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Egyptian cosmogony

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Egyptian cosmogony

Back ground of black culture and music Music is and has been an incredibly important part of black culture, when studying any type of black music it is very much an exploration into the back mind. Music has been part of the black cultural scene dating back to slavery. Although Jazz music is loved and performed by people of every national background, in America, the groundbreaker, leader and innovator in every step forward of Jazz has been the Negro. Precisely because the black culture speak so powerfully in Jazz, it has become loved and admired by all people. In this essay, I will be looking at how important black music is to the black culture. How it has developed and the struggles involved. The music of black culture can be seen as a reflection of the values within a society, this explains the importance of musical expression compared to that of western culture. Western theory tends to detach art from life, whereas in black culture art is life. It is seen as a potential foundation for social activity. Black music and oral tradition is an essential part of black culture. The oral tradition has become important through spontaneous, often improvised acts, of a group nature. This is a valuable kind of expression through out all types of black music America holds a rich artistic background, expressively reflecting the circumstances and times of their place. Of these creative endeavors, the most cultural and uniquely American music is that of the art of Jazz. Jazz music is a story, idea, or feeling through the infusion of complex rhythm and musical interface, which often comes so effortlessly and naturally to these musicians. Their instruments provided a voice to be heard, a voice that commonly was countered by the ignorance of a young American society. This voice was born from an extreme emotional and spiritual past, where music celebrated was the very essence of life. Religion and Spirit played a major role in life- the West African groups that yielded the bulk of slaves to the New World believed in spirit gods, and the goal of each believer was to be possessed by a spirit in a state of mental and physical convulsion. Soon many African- American rites and celebrations were born, playing a major role in the life of slavery. Jazz is a music with a history and a heart, it is both historically and musically a very deep expression of American culture, it has grown in to a vast and deep current of American culture. Historically and culturally it is a music that had to happen, it is a deep expression of Black American culture. It is undoubtably Black America's gift to the world. ?Some whites seem to think they have a right to Jazz. It has been a gift that the Negro has given, but whites can't except that ' there are too many problems involved with the social and historical relationship of the two people? (Archie Shepp) Jazz is rooted in the musical traditions of American blacks. These traits surviving from West African music; black music forms developed in the new world. Once enslaved and brought to America, the African had to find a way to communicate with other Africans because the hundreds of African tribes represented spoke many different dialects. However, one custom that the slaves held in common was ?humming.? Someone once said that ?a roomful of people cannot speak together, but they can sing together.? ?Humming tunes without specific lyrics became a shared experience as African instruments made from tree bark, cones, bones, etc., gave way to more Americanized instruments. For the first Afro-Americans, music was a vehicle through which a slave could travel through time substituting fantasy for reality. Some tunes were sad, some happy, some triumphant. There were church songs, work songs, love songs and folk songs. As black music developed in its own forms, blacks became very polished at reproducing white music. After the Civil War it was not uncommon for blacks to be hired for all-white affairs. By the early 1900's, the black professional musician was quite common in the North and large urban areas of the South. With the great migration of blacks to the urban North came better jobs. For the first time in American History as LeRoy Jones states in his book, Blues People, blacks became consumers. ?The Negro as consumer was a new and highly lucrative slant, an unexpected addition to the strange portrait of the Negro the white American carried around in his head.? (p101) As early jazz developed, so did its popularity. Although other cities caught on, the primary region of the south that would have the most impact and a better scene was Louisiana, particularly the New Orleans. The New Orleans was known for its relaxed atmosphere and a diverse population of races- African, French, Italian, Portugese- and was home to gambling joints, dance halls, and saloons. The New Orleans jazz had developed a newer kind of sound- "Dixieland"- and brought out a improviser, technically, emotionally, and intellectually. He changed the format of jazz by bringing the soloist to the forefront, and in his recording groups, the Hot Five and the Hot Seven, demonstrated that jazz improvisation could go far beyond simply ornamenting the melody he created new melodies based on the chords of the initial tune. The twenties were a crucial time period in the history of music. Revolutions were made in every aspect, many social boundaries were broken because of Jazz, and the music has long stood for both individuality and integragation and making the world a more civilized place. It expressed a wide range of emotion and descriptions of African American life. Black music communicates through the experiences of those involved. Bound together by struggle the black culture have built up a history, tradition and cultural life of their own. Jazz music is a flow of emotion guided by the most conscious skill, taste, artistry and intelligence. ?Jazz as it was originally conceived and in most instances of it's most vital development was the result of certain attitudes, or empirical ideas, attributed to the Afro-American culture?. (p153 jones) If we try to compile the names of twenty most momentous jazz artists, those who have had the greatest influence on the music are black, with very few exceptions. The black culture unconsciously absorbs the jazz tradition from their youth and therefore the music is part of them, whereas a white musician will have to learn Jazz, just like that of a language. This may be the reason blacks often decide on becoming a Jazz musician, as it offers the most appealing rewards. Although this is the case, black Jazz musicians have had to work extremely hard to get acknowledged, it was quite common for Jazz musicians to return home to very poor conditions. ?you own the music and we make it? Archie Shepp The technical term for this, in which a persons labour is in the hands of his employer, is alienation. Alienation occurs because the employer and not the worker controls both the means of production (factories, machines, tools) and the products manufactured through the operation of these means by human labour. A Jazz artist may own the tools of his trade but is still alienated from what he himself has created by the fact that he must depend on those who control the means of distribution; nightclubs, festivals, radio stations, booking agencies and recording companies in order to bring his music before the public to earn a livelihood from it. ?The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas?..The class which has the means of material production at it's disposal, consequently also controls the means of mental production, so that the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are on the whole subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relations??9 Marx and Engels ?The German Ideology? Moscow: Progress publishers, 1976, vol5 p.59 Two effects flow directly from this; the talent and creativety of the Jazz musician ...

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