Bastardization of Black Music

Bastardization of Black Music - Campbell 1 Shireen Campbell...

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Campbell 1 Shireen Campbell Music 260 African American Music “Bastardization of Black Music: The Musician Perspective” Many people may look at the title and wonder, “What is bastardization?” Webster dictionary defines it as, “An act that debases or corrupts.” Black music has come a long way since its emergence. In the beginning emerged the spiritual. From the spiritual came many other forms of black music. For example, blues, gospel, and later on rhythm and blues, and rap music. As the music began to branch off much of it bastardized its origin. The bastardization could even be shown through its composers. Black music has made a dramatic change since its beginnings. In the beginning was the spiritual. Spirituals were songs that slaves used to express their feelings and get messages across to fellow slaves. Many times that was the only way for a slave to communicate with another. The spiritual emerged in 1740. Though many may not be able to see the relevance of spirituals now, they were an essential part of a slave’s life. Spirituals could be used as an uplifting method for slaves and also used as a method for honoring God. Spirituals are very religious in nature and kept the slaves motivated. Not only did they serve the purpose of a reverence to God, but also as a way to convey messages without the slave owner knowing what was going on. . There was more than one type of spiritual used during these times. The earliest documented was the folk spiritual. The folk spiritual encompassed aspects such as call-
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Campbell 2 response and ring shout. Call response is when a singer would make a statement and another singer would respond to the statement just made. Ring shout is the dance incorporated in performing the spiritual. The dancing and the patting, stomping, clapping, and shouting are what differentiate a folk spiritual from the other type which is an arranged spiritual. Though both types served some of the same purposes, the arranged spiritual was more reserved. The arranged spiritual was mainly used to educate emancipated slaves. Most of the composers of these spirituals are unknown because back then slaves would make up these songs as the days went by and did not get the recognition as composers do now. However, Harry T. Burleigh did get recognized as the first person to arrange the Negro spiritual for solo voice. Later down the line, in 1890, emerged the blues.
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Bastardization of Black Music - Campbell 1 Shireen Campbell...

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