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Could you imagine African American culture without music? This question is rather rhetorical. Floyd defined African-American music as music that emanates directly from the black experience in America, descending from the calls, cries, hollers, spirituals, ragtime, and blues of the slavery and post-slavery periods. This genre includes jazz, rhythm and blues, black gospel, and all the forms to which these genres have given birth (Floyd, 232). Interestingly, no one knows exactly when the blues or jazz music began. “When asked about the origin of blues, old-time fiddlers in New Orleans replied, the blues? Ain’t no first blues! The blues always been” (Southern, 332). Historically, through their indigenous music of their homeland, slaves brought many characteristics of blues, ragtime, and jazz music. Even though those persons could not bring their instruments and familiar possessions from their country, they did bring music in their hearts and minds. For them music served as a way of life in Africa, for celebrations and rituals. For work, pleasure, and freedom in America, the slaves adapted a new kind of music, developing a new culture for themselves by combining parts of the American culture with African culture. The new music of work songs, shouts, hollers, cries, and moans, evolved into the blues, happy and sad songs.
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The sense is that American music reflects and comprises in all its numerous genres and styles various influences and tendencies, which were brought into American culture by immigrants. Probably, the most important and powerful factor that has affected American music in general, and rock and pop music in particular, is defined as African-American identity (Nicholls 134). However, there are also a lot of various aspects in European, Latin, etc.
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.
This is to say that the many ethnic groups in Africa, especially those coming from West Africa, had learned to share their musical patterns and create a kind of music that will reflect their group as one. In a sense, their social status during the slavery era had influenced them to create a single identity and a common culture.
As expected, (Joyner, 2006) the Europeans also adopted their culture of music since they were diverse in their own history. They had three categories of music that included: religious, classical and also popular music.
Despite the fact that West African music differed from one region to the other, all cultures within this region shared sufficient features that enabled them to constitute a heritage that was identifiable as African when they were trans-located to the New World (Jackson 25). From the accounts given by early traders and explorers, it has been deduced that music was a lifestyle of these West Africans.
From the Sub-Saharan Africa, where the first known African music originated, this music has travelled to America through slavery, and has eventually developed into the great music that it is now, at a state which is presently symbolic of freedom. Indeed, regardless of the time in history, African-American Music is always a proclamation of the liberation of the Black American.
al trans-culturation with this trans-culturation encompassing processes, which concern the contact of two or more cultures with regards to musical influences that set in motion processes that alter the music of the affected culture in one way or the other. Where there is
Indeed, in this concert, the major participants were the black population. However, also in attendance were also young audiences from the general population. This implies that the urban music’s, like hip hop performed by the African American artists like Usher have
History can however prove that these performances reflect on intricacies and richness that can only emanate from the African heritage. The core of their kind of music emanates from the way it expresses the human experience.