About this sample
About this sample
2 pages /
2 pages /
In today's world, most music we hear is profanity such as rap, pop or any other music in the United States. The one culture that has not changed much is African music; African music genre has stayed true to its culture and roots and somehow is still popular today among many genres. Because of the rise of modern-day music in America such as hip-hop, this essay will illustrate how African music culture has impacted the world in a way that African can claim authenticity of those music genres.
African music better is known as African American music in society today; it has brought many different types of music genre to America since the transatlantic slave trade. One of these music types is afrobeat which was founded by Fela Kuti and who was also responsible for bringing a polyrhythm sound. One of the first voyages of Africans to America were a variety of different ethnic groups with a history of African musical traditions. When arriving, some of these Africans were allowed to bring their instrument and others made a new instrument. An example of this is the “Banja” now known as the banjo were one of the first African instruments brought over to America and it is still being played in America till this day. The beginning of mainstream African American music began in the 19th century, “In the 1830s, the Great Awakening led to a rise in Christian fundamentalism, especially among African Americans”. At this time African Americans were slaves but also happen to be the beginning of them starting to perform a variety of spiritual and Christian songs. Many of which were code for them to eventually slavery escape. By the 1800s the black population has been growing and many African Americans musics were being banned by the colonies. But what the colonizers did not realize was the main instrument for these African Americans were their voice. But besides their voice, the most common and also well-known instrument available for African Americans was the violin, guitar, and banjo.
According to Michael Fitch, the instrumentals are typically combined together and they are combined it forms a string band. Other instruments they use were Mouth Bow which was mostly used when they were slaves. Diddley bow is a single string instrument which influenced the blues sound and the washtub bass, an instrument used in American Folk Music that uses a metal washtub as its base. Compared to African American music and Sub-Saharan African instrument they are different. The traditional African instrument is “Membranophone”, an instrument that produces sound by vibrating stretched membrane. Gankogui is an African bell; which is a percussion instrument made of forged iron. When stuck with a wooden stick it produces two different sounds gang and gong. The point is that African music and African American music have many things in common. They both are both well known for their percussion drums and rhythms which is not an accident because it is a culture that was separated from its origins by colonial powers during the time of colonization. What makes African music so unique? “Uniqueness of African music is that melodies are simple and short but they are repeated over and over which makes the rhythm of the beat exciting”. Knowing this, it is easy for African today to claim the authenticity of many western music genres that were brought to light by a black man whose ancestors were part of the tragic transatlantic slaves' trade.
In Africa, there are several musical traits that are not only common in parts of Africa but in America as well. An example of this is “polyrhythm which is the combination of two or more rhythms at the same time”. Another trait that Africans are also known for is their musical dance. For African music and goes together as they use a combination of both in their ritual ceremonies. These musical traits are African origins which give them the right to claim authenticity. In their tradition music is something that everybody does and nobody is left behind. Even though some people might be better than others, everybody is encouraged to sing and clap rather than just watch. In Africa, there are musical performances that involve singing and dancing. These musical performances are tradition in Africa. For example, at a musical festival that is held in Mali every year and thousands of people come from all over the world to enjoy African music culture which lasts three days.
In conclusion, African music often happens in social situations where people's primary goals are not artistic. Instead, music is for ceremonies (life cycle rituals, festivals), work (subsistence, childcare, domestic chores, wage labor), or play (games, parties). Music making contributes to an events’ success by focusing attention, communicating information, encouraging social solidarity, and transforming consciousness. This shows that music is set in a social context for African. It is associated and applied with life in their society, not simply set into the background which is traditional in Western society.
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