Music has such a beautiful place in our culture- Jazz, Blues, Gospel and Hip Hop to name a few. Although these genres have now been adopted by artists of all races, it is important to recognise and credit the roots of these genres. For example, the roots of Blues music, with it’s tradition of lyrics being made up on the spot, is a trait originating in freedom songs sung by enslaved Black people.

History

Whilst enslaved Black people were at work on plantations, they would use lyrics and rhythms to keep them all coordinated whilst working. It was used as an aid of production, and is reflected in the rhythm of many songs during the period.

Freedom

However, to many, music was thought of as a fragment of freedom. This gave enslaved people the opportunity to talk about their sorrow and their longing for emancipation. Typically, talk of freedom was associated with the threat of rebellion and could lead to punishment. However, through music and tone it was possible to express this dream of liberation. There is also theories of music being used as a way of informing other enslaved workers of ways to escape the plantations without the slave owners being aware.

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