The harmony and rhythm of music can sooth the soul and carries one away to some where they would rather be, but is it ever recognized where that beat and rhythm come from? Well it's not a very common answer. Music gets its origin from many different places one of which is Europe because that's where many of American's migrated from. But the fact is that because of slave trade being very popular in America, African culture impacted the American music greatly then, and now!.
With out African influences, American music would all be European and Spanish based with a small touch of Hawaiian and other near-by islands. "Yet another influence is technological development For example, the technological growth that made it possible to build a pianoforte rather than a harpsichord drastically changed the development of keyboard music. The invention of truly new instruments such as the Saxophone allowed musicians to explore entirely new ideas and presentations." (Reublin). .
Music would not have its beat, and for specific types of music, such as jazz or blues the rhythm meaning would disappear! Blues (and then a take off, jazz) came from the pain and sorrow felt by the African Americans during the time of slavery and discrimination. They would sing songs like "Swing Low", "Kum-by-ya", and "In The High Roads", to pass their time working in the fields or along the roads making railroad tracks. The rhythm caught on and became blues, which told stories about the pain and hardships they had to go through from the whites of America. "The influence of African rhythm and musical methods is unquestionably one of the more important forces that shaped American music. Had slavery not existed and the large influx of African peoples who brought their cultural and musical heritage with them, our music might sound more like German "oom-pah" songs." (Reublin). .
"Before the coming of the European, music and rhythm were everyday things in Africa" (Bennett).