Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Evolution of African American Music

It can be said that virtually all music that is native to The United States comes out of the African American tradition.  From field hollers to spirituals, from ragtime to jazz, an on though hip hop and rap, and all of the sub genres as well, African Americans have led the way in American musical styles.

I have many interests.  Among them are history and music.  I am also interested in writing.  The subject of African American music, then, is a subject that I find fascinating.  I also believe that many people fail to realize this aspect of African American history.

Recently I have been going through lots of items I have at home and deciding what to keep and what to discard.  During this exercise, I came across a PowerPoint presentation that I made for my classes when I was teaching.  I never failed to celebrate Black History Month or African American Music Month.  This PowerPoint was used for both.

I did not want to discard this project completely, so I decided to make the PowerPoint into a video.  I have posted the result below.

I hope that some people will enjoy this presentation about African American music.  There is much to celebrate.  As you listen to the progression of styles, listen for hints of the next style inherent in each.  

Of course even with this almost one hour presentation, I have only hit the highlights.  I believe though that it will give the listener a good background in and an appreciation for the African American contribution to our heritage.

Because it is truly American, African American music belongs to us all.  If there is an overlying theme, that theme is freedom.  That is fully inclusive and fully American.

I hope you enjoy the video. (Note) You will not be able to view this video using internet explorer.  Google Chrome will work.