Unformatted text preview: African Music Through Time
By Laura, Rebecca, and Rima Zulu Dance Jazz African Art
African Bakuba helmet Akua-ba, statuette of
fertility and healthy
(Asante) Chi Wara male headdress,
icon for good harvest
(Bamana) Chi Wara female headdress,
good harvest and family
(Bamana) Mask from Grassland,
Cameroon area Mbira musical instrument
(Chokwe) History of Slavery & Music
• African music existed in simple and complex forms thousands of years
• before white settlers came to the country.
Each song had a purpose and was associated with tradition, events, etc.
African musical beats and styles have vastly influenced music in the U.S.
By 1620s, African people had been sold to white men in Jamestown.
By 1980s, entire economy of what would become the United States
depended entirely upon slave work. Over 600,000 of these people were
native Africans who had arrived to the “New World” via ship.
Slave music was outlawed after it was discovered that the slaves could
communicate through their music; fear of uprising.
English was later adapted to many of the slave songs, creating the
foundation for what we call “spirituals,” which were mostly about
End of 1800s: work songs & spirituals begin to evolve into other forms of
music, eventually resulting in ragtime, soul, rhythm & blues, rock and roll,
scat, jazz, reggae, and rap.
New perspectives on tempo, syncopation, and improvisation =
characteristic “American music” sound known worldwide today. characteristic History of Spirituals
• Spirituals & Work Songs: (a.k.a. “chain gang” songs) Expression and
• emotional support.
The Underground Railroad: Helped slaves escape to “free” country; songs
of this period include “Wade in the Water,” “Gospel Train,” “Swing Low,
Slavery was abolished in 1865; worship in churches with roots in African
1925-1985: Spirituals considered traditional songs – performed at church,
on stage, movies, theater, etc. 1930s – nightclubs; 1950s-60s – Civil Rights
(“This Little Light of Mine”)
First Dr. Martin Luther King Day celebrated in 1985, became a national
holiday in 1992. Since first celebration of holiday, African American
spirituals have been considered pieces of American heritage.
spirituals African American Art
African Follow the Drinking Gourd Beauty and Her
Burden by Leonard
Freeman Maple Leaf Rag cott Joplin Blues Boys Tune Mutual Musicians Sound of Miles So What I Got a Woman A Tribute to Ray
Charles Annicia and
by Jesse Watson One Drop ...
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