In the South, spirituals were an important way to express slave life. In a way these spirituals were a form of poetry for them that reflected their language, their music and their spiritual concerns. Douglass wrote his autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), in which discusses the negro spirituals they sang since they were forced to “make a noise” so that their masters would know of their whereabouts at all times and, at the same time, keep them from communicating with one another so they could not plot any schemes to escape. Another method used was whistling so that the masters knew that their servants were not eating the food that was to be delivered. Douglass referred to these songs as “...a testimony against slavery, and a prayer
However, that didn’t stop the slaves from finding other instruments to play or continuing the handclapping or foot stomping. Quite the contrary, the music became an essential part of their well being as they were enduring and come to endure more hardships at the hands of their slave masters. African music influenced the slave’s songs in the new world like Africa; slave songs reflected the African religious beliefs. The slaves believed in a higher power and
When the slaves are singing songs on their way to the Great House Farm, Douglass mainly focuses on his utter confusion and sadness regarding them. He does, though, briefly touch on a religious angle. “Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains,” he describes. Douglass expresses the pain him and his people are enduring, and explaining how faith in God allows them to continue to endure. I believe that this is the optimistic side of Douglass’s passion in the appendix- optimism, to be clear, meaning it pertains to the positive effects of believing in a God, not optimism pertaining to the situation itself.
Slaves had their churches they could attend or plantation “praise houses”. There they would sing and dance. But, slave holders did not allow dancing and playing the drums like they did in Africa. They also had secret meetings. They had to meet to share their joy, pains and there hopes for the future.
They are also sometimes known as portamento s. African music also uses slurs whistles and yodels. These are main feature of singing in African music. African singing is also often a Capella which is something only used with voices as it is vocal music that has no instrumental accompaniment. A capella actually means in the style of the chapel in Italian as in early church music, voices were generally unaccompanied. Lyrics and melodies Lyrics can often be about hardships and slavery and other things that affect Africa.
Their influence on U.S. culture runs deep even though the African American community represents a relatively small percentage of the U.S. population, accounting for about 13% (United States Census Bureau). In this essay I will focus on their effect on the entertainment industry, language, politics, economy, and education. African Americans have a rich musical tradition, rooted in African tradition, which was incorporated into daily life by slaves. They used “singing, call and response and hollering to coordinate their labor, communicate with one another across adjacent fields, and bolster weary spirits” (Class notes, week 4). These were the building blocks in the development of jazz, gospel and blues, which continued to evolve into to Rock ‘n Roll, R&B, Hip Hop and Rap; all quintessentially American forms of music.
The music that was played was important to the church and church people it always caused the church people to become excited for the Lord. In the book, The Black Church in the African American Experience, Lawrence H. Mamiya states “…in most black churches singing is second only to preaching as the magnet of attraction and the primary vehicle of spiritual transport for the worshiping congregation.” What’s important about the music is the message behind each song that is sung in the churches. The lyrics have meaning in which people can express themselves and really worship God. In the mid 1900’s during the civil rights movement, black churches would sing about freedom. Music and singing played a critical role in inspiring, mobilizing, and giving voice to the civil rights movement.
 After slavery was abolished, freed blacks continued to establish separate congregations and church facilities, creating communities and worship in culturally distinct ways. They had already created a unique and empowering form of Christianity that creolized African spiritual traditions. In addition, segregationist attitudes in both the North and the South discouraged and, especially in the South, prevented African-Americans from worshiping in the same churches as whites. The tradition of African-Americans worshipping together continued to develop during the late 19th century and continues to this day despite the decline of segregationist attitudes and the general acceptability of integrated worship. African American churches have long been the centers of communities, serving as school
There were also different types of folk music even before the American slave era, the songs based from different melodies told stories and were passed down generation by generation. Folk music was when manual labour was happening and the workers wanted something to cheer them up, keep them motivated. So they sang, this was folk music as well. Generally opinions differ of the creation of folk music. People said it reflects the character of the race that made it, some said it came from the reasons that I’ve already said.
R&B/race-records were music only for black people and slaves. The R&B genre later turned into blues and jazz and out of jazz and a little country came Rock ‘n’ Roll. But in the present America a lots of people just listen to the regular and mainstream pop. I think it’s sad to see much good, even though old, music disappearing in the coming generation. Even though I like America I think that some artists have gone too far and don’t deserve their fame.