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Black World Music

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young girl playing trumpet - credit - pnw-production

Black music is the acknowledgement of a culture that has influenced musical genres around the entire world. For this reason, it is better to describe black music as ‘Black World Music’ because its reach is worldwide, it does not have geographical boundaries, nor does it have racial or ethnicity boundaries.

Black World Music is a culture that is global and has been heavily influenced by other cultures and nations around the world for generations. As mentioned in our article about Black Culture, the term ‘Black’ is a political term to describe a culture that is heavily concentrated within the African Diaspora communities, but is not limited to one ethnicity, race or creed. It is the naturalisation or adoption of the ‘Black’ culture. For many this may be a racial term, as ‘Black’ is often used to reference the skin colour of a person. But this can lead to confusion or debate as many that identify as ‘Black’ may not have a darker skin tone that is often associated with being ‘Black’, but they can still identify themselves as ‘Black’ if that is the culture they identify with. This notion also applies to black music, it is the adoption and acknowledgment of a Black Music culture.

Black music began in Africa. The second largest and most populous continent in the world. Africa is home to over 3000 cultural tribes, each with their own unique practices, rituals and spirituality, their own styles of music, musical instruments, song and dance. It is almost impossible to identify a unified African culture, but instead acknowledge that they collectively created black music and influenced Black World Music as we see it today as a result of the African Transatlantic Slave Trade.

It is from the atrocities of the slave trade which tore Africans away from their native homes and cultural tribes that led to a fusion of African cultures forming a new era of music. Even through the challenges from oppression, barriers of language, religion, adapting to new climates and landscapes, the African Diaspora continued to evolve around the world and fuse native cultures and develop new modern cultures, with influences from Europe and Asia, the Black World Music has evolved.

Black music has created many musical genres, some of these include: 

  • Afrobeats
  • Blues
  • Calypso
  • Cumbia
  • Disco
  • Folk
  • Funk
  • Gospel
  • Highlife
  • Hip-hop
  • House
  • Jazz
  • Jungle
  • Merengue
  • Reggae
  • Rock
  • Salsa
  • Samba
  • Soca
  • Soul
  • Techno

It is often said that black music like much of black culture is often exploited, whitewashed or appropriated, taking away from its authenticity or failing to value its origins stemming from hardship.

It is claimed by some that some of the great white artists stole black music with attempts to imitate the funky, soulful, blues rhythms that black music pioneered.


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This page was last updated on 05, February, 2022

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