A Brief History of African Music through The Colonial Period

Music before the 20th century was very different when compared to the music of the 21st Century. There were distinctive occasions for each type of African music. West African music, the African Diaspora, and the music of the Colonies each had different musical instruments.
West African music was the music of the African people before the Europeans captured and sold them into slavery in the Americas. It was unique in the manner in which it was played as well as the reasons why it was played. West African music was documented around the 1600's when explorers wrote journals about what they had found while traveling.
Every West African village had its own professional musicians and ...

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of men. Music performed by women was associated with children, young girls, and funerals. An example of a festival the West Africans celebrated was called the "Annual Customs of Dahomey". This was a festival worshiping the king of their capital. The West Africans also had music for litigation. They would come before a judge and sing or chant their argument.
Dance was also a big part in the music of West Africa. Dance was performed at ceremonies surrounding fertility, death, worship, adulthood, and other kind of certain concerns of the village.
Mainly the West Africans used percussive instruments. These drums came in all sizes ranging from ten to twelve inches to ten to twelve feet. Their drums were made out of hollowed out logs and gourds with a tight skin over the hollow. They also used idiophones to make music. They used a variety of bells, castanets, gongs, and sometimes they made small xylophones or small pianos. Aerophones weren't as prevalent as the percussions or ...

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to work. African Diaspora was the music of the slaves and indentured servants. It connects to the Colonial Era
Around 1650 the first indentured servants were released after completing their respective amounts of servitude. Around that same time more and more Africans were being brought to the colonies as servants of some time but for most part, as servants of all time. During this period, black slavery was being established as law throughout the colonies. Although slavery was illegal in Massachusetts at that time, the slave traders had found ways to work around that law. They were technically slaves but they weren't directly called slaves.
Black slaves were being taken away from ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/9/2011 09:19:24 PM
Submitted By: sparkleska94
Category: African Studies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1468
Pages: 6

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