Newson: Negro Spirituals and the Blues influence American music
Enslaved Africans used music to communicate and organize uprisings. The use of drums to communicate was a skill they carried with them from Africa. Enslaved . Scaruffi notes that the main musical difference between jazz and blues is that jazz is composed of heavy syncopation, which grew to become. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study Which of the following best describes the relationship between blues and spirituals.
Spirituals were primarily expressions of religious faith. Some may also have served as socio-political protests veiled as assimilation to white American culture.
They originated among enslaved Africans in the United States. Slavery was introduced to the British colonies in the early 17th century, and enslaved people largely replaced indentured servants as an economic labor force during the 17th century. In the United States, these people would remain in bondage for the entire 18th century and much of the 19th century.
Most were not fully emancipated until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in Suppression of indigenous religion[ edit ] This article needs additional citations for verification.
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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. August Learn how and when to remove this template message Slaves were forbidden to speak their native languages, and were generally converted to Christianity. With narrow vocabularies, slaves would use the words they did know to translate biblical information and facts from their other sources into song.
Spiritual (music) - Wikipedia
Forced conversion only worked to a point since church attendance might be required, but control could not extend to thoughts and feelings. Some slaves became Christians voluntarily, either because it helped them endure hardships or because membership may have offered other benefits.
In some places enslaved Africans were permitted, or even encouraged, to hold their own prayer meetings.
Shouts begin slowly with the shuffling of feet and clapping of hands but the feet never cross because that was seen as dancing, which was forbidden within the church. Drums were used as they had been in Africa, for communication. When the connection between drumming, communication, and resistance was eventually made drums were forbidden. Slaves introduced a number of new instruments to America: They drew on native rhythms and their African heritage.
The primary function of the spirituals was as communal songs sung in a religious gathering, performed in a call-response pattern reminiscent of West African traditional religions. Examples include the "call and response" style of preaching in which the speaker speaks for an interval and the congregation responds in unison in a continual pattern throughout the sermon. Speaking in tongues is also a persistent practice, as is "getting happy.
In spirituals, there also rose what is known as the "straining preacher" sound where the preacher, during song, literally strains the voice to produce a unique tone.
This is used throughout recorded spirituals, blues, and jazz music. The locations and the era may be different; but the same emphasis on combining sound, movement, emotion, and communal interaction into one focus on faith and its role in overcoming struggles, whether as an individual or a people group, remain the same.
Christianity's influence[ edit ] Christian hymns and songs were very influential on the writing of African-American spirituals, especially those from the "Great Awakening" of the s. As Africans were exposed to stories from the Bible, they began to see parallels to their own experiences.
The story of the exile of the Jews and their captivity in Babylon, resonated with their own captivity. There is also a duality in the lyrics of spirituals. They communicated many Christian ideals while also communicating the hardship that was a result of being an African-American slave. The earliest blues-like music was a "functional expression, rendered in a call-and-response style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure".
The use of melisma and a wavy, nasal intonation also suggests a connection between the music of West and Central Africa and the blues.
It is a clear predecessor to the American banjo in its playing style, the construction of the instrument itself and in its social role as a folk instrument.
The Kora is played by a professional caste of praise singers for the rich and aristocracy called griots or jalis and is not considered folk music. The akonting is perhaps the most important and concrete link that exists between African and African-American music.
The historian Sylviane Diouf and ethnomusicologist Gerhard Kubik identify Islamic music as an influence on blues music. According to Kubik, "the vocal style of many blues singers using melismawavy intonation, and so forth is a heritage of that large region of West Africa that had been in contact with the Arabic - Islamic world of the Maghreb since the seventh and eighth centuries.
What is the similarities and differences between Blues, Spirituals, Ragtime and Jazz?
Additionally, there are theories that the four-beats-per-measure structure of the blues might share its origins with the Native American tradition of pow wow drumming. The most important American antecedent of the blues was the spirituala form of religious song with its roots in the camp meetings of the Great Awakening of the early 19th century.
Spirituals were a passionate song form, that "convey ed to listeners the same feeling of rootlessness and misery" as the blues. African American work songs were an important precursor to the modern blues; these included the songs sung by laborers like stevedores and roustaboutsand the field hollers and " shouts " of slaves. Several scholars characterize the early s development of blues music as a move from group performances to a more individualized style.
They argue that the development of the blues is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the slaves. According to Lawrence Levine "there was a direct relationship between the national ideological emphasis upon the individualthe popularity of Booker T.
Washington 's teachings, and the rise of the blues. Blues was generally regarded as lower-class music, unfit for documentation, study or enjoyment by the upper- and middle-classes  Blues around [ edit ] An s photo of the tourist steamer Okahumke'e' on the Ocklawaha Riverwith black guitarists on board Blue notes pre-date their use in blues.
Handy wrote in his autobiography of the experience of sleeping on a train traveling through or stopping at the station of Tutwiler, Mississippi aroundand being awakened by: His clothes were rags; his feet peeped out of his shoes.
Gospel and the Blues
His face had on it some of the sadness of the ages. As he played, he pressed a knife on the strings in a manner popularized by Hawaiian guitarists who used steel bars. The effect was unforgettable. His song, too, struck me instantly The singer repeated the line "Going' where the Southern cross' the Dog" three times, accompanying himself on the guitar with the weirdest music I had ever heard. Handy had mixed feelings about this music, which he regarded as rather primitive and monotonous,  but he used the "Southern cross' the Dog" line in his " Yellow Dog Rag ", which he retitled "Yellow Dog Blues" after the term blues became popular.
Blues later adopted elements from the "Ethiopian here, meaning " black " airs" of minstrel shows and Negro spiritualsincluding instrumental and harmonic accompaniment.