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The Power of Black MusicInterpreting its History from Africa to the United States$
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Samuel A. Floyd

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195109757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109757.001.0001

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(p.35) Chapter 2 Transformations
The Power of Black Music

Samuel A. Floyd

Oxford University Press

The African Americans' natural use of the cultural, physical, and musical assets resulted in the blue notes, elisions, and other melodic assets of African American singing. This chapter presents the manifestations of these elements in African American music. Some examples are Dance, Drum, and Song; the social and religious values of the ring; the “motor-memory” and cultural memory of transplanted Africans; the exigencies of slave life in a foreign land; and the necessity of conforming to the expectations of the dominant culture that created an African American ethos—a common consciousness, a cultural unity, that is reflected also in “our language,. . . our thought patterns, our laughter, our walk” and other aspects of African Americans' being.

Keywords:   African American music, Dance, Drum, Song, motor memory

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