One of the earliest and ubiquitous forms of music created by blacks was the spiritual.
Many of the slaves were illiterate in English. Therefore Oral transmission became the chief means of communication because of restrictions placed on slaves music became the chief means of covert communication.
The spirituals originated through camp meetings and other religious exercises they started out spontaneous.The spirituals allowed blacks to maintain their African identity while identity.
Many of the spirituals had hidden meanings. For instance Harriet Tubman used the song ‘Go down Moses’ to Alert other slaves she was headed North. Harriet Tubman was Moses in the song because she brought slaves to the promise land.
The Negro spirituals were permitted because to slave owners it seemed as though the slaves were beginning to convert to Christianity.
Although the spirituals had African influence they were not as overtly African as other forms of music. Therefore slave masters did not view as threatening.
The theme of most negro spirituals was freedom
For a while after slavery negro spiritiuals were seen as crude and embarrassing. That is until the Fisk Jubilee singers toured the country in 1871 these singers brought negro spirituals to white audiences this gave it national and international attention.
In the 1900s Negro spirituals slowly became a tradition amongst black classical music composers such Harry T. Burleigh, Margaret Bonds, and Hall Johnson who set the negro spirituals to piano.
Portraying black stereotypes became popular in what is known as minstrel shows.
Initially it was mainly white e...
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... as well as the ones discussed this slideshow have had a major impact on the global music landscape.
The History of African-American Music." The African-American Experience. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media, 1999. American Journey. Student Resources in Context.
y Meagan Sullivan." Music Reference Services Quarterly 17.2 (2014): 21-37. African American Music as Rebellion from Slave Song to Hip Hop. Web.
"A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy - A History." A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy - A History. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Guthrie, Ramsey P. "Race Music : Black Cultures from Behop to Hip-hop." Race Music : Black Cultures from Behop to Hip-hop. MPublishing, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
Lovell, John. "The Social Implications of the Negro Spiritual." JSTOR. Journal of Negro Education, 4 Oct. 1939. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
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