West African Culture

History of Afro Diasporan Music Blog Post

Specific elements of traditional Central and West African cultural practices is to have a close connection with music and language. Music and language come hand in hand because the structure of music is influenced by their language. One of the main instruments that were used were the drums. When they didnt have any access to drums they used whatever was closest to them to create melody. Melody, flow and lyrics are 3 important aspects of music production which ultimately developed through African American music. Traditional Central and Western African music influenced the enslaved people to “The New World” in 1619”. African American slaves sung songs in groups while actively working. Music was very important to them because of how they were able to express themselves. They collectively used music to express their sorrow, hope, or even joy. Another major reason music was important to them was the fact that they used it to communicate with each other. Their traditional music influenced them because they never forgot their roots and it gave them a sense of hope that there would be an end to their suffering. Throughout the entire existence of music, there have been many styles and trends that changed the way listen and enterpetate music. In modern music, we can hear traditional African music. Music genres like jazz and gospel music the roots of African music can be easily identified. Spirituals and chants were also shifted and shaped into samples for drill beats. This influenced modern music because African music is being brought back and repurposed to give people a narrative on how music was back then. 

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