The Bridge That Connects African and African American Music

Music in African and African American communities is a constant element of unification between the individuals in this community. It has historically cultivated a means of connection between people in both Africa and Black America, and continues to do so. Music is present in nearly ever pivotal moment for African and African American people. This fact within itself shows how meaningful, powerful and necessary it is to these communities.

The way  their music is created, performed, and experienced is very unique compared to other music around the world, but similar between Africans and African Americans.  Song and dance often accompanies the music in both cultures to add to the expression. In Africa they would use and make drums out of trees and other material. They would sometimes even use their own bodies as instruments in hambone performances. In African American culture drums are also used, and horns are also often used in African American genres.

Timbre in African and African American music differs from European-derived music, because it is known to be more extravagant. Sometimes varying timbres are used in African and African American music. From groans, humming, clapping and more. Instruments are sometimes even used to make human-like sounds to add a unique and expressive element to the music

One of the most common musical structures found in African and African American Music is the Call-Response.

by: Kelaiah Dixon

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