Question: Why Did Slaves Use Music?

Music was a way for slaves to express their feelings whether it was sorrow, joy, inspiration or hope.

Songs were passed down from generation to generation throughout slavery.

These songs were influenced by African and religious traditions and would later form the basis for what is known as “Negro Spirituals”.

What was the purpose of Negro spiritual to slaves?

They communicated many Christian ideals while also communicating the hardship that was a result of being an African-American slave. The spiritual was often directly tied to the composer’s life. It was a way of sharing religious, emotional, and physical experience through song.

What music did slaves listen to?

Today, slave music is usually grouped in three major categories: Religious, Work, and “Recreational” songs. Each type adapted elements of African and European musical traditions and shaped the development of a wide range of music, including gospel, jazz, and blues.

What did spirituals do for slaves?

A former slave and “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, Tubman said that she used spirituals such as “Go Down Moses” to signal slaves that she was in the area, and would help any who wanted to escape.

Why is music important to African American culture?

The most important influence on 20th century music? African Americans and the musical culture they brought to this country – developed within the bonds of slavery. Even before the 20th century began, blues music was evolving across the country out of the traditional African slave spirituals, work calls and chants.