African American Music
African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of musics and musical genres largely developed by black Americans. Jazz, blues, gospel, and soul constitute the principal modern genres of African-American music. Their origins are in musical forms that arose out of the historical condition of involuntary servitude that characterized the lives of black Americans prior to the American Civil War. The modern genres were developed during the late nineteenth century by fusing European musical styles (characterized by diatonic harmony within the framework of equal temperament) with those of African origin which employed the natural harmonic series.
Following the Civil War, black Americans, through employment as musicians playing European music in military bands developed new musical styles such as ragtime and what would become known as jazz. In developing this latter musical form, African Americans contributed knowledge of the sophisticated polyrhythmic structure of the dance and folk music of peoples across western and sub-Saharan Africa. Together, these musical forms had a wide-ranging and profound influence over the development of music within the United States and around the world during the twentieth century.
The earliest jazz and blues recordings were made in the 1920s. Later periods saw considerable innovation and change. African-American genres have been highly influential across socio-economic and racial groupings internationally, and have enjoyed popularity on a global level. African-American music and all aspects of African-American culture are celebrated during Black History Month in February of each year in the United States.
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... Slave Songs of the United States was a collection of African American music published in 1867 ... It is a "milestone not just in African American music but in modern folk history" ... It is also the first published collection of African-American music of any kind ...
... contributed to the development and acceptance of authentic African-American music ... from coon songs were incorporated into turn-of-the-century African American folk songs, as was revealed by Howard W ... enabling them to go on to develop a new type of African American musical theater based at least in part on African-American traditions ...
... African American music, except in cases where these patterns were borrowed from Puerto Rico or Cuba ... These do not function in the same way as African timeline patterns—Kubik (1999 51) While key patterns were absent from early twentieth-century African American music ... The use of tresillo and its variant, the habanera rhythm, in African American music was reinforced by consecutive waves of Cuban popular music, beginning with the habanera (Cuban contradanza) ...
... African American music began incorporating Afro-Cuban rhythmic motifs in the 1800s with the popularity of the Cuban contradanza (known outside of Cuba as the ... were forming and developing, the Cuban genre habanera was a consistent part of African American popular music ... There are examples of tresillo-like rhythms in some African American folk musics such as the hand clapping and foot stomping patterns in ring shout, post-Civil War drum and fife music ...
... African-American rapper 2Pac had huge success in 1995 with his album Me Against The World, which was released while he was imprisoned for sexual assault ... in 1996, his politically charged lyrics influenced many hip-hop artists and a big part of the African-American community ... Contemporary R B, as the post-disco version of soul music came to be known as, remained popular throughout the 1980s and 1990s ...
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“... the Black woman in America can justly be described as a slave of a slave.”
—Frances Beale, African American feminist and civil rights activist. The Black Woman, ch. 14 (1970)
“Not to sink under being man and wife,
But get some color and music out of life?”
—Robert Frost (18741963)
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—Victoria Gray, African American civil rights activist. As quoted in This Little Light of Mine, ch. 3, by Hay Mills (1993)
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—Herbert Hoover (18741964)