The United States is certainly one of the most diverse countries in the world from a cultural perspective. Capable of speaking 300 languages, the Native Americans were the early settlers of the American land. Hundred years after that, the Europeans, Africans, Asians and other ethnic race from across the globe arrived and settled in America. These migrations have contributed greatly to the patchwork of modern day American Society. Carrying not only their belonging and property, various cultures from around the world merge with one another through friendships and inter marriages of races.
Through these racial interactions, various cultures took different shape and evolve into what we known today. To examine and describe them all would take years to accomplish and tedious since culture co exist with time, it evolve as time goes by. This paper would then focus on two dominant races and their respective cultures, namely, Hispanic and Caucasian. Since culture is a vast term to explore, this paper would then focus on the musical culture of Hispanic and Caucasian race. It would focus on how foreign cultures have influenced the growth and development of traditional music.
Hispanic and Caucasian culture have influenced each other throughout history. It is often said that both cultures were the patchwork of different cultures put together during the colonial times. Hispanic culture basically speaks or pertains to a larger community that is comprised of different subgroups, such as Mexicans Americans, Cuban Americans and other races that originated from the Latin American continent. Caucasian or American culture is also a patchwork of different cultures originating from various parts of the world.
This was brought by immense immigration during 17th up to 21st century and spread, through interactions with various races. This is the basic theme that these two cultures share together and its music, architecture and literature are deeply influenced by foreign culture. The land of America became a melting pot for these two cultures, a place for previous identities to be melted down together with other cultures to create an integrated, uniform society. Their culture was not forgotten; it was just shaped through the influence of foreign culture.
E: Hispanic Culture Since the 17th century, Hispanic people have been living in the United States. Some of them were forced to come as slaves and those who could afford the expenses of immigration settled in the United States driven by the opportunity presented by the new found land. Though years have passed since the colonial times, most of them still cannot forget the trademarks of their former masters. Aside from their native language, most of them could speak the Spanish language and to some extent has been incorporated in their native language as well.
Another characteristic of Hispanic culture that was influenced by the Spanish regime is the mestizo lifestyle (Gallarga, 2007). The term Mestizo describe Latin American whose lifestyle combine ideas, values, practices and other cultural elements both European and indigenous (rural and urban) of origin (Latin American Culture, 2008). Aspects of the mestizo lifestyle are widely diffused in the musical culture of Latin America. Violin, guitar and other stringed instruments are of mestizo origin (Garfias, 1996).
Over time, these instruments were combined to those of traditional instruments being used by the people to create new ensemble types. Rural band from villages started to include playing the guitar, vilhuela, one or two violins and a harp. This kind of ensemble was an example of the changes that were brought by mestizo lifestyle. Additionally, hemiola, a common feature in Latin America music originated or a product of mestizo lifestyle (Mintzer, 2005). A hemiola is the simultaneous or sequential juxtaposition of duple and triple and rhythmic patterns with a moderate or quick 6/8 meter.
This kind of rhythmic pattern is present in different musical performances of Mexicans, singers in Chile, and other Latin American performers (Mintzer, 2005). Not only in music does this mestizo trend is present but also in dances genres such as contra dance, waltz and the polka. March based music was widely diffused so as Catholics songs and processionals. Dance drama was another feature of the mestizo musical life. Being influence by 16th century missionaries, people in the rural and also in urban areas perform dance drama to honor individuals who are connected to local history, myth, legend and religious stories (Musical Migrations, 2002).
Accompanied by local ensembles and dance genres, drama like this gave new kind of entertainment and meaning to rural town festivals throughout Latin American Aside from the Spanish Language, the musical style that was heavily influenced by the mestizo trend attributed greatly to the creation or identity of a Hispanic musical culture. Though different in use and meanings, Mexicans, Cubans, Chileans and other individual of Latin Americans origins, could understand each other through these customs. Moreover, this musical trend has become a tool of understanding and unification for these groups of people in a foreign land.
Caucasian or American Culture Just like the musical lifestyle of the Hispanic, the performing arts in the United States began to incorporate wider groups of people (American Root Music, 2008). For instance, the Latin American dances such as tango from Argentina and rumba from Cuba during the 1900 and 1940. The afro-Cuban mambo was the first step in incorporating jazz music with Latin elements and was later on refined by the Brazilian bossa nova singers (Jones, 1999). There are also the African American communities who greatly contributed and refined jazz music.
