African American Folk Music

From Hip Hop to Jazz to R&B to Rock, African American folk music influenced and inspired  it all.  African American folk music is the base of all American music. It helps ties all cultures together. 

Folk Music tell stories. Stories of pain and turmoil song with suffering with every syllable. There are also stories that are meant to be sung with rejoice and happiness. All strung from Africa culture.

An important characteristic is it’s call and response structure. A singer makes a statement then a group answers it in response. Also there is Polyrhythms which is ” several contrasting rhythms played or song simultaneously.”  Songs were greatly done with dancing and drums.  Drums and dancing help explain thing better than words. They can express secrets to stories with just movements and sounds from the drum.

From the folk music era brought the Banjo, ” one to six string and a next running parallel to the gourd body” and the Patting juba “Rhythmic body percussion used by slaves”.  All artist should pay tribute to the Folk musician because they are the spark that brought the fire of all music.

Folk music had a major impact of European music and dancing. Our black culture has always been “borrowed” by the Europeans and said to be there own.

My personal opinion on African American folk music is that its teaches us about history as any history book can. The stories and wisdom that can come from the songs is unimaginable. Its the start of American history. African American folk music is what ties all cultures to together. 

Gabrielle Fullilove

Gabrielle Fullilove

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