The Different African American Music Styles That Set the Trend

Jazz, Blues, Funk, RnB and Gospel music and all the styles in between are driven by African American origins. The musical instruments that are used in producing African American music like the Banjo and Drums have been used across several styles, to create the rhythm and beat that is associated with foot-tapping music. Music has a strong ability to connect with people irrespective of their race, colour or creed. You don’t have to know the language of the music to be able to enjoy it. The African American music that was brought to America through the slaves has helped in connecting people all over the world in one voice and one soul.

The Impact of Blues Music

Only around the 20th century is when blues music gained popularity. The slaves who toiled in the fields sang in the blues style and used them in their church services. The true essence of blues music lies in the message that it carries. Hardships of people in an era that oppressed them were conveyed in the music. Their joys and praises were also an essential part of the style. The beauty of Blues music is that it is an outlet for expressing joy and sorrow from a very personal stance.

The guitars that were used in performing the blues was tuned differently than what we do these days. The fret was manipulated using a knife of a bottle for added effect. Over time the style and length of the music were modulated to suit a twelve-form style. This is what is used in blues music today.

The Generation That Impacted RnB

The actual term was coined only in the late 1940s. Right up to the point, the music was simply an offshoot of jazz music. The specialists argue that the actual term for what we now call RnB is Rhythm in Blues. The name has evolved over time and so has the music style. The music comprised of primarily an electric guitar coupled with a saxophone along with a complete section for the rhythm. People enjoyed the music because of the ability to dance to the familiar original styles.

The style uses the call and response form of African American music. In RnB, the style is seen in the Sax and the Vocalist. The first places where the music was a hit was in New York, Chicago, LA, and Detroit. However, soon as the popularity picked up, the rest of the world followed suit.

The Introduction of Funk

The African American music styles that initially shaped RnB, Blues and Jazz soon started including Cuban styles. Thus, was born the funk music style. The heavy beat of jazz and the extension of single chords is what makes this music unique. The most popular funk musician who made the music notable is James Brown. The other members of his band began contributing individually to the style in due course.

Funk music is more of an acquired taste than a very popular music trend that everyone likes. The groove and the beat of funk music are very inspiring to some. The ability to dance to funk is one of a kind, and the acquired music-lover can connect to the style personally. One of the notable evolutions and acceptance of Funk music is what we today call as Hip-Hop.