How Has Black Culture Influenced Music?

Black culture has influenced America in multiple ways and music is heavily influenced by Black culture. Although people refer to Elvis as the “king of rock and roll,” it was actually created by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a Black woman, and a self-taught guitarist. Rosetta was known as a music prodigy and from an incredibly early age, she was performing with her mother in an evangelical troupe. In 1938 Rosetta began her recording career when she entered the studio with Lucky Millender’s orchestra to record her first ever four songs. She went on to inspire people like Little Richard and Elvis.

Sister Rosetta

On February 26, 1917, the “The Original Dixieland Jazz Band ” performed “Lively Stable Blues’ ‘ and this day became commonly known as the day the first recording of jazz music was distributed. This band claimed they invented jazz music on top of that the authorship of “Lively Stable Blues’ ‘ was questioned because of a copyright lawsuit against it. The Black culture’s role in creating and influencing Jazz Music in America is clear. The first jazz band style was created in New Orleans, where Charles “Buddy” Bolden’s band played ragtime with improvised embellishments. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band copied this style, and in the early 1920s Louis Armstrong led the development of the Chicago style. After the second world war, jazz evolved into assorted styles, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and free jazz. In the late 1950s and ’60s, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and others introduced fusions with the music of other cultures, including India and the Arab world. This style of jazz music is also called fusion; a popular genre of music created in the 70s. It has influenced society greatly and still is on the outskirts of the public eye of contemporary American recognition and acceptance.

The Original Dixieland Band

Country music has roots in jazz and the blues of the south. The Blues style of music has been used and adapted throughout country music’s history. In fact, in the antebellum south country music was the staple of Black culture. The banjo was a key instrument as well as harmonicas during this time and they were estimated to have been created in the late 1960s by southern African Americans. The Banjo was inspired by the Banjar which is an instrument played in Africa. As they stepped into the 18th and 19th centuries the fiddle was often used on plantations, if there were dances the musicians were often slaves.

Disco music comes from underground dance settings in NYC. Disco music was ignored and hated by tons of people, even DJs. However, the disco scene was set up by music labels such as Motown and Philadelphia international records. It became mainstream and became ignored again until the 80s in favor of other genres. House Music is the first direct descendant of disco. It is also the genre that shaped pop music, hip-hop, and other modern music styles into what they are today. Primary black clubbers went to “the warehouse”, a club in Chicago from 1977-1983. They came to dance to Frankie Knuckles, a gay Black man commonly known as DJ Frankie. He started the trend of combining records together when they were not long enough for the clubbers. At the center of his music was the combination of synthetic production, catchy live, and pop vocals. Although earlier on black people didn’t get as much recognition for their music they pushed through and have made an amazing impact on the modern music industry and are being recognized and commended for their contributions to music.

Frankie Knuckles
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