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Cross Cultural Understanding of Beauty Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on March 31, 2014
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 410 words

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Below is an essay on "Cross Cultural Understanding of Beauty" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Recently diseased Amiri Baraka discusses the emergence of the Blues through the history of African slaves music’s transformation during the generations in America in an excerpt of his book Blues People: Negro Music in White America. The author begins by addressing the cultural customs of the African music and the alteration that the slaves had to do to it in order to appease their white masters. Following, Baraka continues by analyzing some of the mixed-language working songs of the second-generation slaves in America. Finally, he goes over the differences between African and Euro-American culture, the difference between each one’s musical technicality, and lastly the difference between the two cultures cannon of beauty.
The excerpt brings up some interesting points about the perception of beauty in Western society and African culture, but what I find particularly intriguing is the sheer power of African traditional spirit that inspired and created a new type of hybrid music, the blues. After its emergence in the nineteenth century, the blues has become the most popular music of the States, even though it was so harshly criticized because of its lack of Western musical technical conventions. However, it is ironic to perceive white Americans, today, enjoying the new music exactly because of its “raucous” and “uncultivated” rhythms as Bakara describes Charlie Parker’s blues. Another point concerning the cannon of beauty between the two cultures is the meaning of the lyrics. For Western society, the meaning of the songs was considered an art for admiration, but it was not taken as a serious medium of communication. On the other side, African-American’s even after starting to appropriate the American culture continue to employ the music as a story telling method to transmit knowledge to others. For instance, today, in Hip-Hop music, which derives from blues, singers concentrate their attention a lot on the lyrics and sometimes the song loses its musicality and it...

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