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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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Syncretization and Synthesis: Folk and Written Traditions

Syncretization and Synthesis: Folk and Written Traditions

(p.58) Chapter 3 Syncretization and Synthesis: Folk and Written Traditions
The Power of Black Music

Samuel A. Floyd

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the author examines the continuing development of the old, established, and developing genres and their syncretization into new forms. In the early years of the nineteenth century, white-to-black and black-to-white musical influences were prevalent. This is a fact documented in several contemporary accounts. The author concludes that the emerging African American genres were not formed by the insertion of African performance practices into the formal structures of European music, as conventional wisdom would have it, but were molded in a process that superimposed European forms on the rich and simmering foundation of African religious beliefs and practices. The foundation of the new syncretized music was African, not European.

Keywords:   syncretized music, African American music, European music

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