African Music as a Part of World Music Industry

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About this sample


Words: 982 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: May 24, 2022

Words: 982|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: May 24, 2022

Music is part of our lives almost since we were born, and for many it is considered the food of the soul . There are different types of music, and each person can vary in their tastes. Research results show that music is a powerful form of social expression that can reinforce stereotypes and favors the expression of one's identity. But beyond the musical tastes, it is clear that the feeling of listening to music of our liking is unique and even indescribable. Music makes us feel incredible sensations and makes us feel different emotions: joy, ecstasy, happiness, sadness , love. Usually music was used for entertaining people, but African-Americans used it to express their social, personal as wells political concerns.

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The blues is one of the most important and influential musical genres of recent times . It originated at the end of the 19th century when African slaves were transported to the United States. His lyrics have a melancholic air in which you can see personal anguish or social problems. It is the combination of African and Western music that led to the genre that we know as 'blues.' Several blues styles have been developed over the years, some in small cities in the southern United States and others in cities such as Chicago and New Orleans. This style has influenced almost all genres of popular music that were to come at that time: jazz, soul, hip hop, etc.


At the end of the s. XIX, most African-American musicians only played blues, but some also played classical music and learned European harmony. Some even mixed European harmony with the rhythms and scales of the blues, and it was thanks to this mix that 'jazz' appeared. Jazz is characterized by a series of elements: improvisation, the treatment of rhythm (swing), the use of setbacks and syncopes , their voices (for example, scat), their orchestras (Big Bang), etc. One of the greatest jazz musicians was trumpeter Louis Armstrong, but artists like Frank Sinatra are also world famous. There are different types of jazz: Latin jazz, bebop, swing ... but all retain the essence of this style.

Rhythm and Blues (R&B)

While jazz was becoming increasingly popular in the 1930s and 1940s, another new genre was beginning to develop. Many African Americans were professional blues musicians, but building a professional future in music and earning money was not easy. So many formed small bands and looked for work in bars and pubs. If they wanted to work, the musicians had to manage to attract the audience, and many young people of the time, those who frequented these places, thought that the blues were out of fashion . The bands were forced to create a new style, which would be called 'rhythm and blues' or 'R&B '. In the beginning, the R&B bands were loud and lively and based their strength on drums, double bass, and electric guitar. The singers were men or women with great voices, and the audience loved it. Today, R&B is still in force, but with great influence of another style that we will see later, soul.


Gospel music is a musical genre that was born in African-American churches in the mid-twentieth century , thanks to the fusion of the spiritual songs of black slaves who embraced the Christian faith, and traditional hymns of white music. Gospel music is a type of congregational music, with simple music but with marked rhythms. It has a great harmonic richness with a simple melody. It is a music characterized by massive choirs, with a touch of palms, and a peculiar song in which the choir returns the phrases sung by the soloist.


Soul music is a genre of African-American popular music that greatly influenced many subsequent genres . For example: funk music. dance, hip hop and contemporary R&B. It was developed in the US in the late 1950s, of gospel music and other styles. While the gospel was a more cheerful type of music, with a chorus moved touching the palms, the soul was slower, deeper music. 'Soul' means soul in English.


Ska originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s , and contains elements of mental music, calypso music, jazz and rythm and blues. At the beginning of the 60s it was the dominant musical genre in Jamaica and had great repercussion in the United Kingdom. Ska's music is highly danceable, optimistic, fast and exciting. The ska influenced other styles that were born in Jamaica such as rocksteady or the well-known reggae, with which it closely resembles, although the latter is characterized by not being an accelerated musical genre, unlike ska.


Reggae music originated in Jamaica, influenced mainly by ska and rocksteady , but also by other styles such as blues or jazz. In general, reggae song lyrics are linked to social criticism, although some songs address different themes. Jamaican artist Bob Marley is its greatest exponent.

Hip Hop

Hip hop developed in the late 1970s, and was created in the slums of New York City by African-American teenagers. Along with this style, other artistic movements such as breakdancing and graffiti were also born. Many of these young people were unemployed, but some found work as DJs. In the block parties (public and mass parties that gathered many members of the same neighborhood), they mixed musical themes while other young people rapped on the repetitive rhythms. Today hip hop has evolved significantly and, together with the R & B, have great importance in the world pop scene.


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Throughout the years, the African-American music has been highly used in informing the masses within a specific cultural network by use of a unique language which can only be understood by the people in that particular setting. Throughout the years of music industry evolution, different phrases and words have been integrated and used by various communities using different languages. This development of cultural adaptation has been evident in multiple communities, although it was an African-American form of music.

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African Music as a Part of World Music Industry. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from
“African Music as a Part of World Music Industry.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022,
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