The Beating of a Drum
The Beating of a Drum
Significance of a drum only exists when the instrument itself is given life. A drum beats, and only the life of the drum, is equivalent to the life of its drummer. Every beat played and base pounded, passes with originality of ancestors. A vast majority of the music we interact with today maintains a past, a common ancestor. Lyrics, beats, and dances evolved within the same progression as man; music and the human species appear within history traveling with an unbreakable alliance. More specifically, Afro-American music evolved from the most popular of slave songs. When migrating to the roots of slave music, evidence of fleeing guidance, provisions of hope, and means of unity absorbed the various tongues spoken on Earth. Such unifying music spoke of freedom and greatness. The spiritual guidance of slave songs assisted many African Americans with their hone upon freedom, upon meager hope, upon the one and desire journey, to the promise land. A drum was beating before slavery. A drum was beating in the duration of slavery. A drum is beating today.
Attraction to song during periods of slavery was based solely upon the value of lyrical assistance and how a message could survive the duration of slavery itself. Songs with purpose held an encrusted way of communication directed by slaves. Lyrics lingered from mouth to mouth and spread as if wildfire. Fragments of the most effective songs become difficult to translate due to varying languages and dialects. Attempting to decipher a song resembling the behavior of a Rubik’s cube becomes a rather ambitious task. A connecting form of symbolism, however, was a crucial icon all cultures could identify with. The famous Big Dipper constellation withheld an envious pathway to freedom for many slaves. The representative guidance of the Big Dipper can be heard through the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd” by Jeanette Winter. By means of the Underground Railroad, to reach “Jordan” was a prominent goal.
Slave songs adapted to many different tempos depending on the underlying goal or resemblance the artist wished to accomplish. Shouts, moans, and work songs all escaladed to a rhythm no matter how fast or slow. A shout, in particular, provided uplift and giddy excitement. Shouts maintained quick melodies and featured a spiritual combination of dancing and clapping. One of the surviving, primitive forms of African dance is labeled the Ring Shout. Rituals like the Ring Shout