Secular Folk Music originated well before the early seventeenth century.  Music was a part of the everyday life of the people of Africa. It was less of a performance and more of a group activity where everyone was able to participate. Music styles and characteristics recognized in folk music such as call and response and poly-rhythms contributed to a sound that resonated with African Culture. Instruments like the banjo and the drums gave rhythmic support to dancing. Along with these instruments, hand clapping was another activity that accompanied the folk music. “Patting Juba” was an extension of simple hand clapping, described as striking the hands on the knees, and then clapping one’s hands. As slaves arrived in the Americas they were stripped of everything, and essentially left culturally naked.  Secular Folk music served to establish African American music as a part of an African cultural continuum.

Important folk performers include Gertrude Morgan and Lead Belly. Myths regarding Secular Folk Music circulated throughout the New World. Folk music among Africans was typically ignored, as it was believed that all secular music and dancing was sinful. The commodification of folk music was a result of European acculturation. Despite all of the African history associated with folk music, when we think of folk music now, one may assume a white man playing the banjo. From children’s game songs, work songs, Creole songs, and protest songs, it is important that we are recognizing folk music as a staple in African culture and music.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Dejacab

Dejacab

Deja Cabiness- IME

I’m Deja Cabiness, a sophomore economics major and public health minor      from Willingboro, New Jersey. After graduation I plan to obtain more degrees

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »

Rhythm & Blues

R&B or rhythm and blues manifested in the black community during the 1940’s. It wasn’t until the 1950s that is gained exposure and was played

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »

RagTime

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unGmMmD8kPQ[/embedyt] During the late 19th century, early 20th century, Ragtime made its debut. It was different because of its incorporation of the piano. This

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »

Jubilee Quartets

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yXoBMNZVzo[/embedyt] The Jubilee era started in the mid-1800’s after the abolition of slavery. Jubilee quartets were four to six voices, singing four-part harmony arrangements

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »

Negro Spirituals

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa8r2SM035w[/embedyt]A negro spiritual is a form of religious music created by African Americans during slavery in the 1800’s. Spirituals were the earliest form of

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »