Introduction to Zydeco Music

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Jamarcus Burks
October 15, 2012

A fiddle, accordion, guitar, and a washboard are all you need to create the sweet sound of Zydeco. Zydeco music is a mixture of Blues or Jazz music with an upbeat tempo. Zydeco music has grown with my family. It is like a china dish your great grandmother passes down. The music is unique from the message it sends to the crazy two stepping dance that goes along with it. Zydeco music plays a significant role in my life.

The first time I heard Zydeco music, I thought it sounded like someone kicking the side of a trash can mixed with a horrible marching band. I was about seven years old, but I remember it like it happened yesterday. My family was eating dinner at my Grandmother’s house and I had recently moved back to Waco, Texas with my dad. I could remember asking, “What is that noise?” It took me three years to understand what Zydeco truly means, but I took no time to learn the two-step dancing. I listened to Zydeco at a young age, not knowing I did not understand the meaning behind the music, or the important role it played in my life.

To me, Zydeco is more than music; it is a way of life. I have listened to Zydeco music through good and bad times throughout my life. My family plays Zydeco music at family gatherings and social events such as holidays, trail rides, birthdays, baby showers, and even funerals. No matter where we would be, we would listen and dance like there was no tomorrow. For as long as I can remember, my family has been playing Zydeco music at funerals. Some people may think it is disrespectful, but it is a family tradition. The reason we play Zydeco at all of our gatherings, is because growing up we were taught to always look at the positive aspects of life. So when a death occurs in the family, we listen to Zydeco and it reminds us that our loved one will always be with the family, but in a better place. Listening to Zydeco gives me a warm and grateful feeling inside. It comforts me to know that no...
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