Without African slaves from West Africa, there would be no blues music. The immediate predecessors of blues were the Afro-American/American Negro work songs, which had their musical origins in West Africa. It is impossible to say how old the blues are but it is certainly no older than the presence of Negros in the United States. The African slaves brought their music with them to the New World. This is the starting point of this essay, the African slave trade. This essay will also discuss the origins of the blues, African-particularly West African influences in the blues, religious aspects of the blues and the “Delta” musicians and singers of the 1920s-1930s.
Imagine Harlem, New York in the mid 1920’s; the rising amount of free African Americans to find a new life with jobs in the North. Imagine the burst of African American culture, the new music, art, and literature. This image represents the Harlem Renaissance; the rebirth of African American culture. The Harlem Renaissance is the name given to the cultural and social movement which took place in Harlem, New York between the end of World War I and towards the middle of the 1930s. The Renaissance focused on the culture of African Americans and the new forms of music, art, and literature. Specifically, jazz and blues, poetry, dance, and musical theater became more apparent. After struggling for years for the abolishment of slavery, African Americans
I used to go, every Thursday at 7:30 p.m., to choir rehearsal and, while there I would sing praises to God along with other choir members, It never appealed to anyone to ask about the origin of these songs and how Gospel music came to us. We just sang what we were taught to sing. Well, one day while in choir rehearsal, I decided to ask about the origin of Gospel music. My choir director shouted, “It comes from black folks’ soul.” After he said this, I decided to research more about the origin of Gospel music and found out that African Americans started it and that it is then a music that African Americans feel, experience and sing. When African Americans sing Gospel music, it comes from deep within. It comes from the soul and from experience. It is thus, this experience of Gospel music by African Americans that I will discuss
The Roaring Twenties has another name, in fact. The 1920’s can be referred to as The Jazz Age. The 1920’s was a time for African American’s to express themselves through many different art forms. The Great Migration is what caused many chain events that led to the Jazz Age. The Great Migration brought a tremendous amount of African Americans from the rural south to the urban north. Most, if not all, of these African Americans left the rural south due to the lack of economic opportunities, and harsh laws against them. They were intrigued to move to cities in the North because of the better pay they would receive for less work than they were doing in the South, a higher standard of living conditions, better political rights and to take
Over the course of human history, music has been an integral part of life. Music’s impact can be seen in every facet of the world today and it is a way to express feelings, tell a story, or prove a point. It can bring people together and can transcend communities, cultures, and ideologies. Although many do not realize it, music has had a profound impact on all human lives, and the lives of all others that have since died. Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come’ is a song that defined a generation while bringing the oppression and injustice that African Americans experienced, on a daily basis, to the forefront of society.
Detaching from slavery through their diverse cultural foundations allowed for them to be able to connect with other slaves and hold onto their humanity. The assembly among slaves kept the diversity between slave and master. After a long day of being beaten and working under extreme conditions slaves found a way to disconnect from their danger. They used songs to get through a tough work day out in the fields. By singing they would connect with other slaves and find a way to make a terrible situation better. At night telling folk tales, doing dances and praying were the main reason why slaves did not commit suicide or harm themselves. They used these cultural remedies to assist them through their hardships. African Americans contributed to the economic and social development of America by becoming the engine for white men’s plantations. Without the work of slavery whites would have to work in their own fields instead they decided to get slaves and have the slaves do their work for them with no payment just cruelty. “African Americans…influenced the development of white culture. As early as the seventeenth century, black musicians performed English ballads for white audiences in distinctively African American style…By the eighteenth century, slaves in these regions organized black election or coronation festivals that lasted several
The Gilded Age was an age that was directly dependent on the end of the Civil War. Jazz was a major parts of what the 1920s and it helped African Americans realize the where they are at that moment was not what they had to stay at. The end of the Civil War made most of the American populace believe that the lives of slaves would change drastically. American slaves were granted freedom by order of the President and the Congress. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America freed the slaves in America. The 14th Amendment gave the slave citizenship. Yet even with these assurances all did not work out, as it should have. Segregation was the social structure that took the place of slavery throughout America, contrary
In life, there are few things as organic as jazz music. With its raw sound and scrappy roots, one cannot help but feel life head-on whilst witnessing players produce such a sound right before their eyes. Its origins and arch are a product of the United States’ national culture and identity. Jazz exists not only as a deeply rooted form of art but as a cultural marker, particularly during its commercial peak in the first half of the 20th century. Its impact transcends borders, and it is one of the most beloved musical genres worldwide. The history, popularity and influence of jazz on human culture make it the seminal American art form.
Chapter 1: What does the Civil Rights Movement gave to the African-Americans compared to Hip Hop as a subculture/movement.
“Music has always been both a barometer measuring and responding to society's problems and possibilities, and the twentieth century was a period that witnessed the emergence of a diverse range of musical styles and genres, each seemingly in reaction to the dominant sociopolitical concerns of the day” (Morgan). Presley, Dylan, and Joplin had the greatest influence on American culture in the 1960’s.
Michael Jackson was a great singer in his time and one of Americas’ prolific singers to ever grace the music scene. From the time he graced the music scene, he would go on to become a great singer that inspired other great singers during his period and in the future generation. Music has got a unique element that is so unifying and touching depending on the type of music one could be listening. In the history of the United States, black musicians from way back in the early days of singers such as James Brown, Prince, and Smokey Robinson have had an influence on the music culture. There are many genres today that can be traced from black musicians who popularized
The 1920's was a period of prosperity and confidence for many Americans. Women who were largely restricted to certain jobs were now granted more opportunities. They besieged the offices of publishers and advertisers; they sold antiques, sold real estate, opened smart little shops, and finally invaded the department store (Document 2). These new job opportunities caused the inequality between women and men to be looked over during this time. African Americans also felt a spirit of optimism and positivity. Particularly during the Harlem Renaissance, which was a period when African American art and music began to prosper and live out through major cities that African Americans migrated to as a cause of the Great Migration. Even though African
Music has been used for thousands of years to illustrate and express emotions to others. It has a strong ability to connect people by using tempo, dynamics, rhythm, and other musical elements. Due to the mental, and sometimes physical pain that African Americans are surrounded with, music is often used to portray the feelings that they are unable to express through language. With the ability to express through music, relationships and understandings are formed. In The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass and Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin, African Americans within the texts are often unable to communicate their pain and sorrow
In the 1920s and 1930s, a large movement of art and literature took place in the city of Harlem. Many African American authors express their thoughts and ideas through anyway possible. Whether it be music, art, or literature, its impact gave the African Americans a new place in society. One composer of music was very influential to all people. His name is Duke Ellington. The impact from Duke’s musical arts is very large, and that impact still stands. He is able to construct over three thousand songs, many of which pertain to freedom, identities, reunion, and last but not least, racism. Duke’s impact on bringing people together is enormous, and ends racism in all of society.
We all know that the power of the Black community in America came from deep in their soul. Their strength and will to fight segregation , and their love can be felt in the civil rights movement. Their ability to express their minds in a non- violent way connects to the soul music that James Brown created. James Brown’s music was a mixture of R&B and gospel. Which in a way connects to what Dr. Martin Luther King was trying to do during the civil rights movement.