African American and African Music

By: Alyssia Horsley

The role of Music in African Countries

Music is very important, many songs are used to pass down stories from generations to generation. Music plays a important role in festivals, rituals and cultural activities. In Africa music symbolized royalty, healing, and celebrations. One particular example would be a funerals for loved ones. Where often songs were used as a goodbye.

The role of music in African American Communities

Music allows fellowship and a sense of togetherness. From the early 1800s to today. Music has been used as a tool to celebrate, to pass time, and conduct funerals.One particular example would be a send off for loved ones. Where songs were used as a goodbye after a death.e

Two most common musical structures in African and AA music

The call and Response technique can be heard in many  and work songs. Everyone at gatherings could play a active role in producing music. This is a interactive and community oriented technique. Allowed whoever was leading the song to express their emotion of have creative freedom. Another Technique would be the repetitive singing of particular words. This can be seen in many folk and gospel songs. It allowed be to follow long and participate because the song was easy to memorize. 

Ways Music is created and performed in African and AA communities

During slavery instruments were rare so the use of hambone and clapping was greatly used. They would join together during gatherings singing along and creating music with their voices and objects around them. They Created their own slang to sing along with the music. In Africa many joint fellowships would occur creating a harmonization of multiple voices and instruments.

Timbre in African and AA music differs from European derived traditions

The unique sounds and imitations of human voices through instruments such as the talking drums and other drums greatly differed from the traditional European sound. The music took simple sounds and altered to make more complex sounds.