Chapter

African Music, Religion, and Narrative

Samuel A. Floyd

in The Power of Black Music

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780195109757
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853243 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109757.003.0002
                   African Music, Religion, and Narrative

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This chapter discusses the apparent importance of African religion to the understanding of African ritual and its musical derivatives. Familiarity with African religious practices is essential within the framework of inquiry presented in this book. The discussions in this chapter rely on the work of John S. Mbiti. The author concludes that traditional African communities were more concerned with the community than the individual. Musical innovation took place in non-individualistic African communities, and these innovations were incorporated into the existing system. An intricate, flexible, and dynamic religious and aesthetic system based on complex moral and artistic beliefs and practices can be found in an African society.

Keywords: African music; John S. Mbiti; African religion

Chapter.  8587 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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