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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: African American Music and Acculturation Musical acculturation is the absorption of musical style by one culture from another via selection and modification. It is a common occurrence when cultures intermingle. This process is particularly apparent in the development of African American music, in which African sounds and social values mixed with those of Euro America and Caribbean cultures.


Despite the fact that West African music differed from one region to the other, all cultures within this region shared sufficient features that enabled them to constitute a heritage that was identifiable as African when they were trans-located to the New World (Jackson 25). From the accounts given by early traders and explorers, it has been deduced that music was a lifestyle of these West Africans. It was used to enhance rituals, worship, provide recreation, and as a means of communication. These cultures shared a characteristic feature in integrating music with dramatic elements and dance. When they were enslaved and stripped of their community and families, their rich stories, customs, traditions, and music remained with them and were passed the new generation. On arrival in the new world, they were designated as heathens and the clergymen of the time were compelled to convert the Africans to Christianity. This religious conversion acted as the first instance in which the Africans were exposed to European music with the singing of hymns and psalms (Jackson 25). They often gathered, on Sundays, to make music, sing, and dance. ...
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