Music from Africa to America

By Anjae Turman

The roles of music in African Communities

In the African society music was traditional music help them communicate and connect with each other. There were several events where they played music such as birth, marriage, rite of passage, and while working. Music was used for dancing and singing and to tell stories about African history to many generations. They pass down music verbally to young people. African music is very diverse and very important to African society. The most common music of Africa is polyrhythms it plays three beats

The roles of music in African American Communities


African American music expressed what African American were feeling doing the struggle of civil rights. Slaves would sing while working in the slave field and it would tell their life stories and to understand the meaning of their culture. There are several American styles of music such as jazz, blues, hip hop, and R&B. These genres set a message of how African American struggled and how they wanted equality and justices for their rights. Folk spirituals were also performed the most common were call and response and repetitive choruses.


Timbre is described as the tone or sound quality. Timbre can be found in an instrument or a singing voice. Timbre was important to African and African American music because it help recognize a person voice when singing and gave the music more sound and tone. However, Europeans didn’t like timbre they thought it didn’t sound right in music. Europeans didn’t use timbre in their music they listened to more classical music.

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