Chargement de l'audio en cours


Appropriation vs appreciation
Page numérique

Mode édition




Activity 4

Appropriation vs appreciation

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1957.
Text A
Text A

[...] Lastly, the trend of showing off the negative stereotypes of black culture and disregarding the other parts that are involved, demonstrates a lack of understanding and respect for the music one is taking. [...]

Rock and Roll is another great example, while jazz improvisation, blues and R&B were the starting points for the growth of the genre, when artists such as Chuck Berry and the underrepresented Sister Rosetta Tharpe began to play around with the ideas on an electric guitar, you would never know it without going out of your way to learn music history. Elvis Presley is a classic example of someone who was influenced by black music, but reaped the benefits that many of his black influences never enjoyed. Even nowadays, I think we can all agree that rock music is considered to be a white genre, but its history isn’t acknowledged by many. It’s not like black people aren’t making rock music, they just often don’t get as much attention because of the forgotten history. If only hip-hop and R&B are considered to be “black music,” then a blog or radio show that typically features “black music” won’t include rock music into their line up. Vice versa, a black artist playing rock music may get passed over by a rock blog or radio station because, whether consciously aware of it or not, on some level it’s not “real rock” in this gatekeeper’s mind. The music industry is just as much about image as it is the music, so if an artist doesn’t fit within the stereotypical image one has of a genre or style, they can/are very easily passed over. Rock & Roll definitely has been appropriated by white people in this sense.

“Confused? Here's A Breakdown Of What The Cultural Appropriation Of Black Music Is”, Trumpet Grrrr,, 2017.

Dr DRE, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Eminem, 2000
Text B
Text B

The notion of borrowing is particularly problematic in the music industry because of the lack of attribution to black artists' contributions. [...]We've seen the result of this commoditization of black music when Elvis was crowned the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" and more recently when Justin Timberlake was noted as the "King of R&B." [...]

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger also have been criticized time and time again for their early work, influenced by the blues artist Muddy Waters. But Jagger and Richards clearly had a love and appreciation for American black music. They shared their own music and interpretations of Waters music with the intention "to turn other people on to" Muddy Waters. [...]

“Appropriation vs. Appreciation in Music: Where Should We Draw the Line?”, Rachel Bresnahan,, 2016.

Legendandary DC hardcore punk band Bad Brains, photograph 
by Steven Hanner,, 2009
Text C
Text C

When Bad Brains exploded onto Washington, D.C.’s nascent punk scene in late 1979, they were truly breaking ground. The mere fact that the members of the band were all black was a radical departure — punk was still just starting to find itself, but it was already dominated by a particular, snotty strain of white male anger and discontent. Bad Brains, who got their start as a jazz outfit called Mind Power in 1976, were different because they weren’t white, but also because they pioneered an entirely new energy. […] The band’s formula was anti-genre, and they seamlessly merged funk and punk, metal, hardcore, and reggae, a feat no other band had ever attempted. […] But Bad Brains also stood out because they were contagiously positive, countering the depravity and vulgarity the genre was already known for with what they called “P.M.A.” — positive mental attitude. […]
It also served as a potent counterpoint to the violence then polluting the punk scene.

“It’s been nearly 40 years since Bad Brains shattered stereotypes about punk rock — and black music”, Nina Renata Aron,, 2018.
Voir les réponses

You are in charge of one text.

Workbook p. 38

Read the text, sum it up in one or two sentences.
What kind of text is it? Check the source on the Internet to find out if it is an objective source?

What message does the author convey? Do you agree?

Useful vocabulary:
It is an extract / excerpt from…
It was written by… and published on…
This is clearly a biased (subjective) / unbiased (objective) source as…
The point he / she is trying to make is…
Voir les réponses

Let's talk this out!

Voir les réponses

Share your findings with your classmates and learn about the other texts.

What are the common points and the differences between the texts?

What do you think of the limits between appropriation and appreciation? Can there be a definitive answer? Why?

How can we make a difference between appropriation and homage?

Useful vocabulary:
… is really a striking argument…
She/ he / It makes a point… but…
It’s difficult to judge an artist because...
Artists all have influences…
What an artist should do is…
To be considered an original artist, they need to...
Voir les réponses

Language in progress


  • Pour insister sur un point, on utilise des adverbes :
    Ex : Richards clearly had a love for American black music.
  • On peut aussi utiliser l’auxiliaire do et insister dessus à l’oral.
    Ex : Richards did have a love for American black music.

Exercices p. 9

Let's learn!

Music bingo

Your teacher will give you a Bingo grid with five names to find in the texts of this double page. (ex: a black singer, a rock band, a jazzman, a female artist…). In pairs, complete your grid. When you’re done, you must say ‘Bingo!’.

Over to you!

Post your reaction

Let’s use what you have learnt in !

One of these texts makes you feel like reacting. Post a short comment about a famous artist or band discussing his / her / their importance in American music.

Voir les réponses