African influence

Essay by tdunk43High School, 12th gradeA-, April 2008

download word file, 4 pages 4.2

The African-American influence has made a dominating impact in the history of music and today continues to develop in the industry. Their music dates back to the early 1600’s during the slave trades were they would use their songs as a way to get buy during those harsh times out in the fields of the south. Sometimes the music was actually code for directions or just a way to communicate during work hours so the overseers wouldn’t get suspicious. African-Americans have used music to express themselves since early times. Gospel was created as a way to praise God in the mid to late 1800’s. Music such as Ragtime and the Boogie Woogie which were developed around the same time period as gospel let you get loose and show people how to have a good time.

Cornell West was right when he said Afro-American music was developed as a reaction to white-dominated melody’s such as “swing jazz.”

White music didn’t have that certain “flavor” or appeal to African-Americans. They needed something more up tempo, they weren’t satisfied with the “norm.” As the blues and rock and roll set into play around the mid-1900’s blacks were at the top of the list with artist such as Ray Charles and Little Richard on the scene. Cornell West states the African-American music is most appealing to those who have been alienated, disenchanted and who are feeling a sense of meaninglessness. Such artist like Louis Armstrong was popular for his uplifting tracks. His debut song “A wonderful world” picked up those feeling out of the “norm”. African-American artist in history influenced gospel and club music. Those who wanted to relax, hang out and unwind went to jazz clubs to get in the music. Until later, Ray Charles and other infamous musicians took after dancing to...