African American Music

371 Words2 Pages
As an African, In spirit and in truth: the music of African American worship answered many questions I had concerning the value of music in African Traditional religions. Traditional music and dance are two of the most cherished elements of the Ghanaian culture, and it is refreshing to know that there is a deep significance behind the music, instruments, and rhythmic movements of African people. When a traveler spends a day in Ghana, he or she would experience a variety of avenues where music and dance dominate. At the market place, in schools, in restaurants, and during weddings, or naming ceremonies, people play music and dance their hearts out. Costen states that Africans express their life experiences through music and dance, and I can agree with the claim. Furthermore, one thing that makes African music and dance even more exciting is the communal aspect of it. You would never find one African dancing alone; once a person starts playing music and dancing, there is a ripple effect that is felt among…show more content…
It grasps the complex and deep essence of African American music and relays it to readers in a very simple and understandable way. As a reader, this helped me to gain a new perspective about African American music. It also helped me to eliminate certain stereotypes I knew about their style of worship. Costen states the hymnody was designed to express the attitude of believers about God.(51). This is a clear example of the expressive form of worship. By singing the hymns, African Americans are able to express their joy, lament, and adoration to God. Costen also argues that spirituals are spontaneous testimonials and documentation of existential experiences, theological beliefs, and attitudes. When African Americans sing spirituals, they somehow commemorate their past experiences. They savor the significance of God’s love which resulted in their freedom from slavery. Singing spirituals is a type of zikaron, in my
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