Music psychologist Carol Krumhansl once argued that when we listen to a song, “How the parts are perceived depends on their functions in the whole.” So we’re going to hear a song differently depending on whether we hear the verse or the chorus first. And if we jump into a song halfway, we’ll get a completely different experience all together.
The United Nations recognizes 54 distinct nations on the African continent. Within each independent nation, there are dozens of unique languages and ethnic groups, each with their own cultural traditions and communities. The music and art cultures of the continent and diaspora consistently communicate profound humanity beyond the documentation of written language, which is why so many extended variations of African music — like jazz, blues, and hip-hop just to name a few — have proliferated and spread globally over the last century.