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African Influences on American Music (Griot to Hip Hop)

  • Culture | African Arts, American Arts
  • Format | Workshop, Cultural Field Trip, After School Program, Community Event
  • Discipline | Music, Literary Arts
  • Level | 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 spirituals developed by enslaved people, students learn music’s communicative and social significance.

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