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Global Arts: Cultural Literacy & Heritage

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AFRICAN INFLUENCES ON AMERICAN MUSIC (GRIOT TO HIP HOP)

Regions: American History, Africa
Formats: Cultural Field Trip, After School Program, Community Event, Workshop
Genres: Literary Arts, Music
Levels: Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12

In understanding the heritage of the West African griot, or praise singer, students learn the foundation upon which today’s rap and hip hop artists work. Here, students develop an educated understanding of music’s communicative ability. Through studying and practicing musical call-and-response and polyrhythms and by uncovering the secret meanings of coded slave spirituals, students learn music’s communicative and social significance.