So Long, Farewell

I went into this class with a very different mind set than where I am now.  Learning about the true impact of African Americans in music has been truly inspiring. I think this is a very good class and I have taken away a lot of knowledge from it. I can say now that I […]

Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago-Concert Report

Chicago and  Earth Wind and Fire performed live in 2004 at the Greek theatre. Important elements of the performance include, a strong bass guitar, difficult melodies on the horns and electric guitar. A synthesizer was also utilized for drums. other instruments used in the concert include a drum sets, tambourines, a keyboard  and a saxophone. […]

You’ll never stop my praise!

Gospel music is the more modern religious music. clearly influenced by negro spirituals there are often songs sharing stories and prophecies from the bible. This music includes characteristics such as call and response, ad-libbing, a band including drums, guitar, bass guitar, piano etc. The songs may often speak about the relationships with God and my […]

Do It For the Culture!

Hip hop is a constantly evolving civilization. There are many elements to hip hop including dance, MCs, and Djs. Breaking, or dancing, is the most natural thing to African Americans as rhythm is one thing that colonizers could not take from them. MCs engage people by beatboxing which show a natural expression such as it […]


From 1965 to 1990 many different genres came to their heights. Those include funk, disco, techno, R&B, soul and gospel music. Funk music was integral and highly influenced by the civil rights and black power movements. While the political climate put pressure on African Americans, disco and techno music encouraged people to take a break, […]

I Got Nothing But the Blues

The blues genre is a southern treasure originating in Mississippi in the late 19th century. This was a time of high social tensions as the Jim Crow laws were being implemented. The Jim Crow laws required racial segregation which is how the phrase “separate but equal” was coined. The white and black facilities were separate […]


Question: How did the minstrel show develop? Describe its form, major characters, and musical content. When and why did African Americans become minstrels? In what seminal ways did African American and White minstrel performances differ? The minstrel show emerged in the 1840s, were made by four-man teams. The shows were founded by a majority of […]

We Are Resilient

Funk originated in the 1960s. This convergence of jazz, soul and rhythm and blues became a form of urban dance music. Funk is a derivative of hard bop, a jazz style, which was often called “funky”. This incorporated the elements of strong drum beats, a groovy bass line, and horns with many polyrhythms. This genre […]

Taking Ragtime to the Big Four

Traditional jazz originated in New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th century. After the Jim Crow laws, Creole musicians who were classically trained found themselves playing black music which is influenced. Their music was heavily influenced by ragtime and blues.  The jazz genre is centered around instruments and what makes this music so unique is […]

That’s a Classic!

In the mid-eighteenth century, the Baroque period ended and the Classical period was birthed. There were not many African Americans who were trained during the Antebellum period. However, it did not take long for the black musicians to become composers and performers in this genre. Elements of the classical genre are most commonly associated with […]

We Call It Appropriation

After having their homes, families and dignity stripped away during slavery, all the African Americans had left was their minds, but then the white people took that too and called it their own. African Americans are very innovative and resilient people. The blues genre is a testament to that as it reflects on the hardships […]

The Exploitation of African American Brilliance

The term ragtime came about towards the end of the 1980s, however the music had already existed. Ragtime was a combination of vocal African American customs and written European music. This included many embellishments, the music did not hold to the standard rhythm, there would be an emphasis put on the off-beat. Most commonly, ragtime […]

The History of Gospel, Soul and Rock and Roll

Jubilee quartets originated in the mid-1800s. Starting in universities these were generally groups with between four and six African American males. These groups originally started to sing what was a transformation of spirituals. These groups would typically consist of a base, baritone, first and second tenor. Highly regarded quartets such as the Soul Stirrers and […]


Folk music describes a group activity for the African slaves. In some ways, music united the community. They could sing in the call-response style that would reflect their common way of thinking or their opinions on a subject. Many of the songs coming from the folk artists portray struggle, empowerment, human rights and perseverance from […]

The Journey of a Slave’s Mind

Negro Spirituals originate from slavery. They cover many emotions ranging from hope to sorrow. Negro spirituals have a strong tempo which kept everyone in the field working at the same rate, since they were forced to sing. The spirituals involved some call and response singing as well as hand clapping, dancing and even shouting. The […]

Jasmine Euell’s IME

My name is Jasmine Euell, I am a junior Physics Major in the Dual Degree Engineering Program from Freeport, New York. Music has always been a very integral part of my life. It is what keeps me focused, gives me a sense of peace and has become essential for my learning. I grew up in […]