American Music And Popular Culture

Last Updated: 07 Dec 2022
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British American folk music tradition refers to the music origin is associated with the British and white Americans while the African American music refers to the music that originated with the black Americans. British American folk music was mostly about cases that needed to be pointed out and occupations respectively. Briton songs are about problems that needed to be pointed out for all to see and reason for the factual basis. American on the other sung about occupations and even criminals. African American music came in a wide variety.

The histonces file show that the earliest folk songs originated with the blacks as they went about their work in the vast farms or related in their servant quarters. The African American folk music is so vast and varied that no single image is adequate to embrace it all. There is a picture of a slave at work in the field or steering about or even a rhythmic chanting of work songs which gives multi faced picture of different situations. Both cultures display use of daily happenings as the theme in their songs.

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In both cultures folk music was disseminated through word of mouth as there were no recorders then. The composer sang it out as a way of teaching the others and it would spread on to the others through hearing. This affected the music in there with closing memory and change in geography. The music and words were altered to fit the singers. There is no original tone of the folk song and most came in different tunes. In both societies the tone depended on who was singing the song. However the British American society acquired print earlier than the African American.

In fact so intertwined for centimes is the printed and the over traditions that the notion of a ‘pole’ and tradition is a disputed issue in this society. Many of their folk songs are known to have in and out of print according to the history of these songs. It is evident that many of British American folk songs even though different in reception to geographical distribution multiple versions have been discovered to strikingly similar in details. However the African American societies print arrived after the civil war.

The aftermath of this was brought whites from the north, many of then abolitionists, into direct contact with the black people for the first time. Even before the wars ended, events such as the formation of the black regiments fighting for the unions cause and the famous’ part of loyal experiment’ which teachers and missionaries were recruited from the north – began acquitting northern with the songs of the slaves. The first print accounts of the African American songs appeared in the periodicals of these northern shortly thereafter, the first spiritual appeared in a street music form.

African American development of their folk songs was highly assisted by the early discoveries of the British American. African American folk song music was mostly affected by the music from the African continent. This is so because the black people were brought to this continent from Africa in more or less continuous wares of forced migration over a period of about two hundred years. However owing to the small ratio of blacks to whites. Africans was highly suppresses and only survived in certain forms especially customary celebration on specific occasions. British American had pure lands origin without borrowing else where.

British American music was done solely with the intent of enhancing the understanding of the principle involved, without giving a touch of the culture involved. Singing style was an integral part of the British American folk song. The tone quality and inflections of the voice, the way a singer earned the rhythm and pitch were subtly varied. These were all parts of the song. On the other hand the African American folk ,music not only did the tone matter but also the kinetic rhythm which enclosed the people to dance which the British American society regarded as the ceseivious immoral and pagan.

They dance in very organized ways and never danced to fiddles tone. Musical instruments: The arrangement of the words found in the British American folk music known as ‘play –party carries songs shows an association with dancing for over a long time. There is a considerable overlapping between the vocal and instrumental traditions in this type of a song. It may be treated as a song with instruments compliments or a dance tone to which verses of the song are simply sung intermittently.

African American tradition folk music portrays a picture of the slaves rare moments of play – the slave’s quarters ringing with sound of singing and dancing to the compliment of home made fiddles and banjos, and of clapping and stamping. Music accompaniment was pleasant in these two societies in traditional folk music from the beginning. Percussion instruments were the most commonly used musical instrument during those periods and it played a role in enhancing a rhythm to the song. In African American music drum sticks or hitters have become one of the moist important instruments that are being used in the music.

The drum sticks are not used in the British American music. The types of equipment they use differ greatly. The African American music has the same percussions as the Indian American music both which are similar as compared to the British American. The words and music. The words and music used in both cases differ greatly and they intend to show the origin of each community. The British American words and the African American words differ in the importance to the music. The African American music at times acts as chats while the British American words at times have conations which have a meaning.

Generally the British American culture music use octave scale while the African American do not use. They consider tone values such as doh, re, mi, fa so, la ti doh which are musical tones and they show the highness or lowness of the music. The African American music does not keep these standards. In his work Bierhorst argues that the African America music like the Indian music is the like the music of the birds which does not have fixed tones that can be played by the piano. They are like syllable of ordinary speech. The melodies used in the songs range from tones to tones Types of songs.

A bailed was used to refer to the folksongs and thus the bailed came in different categories: Cries calls and hollers. It was a kind of musical expression among black’s people that was regarded as primitive and evocative. Those cries and calls of the field, the levees the track were highly individualized expressions for communication for revealing loneliness. For giving vent to feelings or simply expressing the feel of ones existence. Ironically the urban counterparts used these cries to advertise goods and services. These kinds of folk songs were never associated with the British American society.

Folk blues: Similar to the cries cells and hollers the blue were used as intense personal expressions by the African American people. Folk blue underwent an evolution after the emancipation which brought a great change and there was the confrontation most with an entirely new set of social and economic problems that came with freedom including the need for money. The blues were used to express depression and other difficulties they faced. The spiritual: The term spiritual was derived from shortening of the New Testament phrase “spiritual songs”.

It was found in both societies and it associated with Christianity which the whites converted the black immigrant into. Lyrical songs: Songs that were primarily not narratives but once with an easy flow of words found in the way British American folk music. Play party songs/ fiddle songs: These are songs that became widely used as a form of organized dancing called the play party songs. They had their origin from their prohibition in some traditions against dancing as such but especially with the use of the fiddle considered a sinful instrument of the devil.

These songs were mostly found in the British American traditional society. In a nutshell British-America is a type of music categorized in secular type of music and which talks about so many things or issues in the society like male to female relationships, education, sex and even cultures. British-America music originated from the western countries. As it has always been said what is a vice may or not be in a society, culture, tribe or even individuals may be a virtue to others. The African-American side mostly has not recognized it as presentable.

This has then created both a global culture to and it and it has been used to strengthen specific local identities to a larger extent especially in Africa. African-American has also created a global culture of dressing especially in Africa. A good example is the Rastafarian music lovers associated with Africa. This people have one same culture that is universal for instance they have a common hair style of dreadlocks and four common colors which are red, green, yellow and black. They also believe in jagging or drooping trousers.

Local dressing identifies African-American music hence are seen to have been tampered with language identities. REFERENCES Bierhorst, J. (1979); A Cry from the Earth. New York: Four Winds Press. Bookbinder, D (1979), What Folk Music is All About. New York: Julian Messner, Bruno N. (1992); Excursions in World Music. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Bruno, N. (1973); Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. Sandberg, Larry and Weissman, Dick,(1976); The Folk Music Source Book. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

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American Music And Popular Culture. (2016, Jul 08). Retrieved from

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