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Understanding Music

Course Materials: Jeff Todd Titon et al. Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World�s
Peoples, Shorter Version/3rd Edition. Belmont, Ca.: Schirmer,2009, ISBN: 978-0=495-57010-3 (includes

3 audio CDs).

A minimum of 250 words for each threaded discussion is required for your answer to each discussion

question. Students may post anytime during the week to either discussion.

Reference: Text chp. 3.

What characteristics of African music are similar to Western European traditions? How is the music used

in the society?

� Length of 250 words minimum
� Relevance to assigned discussion topic(s)
� Depth, originality, thoroughness, writing quality

Understanding Music

If there is one factor that determines culture of a group, it is music. This is because
many people have diverse versions and approaches to music. Although there is a cultural gap

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between African music and Western European tradition, some similarities still exist between
them. Therefore, this paper engages in reviewing the similarities between African music and
Western European traditions as well as disusing how music is used in the society.


One of the similarities between African music and western European culture is the
common sharing of same music traditions. These genres include jazz, blues, gospel, hip-hop,
rock and roll, and calypso (Titon et al. 12). The writers noted that most contemporary African
music are built from ‘cross pollination’ of western European culture. In addition, African music
has borrowed aspects, especially the musical instruments and recording tradition from the
Western European culture (Titon et al. 13).

There are varied uses of music in the society, but chief among these is entertainment.
Music in most societies is also used in worship and communications. Most cultures appreciate
this importance by engaging in all aspects of accessing music. It is used for economic reasons
where a singer sells his musical albums. Therefore, singers engage in this employment-oriented
profession (Titon et al. 18).


It can be concluded that there exists a correlation between African music and Western
European culture. The relationship is mutual in that both societies interact with each other to
enhance their music cultures. The paper also noted that uses of music are inexhaustible. They
range from entertainment, worship, communication, to employment among many others.

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Titon, Jeff T, Timothy J. Cooley, David Locke, Anne K. Rasmussen, John M. Schechter,
Jonathan P. J. Stock, David P. McAllester, and David B. Reck. Worlds of Music: An Introduction
to the Music of the World’s Peoples. Belmont, Calif.: Schirmer/Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.

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