One of the best and most revealing parts of the culture is the folk itself. In his book “The Wastelands,” Stephen King’s character Roland says “show me what people look at and enjoy – that will tell me everything I need to know about them.”
While you might not have to travel the world and study all about different cultures, learning about the art of different cultures can teach you more than a dozen of history books. When you learn about the art in the form of visual arts, dances, or songs; you understand what people of different cultures love, hope and fear.
Obviously we are a bit biased towards dancing and music, so we’re going to talk about that specifically!
Swing jazz and hip-hop share an important link: they are both the expressions of African-American people. Jazz is the original form of African-American popular music, right after the blues. When you listen to jazz you can see the mix of emotions that black Americans experienced throughout their lives; there is happy, joyous and sad, blue music.
Hip-hop works in the same way; it proposes lifestyle of having huge parties and great time; and also deals with more serious issues facing African-Americans today.
Jazz and hip-hop also have a vibrant dancing culture. In the United States the joke is that African-Americans can dance rings around any other person in American society; this is true in many cases!
The dancing is much stronger in US black American society than it is in any other; with the exception of Native Americans, perhaps. While society in US does enjoy a dance or two; but most of the dancing is derived directly from Black Americans.
One of the most interesting things about jazz and hip-hop is that they actually share many similarities. Without getting too much into music theory, most jazz and hip-hop music share a pattern of beats that counts 1-2-3-4, over and over again!
This gives it a drive beat. They also rely heavily on great piano sounds, and digital pianos works great for that; classic songs like “Groovin’ Hard” from the 1920s and modern songs “Jordan Belfort” from 2015 use piano for their main sound.
Modern hip-hop uses quite a few types of great electric pianos, such as Yamaha Arius. The drum sound also uses similar patterns; the beat is driving and the strong beat is on beats 2 and 4. Hip-hop and jazz also make use of repeating patterns; hip-hop has a constant drum beat and jazz uses the same chords over different progressions.
Hip-hop and jazz are just two examples that are close to our hearts; many other types of music show the face of a culture just as well as these two styles.
For example, punk rock from the 1970s and 80s shows how dissatisfied people were with the state of the government at the time. In ancient times, Egyptian art shows us that people were religious and traditional.
No matter what the culture is, works of art will tell you more about the culture than anything else.