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Music and American Culture - Essay Example
While it might not be stated with certainty the exact period during which music originally developed, it is quite obvious that the purpose of developing such an art probably thousands of years ago was to synchronize and coordinate collective human movement, for instance farming or hunting. …
As percussion instruments evolved later to accompany music, there was also the emergence of individual percussionist.
With time, other new kind of instruments emerged which instruments further enabled the playing of virtuoso. At a given point in time, regular individuals began to create songs meant for their own consumption. These songs were called folk songs and they were not about God or heroes, but rather about sorrows and joys of life. The invention of polyphony greatly reduced the importance of rhythm, and later come to be perceived as plebian and primitive element of music. Conversely, rhythm was heavily relied upon by the folk music, both for purposes for singing and dancing. Consequently, the element of rhythm became the distinguishing factor between folk and classical music. This state of affairs remained as it was when both folk and classical music arrived in America.
Europeans in the Americans melting pot were obliged to admit that there were several different types of folk music for the first time. Even though the racial instinct of music in America was intended to separate the Anglo-Saxons from the rest, it was just a matter of time before these boundaries were shattered. Surprisingly, the existence of African music was the most traumatic confrontation for the Europeans. Even though African music was long discarded as an animal kingdom oddity, that is to say a sound that is similar to that of an animal, the African music was able to coexist with the European music for close to two centuries before penetrating into the white society in America. ...