African Roots

African Roots

African music has had an impact on music and society world wide through generations. 

What began in Africa as call and response and other methods of music like storytelling using instruments like the djembe. 

The banjo is an instrumental example of this. First used as a method to entertain slave masters at parties and events. 

As time progressed and the transatlantic slave trade began, as families were ripped apart and many displaced. Music connected the slaves through sing songs and work songs during the time as the slaves used songs to connect, pass time, and communicate inconspicuously.  


As church going began to spread amongst slaves, order time a whole new genre of Gospel music was created. Which has shifted and changed there trajectory of music forever. Gospel was made abundantly different from its white counterpart hymnals, with differing sounds and more varied beats and rhythms as well as syncopation and other melodic shifts. 


Music was often a connecting tool for African Americans. An escape. This tradition has continued in modern music as much of the Rap and R&B music we hear now is about personal experience. 

Post emancipation, gospel pioneered blues, jazz, ragtime, hip hop, and other musical genres. These derived from African roots and traditions. An example is Hip Hop beats which are very similar in nature to old spirituals named “Jubilee’s” like “Go tell it on the Mountain”.  

Songs like these inspired the storytelling and raw emotion put into songs today. We would be nothing without our African roots.

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