Call & Response

Call & Response

The music of the enslaved evolved to become America's music.

Cultural Origin

Sub-Saharan Africa

Prominent Artists

Enslaved Africans in American and the West Indies

Influenced By

West-African verses & hymns

Later Influenced

All Black music to follow.

The Old Plantation attributed to to John Rose. Circa 1785.
The Old Plantation attributed to to John Rose. Circa 1785.

About The Genre

Born out of the oral tradition of African music. Field hollers, or work songs, were performed by enslaved Africans working on plantations as a way of communication and for entertainment to combat the tedium of field work. The tradition continued in prison work camps well into the 20th Century.

The call and response genre was a direct influence on work songs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spirituals, gospel, and blues. Its impact is still heard in rock, hip hop, and pop music.

Trivia/Famous Lyrics

DId you know...

"When the sun comes back, and the first quail calls
Follow the drinkin' gourd
For the old man is waiting just to carry you to freedom
Follow the drinkin' gourd"

From Follow The Drinking Gourd

Artists from this genre

Enslaved People from Africa

Enslaved People from Africa

Avatar: The countless enslaved people who changed history.

MORE Genres from this era

There are no other genres for this era

Keep scrolling for more content