MUH7 - Chapter 2 Before jazz existed, the European and...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 2 Before jazz existed, the European and African musical traditions were converging in slave camps, churches and revival meetings all over the South. Since African music has an oral tradition, the work songs, shouts and field hollers that were a part of everyday life in Africa were committed to memory and retained when slaves were brought to the New World. Although minstrel shows spawned many negative stereo types that lasted for many years after minstrelsy itself died out, they were an important and perhaps necessary beginning to the dialog between blacks and whites on the issues of race. Minstrel shows were an important stepping stones for black musicians into the world of entertainment. Three musical forms were the byproduct of the blending of African and European musical traditions. Created to meet the specific needs of their performers and their respective audiences, Spirituals, Blues, and Ragtime found different ways to achieve the cross- fertilization of the African and European traditions. Africa is rich with musical traditions, but it is important that one does not make the assumption that there was on single culture that produced them. Africa is a huge continent-roughly four times the size of the United States - with at least 2,000 communal groups and probably at least that many languages and dialects. Africa is a rich and diverse land of many cultures, traditions, and people. In Africa (as in Europe), each region and cultrue has its own indigenous musical styles and practices. However, there are a few common characteristics that have been observed throughout the continent. Music plays a functional role in every day life - so much so that in many African cultures, there is no specific name given to music. Musics functional role goes much deeper in Africa. To celebrate the loss of a first tooth To celebrate the passage into adulthood To shame be wetters and thieves To tell of historical events To disseminate information, whether it is about an upcoming activity or a warning of some sort. One of the most important classes of functional songs is the work song. Work songs are as varied as the types of work to be done. Building boats Cooking dinner Hunting Cleaning the home Music in African tradition also has a vary close relationship to dancing, to the extent that the two are usually not thought of separately. Once custom that has been widely observed throughout the continent that combines music and dance is the Ring Shout. The Ring Shout and variations of it were widely observed in America at church camp meetings and at Congo Square in New Orleans during the 19th century. The ring shout was derived from the West African circle dance. Participants form a circle and shuffle in a counterclockwise direction in ever increasing speed and intensity, eventually reaching a state of hysteria....
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MUH7 - Chapter 2 Before jazz existed, the European and...

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