Quinci Nesbitt

Music in African American Communities

The role of music in African American communities is very prominent. Music was often used to promote unity and many songs talked about political activism and problems within the African American community. The struggles that African Americans dealt with contributed to the sounds of African American music. Some instruments that they used were banjos and drums. Music also promoted unity and brought people together for a common goal. Back during slavery, Africans weren’t allowed to read or write. Music was used to build communities and hope for the future in the days of Reconstruction and Jim Crow. Some different types of music were Jazz and Blues, Roots, and Folk songs. During slavery since they couldn’t read or write, music was passed down orally. Timbre in African American music is described more vividly and included descriptive words to explain beats and the songs in general. Call and response, and shout songs, are the most common musical structures found in African and African American music. Heterogeneous sound, all instruments welcome in most settings, timbre is inclusive, and this is a reflective of the culture.

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