African American Music Essay

Submitted By jplott01
Words: 730
Pages: 3

African American music is a large recognized and acknowledged attribute to world culture by being created from unity from enslavement, and creativity. There are several different types of music genres that are under the umbrella term African American music. These types include blues, jazz, spirituals and gospel. They reflect the attitudes and concerns of both the performers and their culture at a specific time and place in history. Eddie Meadows explains that Ethnomusicologists espouse the generally accepted view that music is more fully explained and understood relative to the culture of which it is an outgrowth, without understanding the cultural significance of the event in which music is performed by analyzing the music alone. In history the people who study the evolution of music are called historical musicologists.
When historical musicologists Nketia described music as : The aggregate of cultural traditions associated with music which becomes evident at the juncture of the social and the musical traditions that are learned in the social process or in special learning situations. Traditions that are cultivated, practiced, and recreated by members of a society in the different roles they assume as music makers, instrument makers, and audiences in different contexts of the situation. She also adds that s musical culture maintains distinct identity not only through the musical but also the social sphere of culture, for the socio-musical juncture admits only forms of behavior, status and structural relationships, expressions and roles which are idiomatic to it. When culture varies so does the music.
African retentions in blues and jazz play a significant part in African American music. African retentions in African American musical genres vary in depth, transformation, and reinterpretation, depending upon the traceable contact between cultures. Jazz is a very broad genre. Jazz originated in African American community where it is defined as a genre that incorporates improvising, swing, phrasing, and articulation into one individual performance. Throughout the history of jazz it has dominated the culture of African Americans. In the 1950s the male was the dominant one in the musical aspect that wasn’t focused on vocals, which the women usually did. In jazz music you have certain roles of the instruments. The two roles are five man group and seven man group. Five man groups consisted of the cornet, clarinet, trombone, sousaphone/tuba, and drums. The cornet played the melody, was allowed to decorate the melody but not the extent that one could not recognize the melody. The clarinet had three roles; played obbligato parts to complement the melody, play the harmony above the melody, and to double the medley on occasion. The Trombone is to outline the most important notes in the cord played. Sousaphone also known as the tuba is to play the background, tow