Black music

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Black music is a term encompassing music produced or inspired by black people, including Sub-Saharan African music traditions and African popular music as well as the music genres of the African diaspora, including Afro-Caribbean music and African American music. These genres include negro spiritual, gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, rock and roll, soul, funk, ska, reggae, hip hop.


In the black culture, music is important because it has a unifying quality that works in the same way cultural identity does; it crosses all borders. Music unifies people because all backgrounds can both appreciate the same song even if they have nothing else in common. It is a matter of taste and opinions, not intellectual arguments. Another important fact that ties music to black communities is that it has visible roots in Africa. It was a way that the early slaves could express themselves and communicate when they were being forcibly relocated and when there were restrictions on what cultural activities they could pursue. In a time where their world was being turned upside down, music served as an escape and form of communication/expression for early black communities. The ability of music to act as a binding factor provides the black culture with a strong sense of connectivity. The beginnings of black music as a separate genre in the United States started with the advent of slave spirituals and gospel music.




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Further reading[edit]

  • Spencer, Jon Michael. Black hymnody: a hymnological history of the African-American church (1992)