Compiled by Mrs. Derr February 2008
Early days of America
In 1619, the first Africans were brought to the state of Virginia. They were taken from their happy homes and were forced into crowded ships. When they arrived in America, they were treated very poorly.
The slaves were sold at auctions. They didn’t speak the language of the new land, and they were separated from their families.
They were forced to do hard labor. To make the time go by faster, they began singing songs.
Following African custom, a leader sang and the other workers sang along, trying to catch the rhythm that would soothe them in their work. This was the first African American musical form: THE WORK SONG.
In the early 1800’s the slaves began adopting the religion of their new world. In church they stressed their own cultural identity with songs and dances. With these songs, they expressed their hope for freedom, and a more dignified life.
AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS
One of the earliest forms of American folk songs are the SPIRITUALS. No one knows who wrote these songs – they were handed down through generations.
Famous spirituals include: • This Little Light Of Mine • When the Saints Go Marching In • He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands
**Book by Ashley Bryan: LET IT SHINE
Scott Joplin and RAGTIME
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, another ancestor of jazz was very popular. Scott Joplin, often called the FATHER OF RAGTIME, composed this lively, rhythmic music for piano.
MAPLE LEAF RAG by Joplin
His composition MAPLE LEAF RAG, published in 1899, was the first published piece of sheet music to sell a million copies!
**JOPLIN CD: Track 1, Maple Leaf Rag
The blues sprang out of the southern United States as a way of expressing the worries, joys, and dreams that African Americans had along the road to being accepted in white society.
Famous early blues musicians include Robert Johnson and Bessie... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 10). From Africa to Rock and Roll. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/From-Africa-To-Rock-And-Roll-793239.html
"From Africa to Rock and Roll" StudyMode.com. 10 2011. 10 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/From-Africa-To-Rock-And-Roll-793239.html>.
"From Africa to Rock and Roll." StudyMode.com. 10, 2011. Accessed 10, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/From-Africa-To-Rock-And-Roll-793239.html.