1619-2011
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How Music Has Influenced African American Life, 1619 Here Here Here Here Music is a universal art form, inherent in the culture of any nation. It is closely connected with other creative forms of human behavior, such as dancing and singing. In such a way it becomes obvious that music has a special and important place in African American life. Thus, the question is too broad to be dealt in one page and the main purpose of this essay is to answer the question how music has influenced African American life, 1619-2011, using spirituals as example. First of all, it is necessary to mention that an important role in shaping African-American music played a conversion of slaves from Africa to Christian. African Americans did not object to the conversion to a new faith, because it gave them hope for liberation. It is well perceived by the dogmas of Christianity, adapting to the realities of slave life. The church treated them as an opportunity to escape from the terrible reality. For these and others reasons, music that sounds in the church for African Americans has carried the traits of canonical European church music, and various elements of the pagan cults that come from their historical homeland. The degree of penetration of the aesthetic and musical elements of African origin into church music depended on the variety of Christianity. Continuing the discussion of previous information it is necessary to say that North African American’s, the so-called ‘spirituals’ (call-and-response), have appeared in the USA since the second half of the XVIII century. Spirituals combine the distinctive elements of African performance traditions (collective improvisation, the characteristic rhythm of glissando, not tempered chords, specific emotionality) with the stylistic features of the Puritan hymns. Thus, they represented the Africans as thinking human beings, and were the first and most expressive means by which the whole world got to know African American music. To summarize, music allows African Americans to show themselves as creative people with own characters and traditions, to balance their inner world with surrounding reality, and to harmonize thin strings of their soul. Work cited: Allen, Ray. Singing in the Spirit: African-American Sacred Quartets in New York City. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991. Read More
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