There are also innovative Americans who incorporated both foreign music and traditional American music to create unique music style. Aaron Copland, for example, developed a unique musical style through incorporating certain jazz elements with American folk music (Five 20th century American composers: 1900-2000, 2002). Influenced heavily by traditional Greek dances, Isadora Duncan redefined the rigidity of classical ballet and promoted self expression, resulting into an expressive and free form kind of dance (Marcus, 2007).
These innovations and fusions probably lead to the creation of the Broadway musical. Unlike the Hispanic musical culture, American music was not the product of colonial times but was the result of immigration of various races in the United States. They brought their culture to this place without the intention of changing or creating music genre or style but to serve as a remembrance of their family and native land. It was for this sake that foreign musical style and other foreign cultures were introduced to American people. New musical genres and styles were a mere product of racial interactions.
If clearly analyzed, this new musical genre or style removed boundaries and limitations imposed by racial differences. For instance, it is a well known fact that the African American community was discriminated and received less recognition from American society since their origin implied the idea of being a slave. However, when it comes to jazz music, contributions from performers like Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and other African American jazz-blues singers were recognized and accepted by white and black audiences alike (Titon, 1995).
Whether it was a European, American or other race, their performances were cheered and enjoyed by thousands of people. Through music, people forgot their differences and simply enjoyed the beat and melody produced by the performers in front of them. Performing arts in the United States representsed the acceptance not only of these people but also their culture. F: Similarities of Hispanic and Caucasian Culture Based on the facts presented thus far, it could be said that both cultures, when it comes to their musical trend and lifestyle were heavily influenced by foreign subjects.
Hispanic music reached new heights during the Spanish rule. Elements of European and Spanish music were introduced to the traditional style of Mexican, Cuban and to the rest of Latin American. It gave new meaning to entertainment and performances reached greater heights. On the other hand, the Caucasian musical culture was refined through racial interaction that was the product of immense immigration that occurred during the 17th up to 20th century. Most traditional styles of music evolved and took greater form when they were incorporated with foreign elements (Titon, 1995).
Another similarity that these two culture share in the music world is that their music were usually directed or composed for religious practices. In Hispanic culture, festivals were always accompanied by performances that always involved characters and values taken from religious stories. These performances were a direct influence of Spanish missionaries trying to convert local people. On the other hand, early religious sects in Native American such as the Ephrata, Cloister, the Shakers and the Moravians have produced music that somehow grow and influence other people outside their communities.
One example of this was shaker melody entitled “Tis the gift to be simple” which was used by the composer Aaron Copland in one of his plays and which instantly became famous. The Moravians, who were considered as the most prolific and sophisticated when it comes into their music eventually helped in recreating instrumental music that was used in Old world German culture. Though it was quickly forgotten when the jazz and other musical trend came in during the early 1900’s, it proves that early music developed and was influenced by religion of early times (Jones, 1999).
Difference between Hispanic and Caucasian music One significant difference between Hispanic and Caucasian music lies on the foreign influence that they received. Hispanic music was the result of long Spanish rule that they experience during the colonial times. A Hispanic performance was characterized by Spanish style of music and was later on refined through incorporating traditional and foreign music. It was only the Spaniards that introduced the European style of music to these people. On the other hand Caucasian music was the result of immense interactions of various races living in America.
Some musical culture was able to make it way into the American society and was adhere by the people. There are other musical cultures that were adopted by American performers and incorporate them into their works that resulted in some unique and different kind of music style. Second difference that these two have lies on the venue of their performances. Most Hispanic performer took their shows on the street and urban areas. Performances on these places are always characterized by loud music and cheery audiences.
Public performances were the product of festival shows that was always played during festivities and continued in big cities. As it develop Caucasian music reach greater heights in theatre or stage plays. Most broadways musical for an instance was perform on large theatre house and places commonly located on large cities like New York. Lastly, the difference of these two culture lies on how they perform their music. Hispanic based music is well known through their colorful sound that is always accompanied by different instruments.
This kind of performance started in festivals and was later on carried through streets by artist who seeks fame and fortune. Caucasian on the other hand is mostly highlighted by the use of different genre of music and dance style to create one stage performance. Broadway musical for an instance used rock and roll genre to capture the heart of young audiences who have been introduced to this kind of music genre during their early years. Use in Classroom Education Using these similarities and differences, instructors could create a surrounding in which learning could be easy and comfortable both for Hispanic and Caucasian students.
