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African Culture

Essay by   •  March 8, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,054 Words (5 Pages)  •  888 Views

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African American culture is an exceptional subject that characterizes the life style, creativity and achievements of a race. One of the most phenomenal and distinctive representations that makes this culture unique is the music it has produced. Black music is an American jewel and a dominant influence on today's culture. The four most widespread categories of Black music are Blues, Jazz, Gospel, and Rhythm & Blues. Rhythm & Blues was a result of stylistic pop black music which took the rhythm of rock and roll and integrated it into long established traditional blues.

It is music that speaks volumes about America. Rhythm & Blues expresses sorrow, resiliency and self determination. The rhythm is the beat and the blues is the meaning of the message that comes from the soul. Whether you're woeful or joyful, Rhythm & Blues communicates how an individual feels in their heart. Uninhibited by the formality of musical arrangements, it allowed African Americans to sing truthfully about their own experiences in their own style and in their own words. Rhythm & Blues crossed over racial and social class boundaries and even today continues to grow in its popularity.

You can hear it in the night club on a Saturday night and in church on Sunday morning. From the unforgettable soul singing of artists such as Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige , to Alicia Keys and Michael Jackson, to the eclectic experiment of Andre 3000 of Outkast. These musicians carry on the tradition of earlier pioneers such as Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, and Aretha Franklin. Rhythm & Blues is an ever-changing style of music that regenerates new forms of expression within African American culture.

Rhythm & Blues is a broad term used to classify a wide range of popular music. This genre of music is commonly referred to as R & B. Rhythm & Blues music has the single greatest impact on music worldwide for most of the 20th century. The influences of rock music, country and western, gospel music, and jazz have produced a diverse group of subgenres. Jump blues, country blues, Philly soul, gospel based styles, New Jack Swing, Doo Wop, Motown, disco, Hip hop, Pop and Rap are all a variety of different but related styles. Despite the fact that there are many styles, they share musical and social aspects that link them together. The musical rhythm is undoubtedly the most important and distinguishing component that impacts this music. All of these genres incorporate the soul template of Rhythm & Blues, making them more universal, infectious and elite in the world of musical genres.

The words Rhythm & Blues were more than just a term for a style of music, it was a replacement for the phrase "race music", which was thought to be offensive. Rhythm & Blues became a way to categorize the black market separately. "The term originated as a way to describe black popular music in billboard magazine in the late 1940s" (Red, par. 1).At a time when Rhythm & Blues was deemed strictly black music, it was an indication that this genre of music was recorded by a black musician and was intended for a black audience. Today you can

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