Syncretization and Synthesis: Folk and Written Traditions

Samuel A. Floyd

in The Power of Black Music

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780195109757
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853243 | DOI:
                   Syncretization and Synthesis: Folk and Written Traditions

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In this chapter, the author examines the continuing development of the old, established, and developing genres and their syncretization into new forms. In the early years of the nineteenth century, white-to-black and black-to-white musical influences were prevalent. This is a fact documented in several contemporary accounts. The author concludes that the emerging African American genres were not formed by the insertion of African performance practices into the formal structures of European music, as conventional wisdom would have it, but were molded in a process that superimposed European forms on the rich and simmering foundation of African religious beliefs and practices. The foundation of the new syncretized music was African, not European.

Keywords: syncretized music; African American music; European music

Chapter.  13028 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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