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This resource comes with a 40-slide PowerPoint with rich, interactive slides full of links, images, descriptions and much more. Guided notes are also included in both PDF and MS WORD format.


The AFRICAN ORAL TRADITION lesson can be used as a stand-alone lesson, as part of a larger series of lessons on the influences on American Music Genres (5 of these resources are detailed below), or as part of an even broader look at music genres (such as my resources on jazz, rock & roll, hip hop and others).




1 - EUROPEAN CLASSICAL MUSIC (40 slides, 3 pages of handouts) - sampling from the likes of Handel, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Mozart and others, this resource takes a look at the golden age of classical music and its direct and indirect influence on American music genres (Classical themes can be traced to all genres, notably ragtime and jazz)


2 - CHRISTIAN HYMNS (60 slides, 4 pages of handouts) - From King David and Psalms to the great Hymn writers like Charles Wesley to modern gospel singers, this resource looks chronologically at hymns and worship music, noting their impact on modern American music genres. (Christian hymns have directly influenced gospel and country for example)


3 - AFRICAN ORAL TRADITION (40 slides, 3 pages of handouts) - While African cultures have rich and diverse folk traditions, this resource looks specifically at African Oral Tradition as told by griots (such as Sundiata's griot Balla Fasseke). Connections from West African language patterns to modern African American vernacular and hip hop are explored as well. (Oral tradition has pauses and spoken verses like in funk or hip hop & rap)


4 - SLAVE SPIRITUALS (40 slides, 3 pages of handouts) - Spirituals have had a profound impact on American music genres and on culture in general. This resource explores some well-known spirituals, looks at some of their hidden meanings, and connects spirituals themes to modern genres. (Spirituals brought rhythm and themes that can be seen in gospel and blues)


5 - GLOBAL FOLK TRADITIONS (50 slides, 2 pages of handouts) - There are thousands of folk music traditions around the world. This lesson surveys about a dozen such traditions (Polka, Chinese, Native American, Irish, South American, Indian, Aboriginal, Nordic, Russian, Pacific Islander, Spain), noting unique instruments and sampling songs. (Folk traditions have existed for millennia; being traced to modern folk and bluegrass)

AFRICAN ORAL TRADITION: 40 rich interactive slides with links, handouts & more

  • Grade Level:


  • Pages:

    40 slides and three pages of follow-along notes
  • Subject(s):

    Music, History

  • Format(s):

    Zip with PowerPoint, Word, PDF

    (Google Compatible: PPT to SLIDES, WORD to DOCS)

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