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Musical Strains in Black American Music

Combination of musical strains in black American

Attitudes of the past towards African culture

Actual contribution of African culture

Black music of today and African music

Characteristics that have been retained

Comparison with other black music in the new World

Increases in knowledge of black music

Call and response of congregational singing

V. Professional nature of African music

B. Result of this professional class

C. Principal characteristics of African music

2. Melodic structure and spoken word

Differences between European and African accents

More improvisation than with spirituals

The Influence of African Music on Slave Songs and Music in the Southeast

Black American music has had a profound influence on

American music as such, and the only truly American musical form, jazz, derived from this base. However, black music itself derived in part from earlier traditions in Africa, traditions which the slaves brought with them and then continued to use in their new environment. From these beginnings the spiritual, various folk music, and jazz would develop. John Rublowsky states of the American music: "The slave became a kind of New World catalyst, combining the various musical strains that had been brought into the Americans into a new and unique musical expression. So influential has this creativity been, that today it pervades all of American music" (Rublowsky 12). Experts once argued that this music was strictly a New World phenomenon, for it was believed that Africa had no culture to speak of and that what little African traditions the slaves brought with them was soon overpowered by the "superior" white cultures. Modern research refutes this and finds African forms underlying the music of black America to this day. The view that there was no culture in Africa of importance was clearly a result of prejudice and the felling of superiority of the white race, and this has be...

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Musical Strains in Black American Music. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:45, May 31, 2020, from