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One significant example of how one culture has absorbed musical styles from other cultures is jazz music. The role that has been played by blacks, creoles, and whites in the musical amalgamation that eventually came up with jazz music is a vital element in the development of the genre. African Americans in the South, as well as those living elsewhere in America, adopted many values held by their white counterparts. However, their musical style has remained inherently reflective of dichotomies that they faced as Americans living in the United States and these were absorbed into their music (Hardie 31). Slave music remained a distinctive cultural form for African Americans. African Americans had little distinction between sacred and secular music. They sang varieties of songs as spirituals and for work, just as their ancestors had done in Western Africa. Black music was never limited to any single tradition of music. While we tend to view black music in terms of all genres such as funk and other art forms, some of these genres are not informed by the reasoning that African American musicians treat their music as an oral art form rather than a written one. African Americans, living in a country that was, and in some cases still is, covertly and overtly hostile to them, attempted to accommodate these different cultures in the United States with the aim of speaking out (Hardie 32). They fit these cultures very well into their music, which allowed them to incorporate and learn a new repertoire that became acceptable as part of their music, especially in the initial stages of jazz and its formation. In the 20s and 30s, many producers were in the business of marketing race records, which allowed them the chance to target the black demographic and had more chance of making money (Hardie 35). African Americans were exposed to different music genres, and they played blues music rich with influence from performance by the creoles. Their music also had borrowed aspects from Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica and came to be known as Afro-Caribbean music. This style included some ethnic styles borrowed from the Spanish Creole, the French Creole, Germans, and the Cajun. A situation also arose where African Americans played jazz and folk music, sharing a repertoire of music with their counterpart White Americans (Hardie 35). Many locations in New Orleans, by the year 1940, consisted of an increasing population of citizens born outside the United States. In this city, the brass wind ensemble of the 1840s, for example, the Richmond Light Infantry Blues was enlisted in Southern America together with Allen’s Brass Band (Hardie 36). Some of the American states had a society that allowed free slaves. This allowed a few slaves and freemen to earn special a reputation and recognition as musicians and performers in the nineteenth century. Such artists included legends like Anthony Jackson and Klondike. Others included such Southern artists also Roland Hayes and William Grant, as well as female performers including Chieppie Hill and Bessie Smith. This list also extends to the Mississippi Urban Blues singers like B.B. King and Muddy Waters (Hardie 36). There were also the buck dancers and reels of banjo pickers and slave fiddlers that had evolved from Northern Mississippi’s fife drum bands, New Orleans’s brass bands and the Charlestown and Memphis based jug bands evolved into the early ...Show more


Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Jazz Music and Musical Acculturation In ethnomusicology, acculturation can be considered as a form of trans-culturation of music. Trans-culturation is a broad reference to the way in which more than two cultures come into contact, as far as musical influences are concerned, setting in motion processes that alter the music of the affected culture in one way or the other…
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