African American Music Research Paper

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The Early Contributions of African Americans to the World of Music
Throughout history African Americans have made many contributions to American culture and have impacted the world of music in monumental ways. African American music introduced unique rhythms and song structure that represented the diversity of cultural influences from Africa. Ultimately, African Americans influenced the creation and evolution of music genres across the country and contributed to the multifaceted impact on the American music industry.
African American music was strongly influenced by African culture and traditions. Prior to the 20th century, the rhythm and vocal traditions of African American music, such as the call and response song form can be
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("African American Music History Timeline," n.d.). Following the release of Crazy Blues, record companies sought female blues artist to match the sales of Mamie Smith’s Crazy Blues. Several black women that promoted the era of classical blues include Alb Hunter, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters and Ma Rainey. ("History of African American Music," n.d.). Ultimately, the evolution of blues music and “race records” created opportunity for African Americans in the recording industry and was highly influential to development and promotion of many music…show more content…
Elvis Presley’s personalized creation and performance of rock transformed the style as a white genre. Elvis credited the musical influences of blues and jazz for the creation of his unique approach to rock and roll. Not only did the early 20th century music inspire Elvis Presley, but well-known, successful groups such as the Rolling Stones and Beatles credit the blues for their inspiration. ("20th Century Music," n.d.). Following the evolution of blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, came the introduction to many more genres established by African Americans, such as, Hip hop, R&B and Rap. Today, the musical genres created and influenced by African Americans are top sellers in the country, though jazz isn't as popular today it will remain a big part of American culture and history. ("20th Century Music," n.d.).
The unfortunate circumstances of the slave trade introduced America to unique sounds, rhythms and song structures of African tradition and influenced the creation of blues, jazz and many more musical genres. Although racism deemed the early development of African American music “immoral”, the lively and diverse music thrived and spread American culture around the world. The multitude of musical genres created and influenced by African Americans have greatly impacted American culture and the American music industry throughout
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