First, they could create music lessons that would break down cultural differences that exist not only Hispanics and Caucasians but also to other ethnic race. Second, it is possible that social relationship could foster and grow through incorporating music in their daily life. Lastly, through music, it is possible that children could recognize and acknowledge the importance of their cultural heritage. Children nowadays tend to forget their history and culture which is unfortunate. Personal and Professional Relevance
Since culture is a vast topic to be covered, it was best that this paper concentrated on each culture’s music history. The first thing that needed to be researched was the influence of foreign music to Hispanic and Caucasian traditional music. The primary tool that was used to gather the necessary data was the Internet. Up-to-date articles and journals can be found in the internet and it saved substantial time researching using this rather than going to huge places such as the library. The books that were used for this paper were accessed through an online directory for textbooks.
Since the paper was set to discuss foreign influence on traditional music of Hispanics and Caucasians, the research began through a search of sources that explained the influence of foreign interventions and immigration, since it will clearly show how the traditional music of each culture was changed and developed when foreign factors exerted their impact. The article “Latino music: A View of Its Diversity and Strength” by Dr. Garfias summarized the important facts about Hispanic music and provided a detailed explanation about the influence of Spanish rule in Hispanic countries.
The book “Blues People: Negro Music in White America” by Titon gave a detailed explanation about the influence of African American music and how Jazz developed in the United States of America. Since this paper was set to discuss the influence of foreign music to Hispanic and Caucasian traditional music, sources that contained useful information were saved for the purpose. To be able to review them carefully, information that may be useful were highlighted and were noted down in a sheet of paper. For organizational ease, the information were outlined just like how the task was outlined.
For teaching reference, this report has set a new meaning for being a teacher. The profession of teaching does not exclusively lie on the need to produce a lesson plan that would cater to the educational needs of the students. Being a teacher also means that one must some how create an atmosphere and environment that would enable the student to enjoy learning and would support the growth of social relationships. This realization was brought by the cultural differences that exist not only between Hispanic and Caucasian students but between other races.
Cultural differences somehow impede the growth of education and social relationships of students if not managed systematically. Being able to manage cultural differences is also a way of promoting effective inclusion. Positive interactions among teachers, as well as students, contribute to a sense of school and classroom community. Inclusive schools seek to encourage collaboration among teachers for the purposes of planning, teaching, and supporting students. With adequate support, collaborative teaching leads to positive outcomes for learners in heterogeneously grouped classes (Cipani, 1995).
Implementing effective teaching collaborations, however, is time-consuming and complex. Teachers often express concern about changes in their roles and responsibilities; differences in teaching style and philosophical orientation; and logistical issues, such as scheduling, planning time, and resource allocation. There are a number of school-wide strategies to support collaboration, including (a) developing and adopting a set of rules, responsibilities, and privileges pertaining to collaboration, (b) providing teachers with designated time for co-planning and reflection, and (c) offering preservice and inservice training in collaboration.
In all of these collaborative efforts, understanding culture is a critical backdrop that the teacher must fully comprehend (Cipani, 1995). G:References American Root Music. Retrieved on May 2, 2008 from Public Broadcasting Services: http://www. pbs. org/americanrootsmusic/pbs_arm_itc_historical_background. html. Cipani, E. (1995). Inclusive education: What do we know and what do we still have to learn? Exceptional Children, 61, 498 – 500. Galarraga, J. (2007). Hispanic-American Culture and health.
Retrieved May 2, 2008 on http://www. case. edu/med/epidbio/mphp439/Hispanic_Healthcare. pdf Garfias, Dr. R. (1996). Latino music: A View of Its Diversity and Strength. Retrieved May 3, 2008 on http://www. pps. k12. or. us/depts-c/mc-me/be-hi-mu. pdf. Five 20th century American composers: 1900-2000. Retrieved may 3, 2008 from Boisestates: http://music. boisestate. edu/mus100/american_music. htm Jones, L. (1999). Blues People: Negro Music in White America Latin American Culture. Retrieved May 2, 2008 from Ipedia: http://www.
ipedia. net/information/Latin+American+culture. Marcus, K. (2007). Music and American Culture. Retrieved May 2, 2008 on http://www. blackwell-compass. com/media? id=pdfs_HICO_Sample_Article . Mintzer, R. (2005). Latino Americans in Sports, Film, Music, and Government: Trailblazers (Hispanic Heritage) Musical Migrations: Transnationalism and Cultural Hybridity in Latin America, Volume I. (2002) . Titon, J. T. (1995). Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis (Cultural Studies of the United States)