“FOLK MUSIC- The Beginning” Jordann Ford Review

By: JaNae Fleming

This article consisted of a brief history of how folk music came about and how it is the root of all African American music. Many of the elements align with African traditions. The performance of folk music and African traditions are very similar from the instruments used to the way it is performed. The difference is that a lot of traditional African, specifically West African, performances are generally a form of celebration but African American folk music was generally a result of the conditions of slavery. One of the most prominent similarities I noticed between African American folk music and African traditions was storytelling. Pattin juba is very similar to griot storytelling, both of which are forms of art. The griot is mostly aligned with poetry and pattin juba is aligned with music. Ford talked about how African American folk music is the root for all African American music and I agree, even in smaller communities. For example, DC natives have a specific genre of music, Go-go, one of the most prominent instruments in every go-go band is the drum, just like the djembe and the washboard, sometimes they even do call and response to engage listeners. Along with go-go, African American folk music is prominent in black gospel songs. One of the elements of African American folk music is call and response, this is often heard in black gospel songs. I think African American folk music can be connected to other cultures coming from the African diaspora being as though the root of the music comes from people originating from Africa, mostly West Africa.

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