The modern music is characterized by the fusion and diversity in music. Different genres and different cultures mix and mesh with each other. The more musical genres come together and fuse, the greater the chances that from this mash-up will spring more and more newer musical genres and sub-genres and types that it is hard to brand a particular artist with a particular musical genre.Since anyone and everyone is hip-hop and metal, with a little ska and reggae and a dose of club music and electronic, simmering in a brew decorated with pop and hardcore punk, laced with world music or ethnic rhythmic beat every once in a while.
It seems that now more than ever, music has become more and more faceless and color-less. The then-exclusive rap and hip hop scene that was very restricted to people with African American roots and black to deep brown skin now is also the realm of white rap acts from Vanilla Ice to Eminem.Musical genres that are formerly marginalized and was hardly noticed by pop and mainstream is now carving a very big niche in the pop and mainstream music genre, like Bossa Nova and true blue jazz. Standing in the middle of the age of musical maturity, sophistication and diversity, it is still not difficult to find strings that manage to make every musical genre related and closely tied with each other.The influence of African music to the modern music is characterized by the role of the African music in shaping several musical genres, adding flavor and uniqueness to the different genres under the modern music category. This is the thrust of this paper; to discover, analyse and discuss some of the important points about the influence of African music to modern music today.
An important contribution of African music to modern music is the bringing of African music of musical instruments which is being used around the world today, played in different musical genres from rock, pop, experimental, world music and even techno-music. African musical instruments are providing new sound, new depth and flexibility to different non-African music and to different musicians and their songs, characterizing the significance of African music in the modern music landscape.But to say that Africa music only contributed that much is unfair, because there is more than the bringing of African musical instruments to the world that characterizes the contribution of African music to the modern music scene.“This special contribution described in The Negro was made not only in the African influence on the invention of musical instruments, but also in the mingled African and American contribution of a new and original music to the western world, not only in the spirituals, but also in the blues and ragtime..
.the only kind of music brought forth in America by immigrants (Tracy, 2001, p. 19).”Venturing towards ascertaining the contribution and influence of the African music to modern music is not a new endeavor, especially since there are many efforts in the past and in the present as well to know how much modern music was influenced.Not only that, researchers are also focusing on finding out how exactly modern music was influenced by African music and African musical culture (not only limited to songs).
“Musical analysis, especially rhythmic analysis, is always in danger of being subjective and therefore insubstantial as proof.For this very good reason research concerning African musical influence in the Western hemisphere has had to emphasize the more tangible evidence of dance styles, social organization, or instrumental names and shapes; aural observations had had the force of peripheral comment, not data (Blacking, Kealiinohomoku, 1979, p. 288).”Then and now, African music has always been characterized as a music that consistently interacts with different people and different culture, and because of that, it is not surprising that African music has managed to contribute greatly in the different musical cultures of other countries around the world.
For the select few who has the more academic and learned approach towards the assessment of the African music influence on modern music, they can resort to analysing the scientific parts of music like patterns, rhythms and beat modes to ascertain if African music indeed provided influence and added significant flavor in the modern music as it is known and appreciated today.“One can even perceive a strong influence of African-based patterning in both the experimental music and rock of the 1960s (Cox, Warner, 2004, p. 295).”African music and its influence to rock and rollThose who barely understood rock and roll, the roots of rock and roll and the history of rock and roll may not believe the fact that rock and roll is a musical genre that is heavily influenced by African music. Yes, today it is very hard to find a rock and roll artist who is African American, considering how incorrect sometimes individuals construe rock and roll, without consideration to its roots and ties with musical genres like blues and country and jazz which were also heavily influenced by African music.But the truth is, rock and roll, in general, is a musical genre which owed much of its growth and maturity with the impact and influence of African music.
This is very difficult to dispute since no one can really predict what would have happened to the Caucasian rock and roll during its early formation if African American artists hadn't dabbled in this particular genre and changed it as history knows it.But since African American musicians who tweaked and changed rock and roll and made it one of the very popular musical genres around the world because of what they did to rock and roll. It is but fair that rock and roll is considered as a musical genre, to which African (and African American) has a great part, when it comes to discussing the shaping of rock and roll as it is today and as it is appreciated in the modern world.“The main point..
.is to make a claim that all forms of rock and roll have been strongly influenced by African-American music...
no great rock icon would be an icon had there not been the influence of African American music to draw upon (Curvebreakers, 2006, p. 143)."African music and the influence on jazz music Jazz is an important part of the modern music, and jazz would have not been what it is today if it was not for the role of African music in shaping it. “In its purer or more modern forms such as bebop, hard pop and free jazz, jazz was a highly specialized taste cultivated by a small group of African music aficionados (Veal, 2000, p.
42).”While there are those who think that jazz music are simply those slow songs with saxophones, horns, clarinets and violins, the truth is jazz started out to be a dance music shared and enjoyed inside the African culture and is an important part of the African musicality.Throughout the years and with exposure to different other cultures, jazz was shaped and re-shaped, but the essence of the African music influence in jazz remained. “The reciprocal influence of African music on jazz of the late 1950s and early 1960s was equally important (Veal, 2000, p. 42).
”Jazz as it is played, studied and understood today as a part of the modern music is never complete without the discussion of the contribution of African music to the jazz formula as it is used today. “African music was clearly referenced in the modal jazz developed by Miles Davis and John Coltrane in the late 1950s, and it would later figure equally in the various approaches of avant-garde jazz musicians (Veal, 2000, p. 42).”