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Music and Ritual iN the African Diaspora is an ever-expanding interactive website that explores the relationship between music, ritual, and other media of cultural and social expression--such as dance and the visual/material arts, religion, and theatre--of people of African descent beyond the continent of Africa. Emphasis is placed on the research, publications, and educational endeavors of the creator of the site, Oliver N. Greene.

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Folk and popular music traditions and related ritual practices of the circum-Caribbean and Latin America (Central and South America) are primary focal point of this site. Emphasis is the placed on the music and ritual practices of the Garifuna of Central America (including those of Garifuna communities who in USA). Information is also included on the carnival and related musical expressions of the largest carnival traditions in the Americas: Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, Carnival in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

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Another area of emphasis includes the musical traditions of African-Americans, in particular those of people who live outside of circum-Caribbean and whose music played a influential role in the evolution, development and expression popular music styles and traditions. These include but are not limited to all styles of African American music in the 20th century--from blues to rap--whose dissemination and preservation depended on the sell of recordings.

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Africa in the New World

The musics of displaced and migrant Africans in the Americas are as diverse as the languages and cultures that these people identify as their own. They share similar histories of survival despite enslavement and varying degrees of cultural marginalization and suppression. Africanism such as a predominance rhythm and rhythmic variation and repetition, improvisation, the use variety of timbres of sounds, social and cultural commentary, and association of music with ritual, dance and the visual or material arts are characteristics that prevail in most of their styles of music. These forms of expression exist whether they are the promoters of indigenous languages and non-European related customs such as the Garifuna of Central America or of the European languages of English, French, Spanish and Portuguese with distinct localized beliefs and ways such as Afro-Brazilians of Salvador, Bahia, carnival masqueraders of Trinidadian, the Mardi Gras Indians or New Orleans, the blues singers of the Mississippi Delta and Chicago or the early pioneers of rap music. Though the variety of cultures represented by Diasporic Africans is beyond the scope of this website, the site does not attempt to be comprehensive relative to the seeks to provide information about the cultures, cultural practices or traditions, and/or connections between cultural groups about whose music extensive amounts of information have not been made known or published.

 

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Knowledge, Understanding and Self-Empowerment - Comprehending the Musical Influences and Contributions of Africans of Americas.