AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC IN THE COMMUNITY

By Essence Ward

Music is a crucial part of African and African American communities. It appears in nearly every part of their life, from holidays to simply relaxing . Both Africans and African Americans use music to get through life, during births, deaths, marriage, religious acts, occupation or a pass time.

In African and African American communities music is created and experienced through sound quality, mechanics of delivery and style of delivery. The rhythm, pitch and performance of music allows for a different encounter with music.

The desired timbre of music in African and African American communities differ from European traditions. The timbre of African and African American communities involved a variety of aspects such as clapping, shouting, stomping and groaning. Many Europeans classify this as weird or strange.

The most common musical structures found in African and African American Music are call and response and polyrhythm. These musical structures bring in the entire community through the joining of members. Call and response requires a singer to lead and the other to follow with feedback. While polyrhythm requires all members of the community to come together and sing in chorus simultaneously.