The History of Slave Music and its Impact on Modern Music Essay

2046 Words9 Pages
Slavery is a form of forced labor in which people are taken as property of others against their wishes and will. They are denied the right to leave or even receive wages. Evidence of slavery is seen from written records of ancient times from all cultures and continents. Some societies viewed it as a legal institution. In the United States, slavery was inevitable even after the end of American Revolution. Slavery in united states had its origins during the English colonization of north America in 1607 but the African slaves were sold in 1560s this was due to demand for cheap labor to exploit economic opportunities. Slaves engaged in composition of music in order to preserve the cultures they came with from Africa and for encouragement…show more content…
The songs were developed to reduce the level of boredom and increase production, these songs created a sense of familiarity and togetherness among workers. The African American work songs were created during the slave era in the seventeenth century; many had their origin in traditions of Africa and were sung to remind them of home or ordered by their masters to boost morale and keep slaves working. They have also been seen as means of endurance, expressing of anger and frustration via verbal signals. Some aspects like call and response were said to be rooted in African tradition, where a leader could sing a verse and be repeated by the greater mass. This eventually led to spirituality development which acted as a basis for Christianity leading to modern day gospels and blues. Religious songs were also another group. They were sung accompanied by clapping of hands and foot stamping. Slaves had their own ways of praying and worshipping in their native land which assisted them to be introduced to Christianity. Africans used to sing songs, give testimonies and worship to their gods and deities; a culture which they could not forsake. These songs were classified as work, jubilee and social. Work songs sung while working in the field to give the black community hope and freedom. Social songs contained social messages and the jubilee songs were sung in the church. Recreational songs

More about The History of Slave Music and its Impact on Modern Music Essay

Open Document