Influence of African-American Music in Commercial Recording


Influenceof African-American Music in Commercial Recording

Theuse of similar musical instruments and following the cultural beliefsare some of the reasons why the commercial recordings coincide withAfrican-American music. The difference is that, in commercialrecordings, the musical instruments are electrified. Blues are goodexamples of songs that African-American sang and had a slight changein commercial recordings. The commercial recordings of Blues inAmerica rose since it aimed at selling to the black Americans who hademigrated from South to North in the 1920s. Many of the recordingstars were black Americans and Blues’ singers, so a certain musicculture was formed which is hard to transform in commercialrecordings. Small jazz combos, pianists or guitarists fromAfrican-American culture often accompanied the singers (Wynn 75). Theurban cultures such as popular jazz and music influenced the Blues’musicians in recording the songs. Percussion, combos, guitar, andpiano become developed, but the songs’ messages slightly changed.

Theuse of electrified European instruments became unavoidable afterWorld War II. Saxophones were used to record various Blues’ bandsduring the 1940s referred as electric Blues or Urban Blues.Currently, Blues remain contemporarily in American culture which is atraditional form of music with many reinterpretations and revivals(Wynn 76). The present practitioners of Blues only integrate theinstrumental pyrotechnics and sounds of rock music and make slightchanges to the lyrical content of various songs. In conclusion,commercial recording usually coincides with the African-Americanmusic due to relatively unaltered songs’ contents, use of similarmusical instruments and cultural influence. For example, in Blues’songs, there are verses which convey a yearning for improved life andlost jobs, money, and lovers. Black-American musicians also lamentusing songs the injustices that their ancestors suffered.


Wynn,Neil.&nbspCrossthe Water Blues: African American Music in Europe.Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007. Print.