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African American Music - Essay Example

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This paper is dedicated to African American music and the heritage that it has left for the last century…
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African American Music
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African American Music

Download file to see previous pages... 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. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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