What Are The Musical Consequences Of Diaspora?

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What are the musical consequences of diaspora? In this essay I will be considering how diaspora has impacted upon the musical world. I will review examples of how the movement of people within a diaspora influenced and affected musical culture and techniques and describe the resulting changes that the diaspora had on the areas of the world that these people moved to. In Greek, diaspora means to scatter. In the past, the term diaspora has been traditionally used to describe the dispersion of the Jewish people beyond Israel and the term has been associated with loss, exile and persecution. For many years the word had connotations of tragedy. Today however, the term is used to describe, ‘a community of people who live outside their shared country of origin or ancestry but maintain active connections with it. A diaspora includes both emigrants and their descendants’ (Am I Part of a Diaspora? Link in Bibliography). Diaspora of African Origin As African people travelled from Africa to other parts of the world, both as a result of the African slave trade and later migrations, the music and dance forms of this African diaspora influenced many international musical styles and genres, including Caribbean and Latin American music, for example Samba and Salsa, as well as providing the foundations for the musical traditions behind African American Music, for example Jazz and Rhythm and Blues. ‘The majority of sub-Saharan African folk music and traditional music is functional in nature.’

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