Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

16 Aug 2004, 19:09 p.m.

Bailey, Wavy Intonation, and Churches That Face Mecca

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2004 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Via Body and Soul, I found a wow wow wow article in the SF Chronicle about the possible Muslim roots of the American blues. Slavers captured African Muslims and brought them to North America, where they influenced our music. Sidebar: listen to the Muslim call to prayer and a snippet from some blues side-by-side and check out the similarities.

Lots of neat details, e.g., the melisma connection. Maybe now I know whom to blame for all those overly melismatic R&B singers -- the Muslims!