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African-American music

Definition of the noun african-american music

What does african-american music mean as a name of something?


  1. music created by African-American musicians; early forms were songs that had a melodic line and a strong rhythmic beat with repeated choruses
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonym of African-American music: black music
    • more generic terms: genre / music genre / musical genre / musical style = an expressive style of music
    • more specific terms:
      • blues = a type of folksong that originated among Black Americans at the beginning of the 20th century
      • soul = a secular form of gospel that was a major Black musical genre in the 1960s and 1970s
      • rap music / hip-hop / rap = genre of African-American music of the 1980s and 1990s in which rhyming lyrics are chanted to a musical accompaniment
      • rhythm and blues / R and B = a combination of blues and jazz that was developed in the United States by Black musicians


African-American music is an umbrella term covering a diverse range of musics and musical genres largely developed by African Americans. Negro spirituals, blues, ragtime, jazz, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, rock & roll, soul, funk, disco, hip hop, house, and techno constitute the principal modern genres of African-American music. Their origins are in musical forms that arose out of the historical condition of slavery that characterized the lives of black Americans prior to the American Civil War. The modern genres were developed during the late 19th century by fusing European musical styles with those of African origin which employed the natural harmonic series. The exceptions are hip hop, house and techno, which were formed in the late 20th century from earlier forms of African-American music such as funk and soul.

  • also known as Afro-American music
  • subgenre: Zydeco

Printed encyclopedias and other books with definitions for African-American music

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Google previewDangerous Freedom (1995)

Fusion and Fragmentation in Toni Morrison's Novels by Philip Page

Like Black English, African-American music is a metaphor for and an instance of the "combination of acculturation and cultural exclusivity"; (Lev- ine, Black 154). For Ellison, jazz and the blues represent African- American experience ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of African American Politics (2003)

by Robert C. Smith

Nelson George, a former Billboard African-American music critic, contends in The Death of Rhythm & Blues that the development of crossover artists in the POST– CIVIL RIGHTS ERA resulted in the death of the music as an authentic black ...

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