The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #81179   Message #1484943
Posted By: GUEST,Azizi
14-May-05 - 12:21 PM
Thread Name: African American Secular Folk Songs
Subject: RE: African American Secular Folk Songs

Thanks for your reminder about the African American Spiritual Permathread that you and Q and others have done such a magnificent job on.

I can't access the hyperlink feature now. Could you or someone else please provide the link to that Permathread to make it easier for folks reading this thread to visit it?

Thank you.


I notice that I had forgotten five other characteristics of African American secular and religious music:

repetitious phrases

heavy syncopation

staggered entrance of voices, instrumentation

changes in tempo within the same song {a song may start slow and
all of a sudden becomes faster}

the song ends with a low note and not a high note


Those people who have an ethnomusicalogy background or know how to read and write music could probably have used the proper musical terms for these points..but that's the best I can do now.


Also this may be an extention of this subject, but there seems to be a preference in African American music [and other music of the African Diaspora} for 'dirty' sound {as opposed to 'pure' sound};
for example the inclusion of foot stomps, hand claps, body patting, interjections, spoken commentary, etc. The inclusion of police and/or ambulance sirens in Hip-Hop and Dancehall Reggae music is an example of what I am referring to as 'dirty' sound.

Also there is a noticable perference for gritty, gravely voices in African American vocalists {think Louis Armstrong} and also Caribbean vocalist.

There is also a blurring of the line between talking and singing.

And Black vocalists and musicians also throughout the African Diaspora are expected to add make the song or music their own
{or using Hip-Hop terms, they are supposed to add their own flava to the mix}. This is done by extending a word {or a note}, repeating phrases, adding interjections etc.

Audience participation is another feature of African Diaspora music but of course this is found in other world music too.