What would American music look like without African-American slaves?

It's well known that most style of music that came out of America (like jazz, blues, rock, disco, etc...) are a mix of White and Black styles of music. But what if slavery had never happened, and America had been like Britain's other settler colonies - overwhelmingly White until immigration laws became less restrictive in the mid-20th century? How would American music have developed? Would there still be rock and roll?
 
Definitely no rock and roll. You can look at the history of traditional Canadian music for contrast; lots of folk music from different cultures being mixed around. These sorts of cultural questions are very prone to butterflies, so it's hard to say exactly what music wpuld sound like, but we can rule out the genres that historically clearly originated with African-American music: no blues, jazz, rock and roll, disco, or rap, at least not in any form we'd recognize.
 
So many butterflies that this alternate 20th Century would be almost impossible to predict. You would need a pod in the 17th or 18th Century at the latest to have no slavery or African Americans. There wouldn't be anything like the United States we know
 
So many butterflies that this alternate 20th Century would be almost impossible to predict. You would need a pod in the 17th or 18th Century at the latest to have no slavery or African Americans. There wouldn't be anything like the United States we know
The thing is, the OP asked for possible historical changes in music, not an answer pointing out the obvious and inherently doesn’t respond to the question.

As for the thread topic, maybe other minority influences begin to seep in? Stuff like European-modifies zithers from Asia, or Native American drums? We can only see those developments coming through in the 19th century though, where your waves of immigration from other countries begin.
 
Definitely no rock and roll. You can look at the history of traditional Canadian music for contrast; lots of folk music from different cultures being mixed around. These sorts of cultural questions are very prone to butterflies, so it's hard to say exactly what music wpuld sound like, but we can rule out the genres that historically clearly originated with African-American music: no blues, jazz, rock and roll, disco, or rap, at least not in any form we'd recognize.
That's a good comparison, but a key factor in the evolution of popular music from 1930 to 1970 was the evolution of recording technology. If it wasn't African-American, new material could be any mix of folk sounds with classical instruments. The rapid evolution of jazz and blues to rock and roll was highly moved by a desire to take advantage of recordings that could capture the entire audio spectrum. You would likely see forms of music that represent a convolution of sounds and instrumentation that are as different from classical orchestral music as is rock and roll. Don't forget the impact of a very populous young Baby Boom generation.
 
Consider the OTL path. The African influence enters mainstream in the 20th century. Scott Joplin creates Ragtime and it echoes from Chicago to New Orleans to Memphis to become jazz and blues. In ATL, there are no Africans, but perhaps more Native Americans because without slavery, they are not expelled westward in such great numbers. In other words, they work the land with businessmen. Their tribal music mixes with traditional instrumentation and the result might be more similar to rock and roll than we might think. In OTL, early rock and roll springs up in America, gets beat down briefly, jumps to evolve in Britain, and soon echoes around the world as a distinctly new form of popular music.
 
While slavery was a factor in the 18th and 19th centuries, African influence on music does not go mainstream until 1920 or so, with the "jazz age." Did prohibition help open the doors? Scott Joplin settled in Sedalia, MO. Glenn Miller was born not too far north, in Clarinda, Iowa. He would take the big band sounds forward in the thirties and forties. During the depression, anybody who could play an instrument worked for nickles and dimes to put the music into night clubs. Of course, before WW2, recorded music did not hold a candle to live bands. Wage controls during the war kept the big bands going. Prosperity after the war made the bands unaffordable after 1950. As recording evolved, the rest is history. Now, would some different casual music have evolved instead of jazz/big-band? What did the music of the time sound like in England, France, Germany?
 
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When people started listening to cheap electronics that transmit low frequencies better, drums got more important. Polka with mad drumbeats, British music hall stuff with more drums, Sousa marches.
 
I missed the part about music in the title, and the heavy amount of Polka discussion really threw me.

Anyway, I imagine it would sound more like this.

 
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Sea Shanties as a genera vanish.
At issue is the route some of these mass forms of song make their way into the mainstream. Mississippi claims to be the “birthplace of American music” over the prevalence of (what was termed) Negro spirituals after the Civil War. Somebody has to compose pieces of written music for it to catch on. Scott Joplin (1868-1917) was one of the first to do so with Ragtime, taking it from Missouri to New York. Jazz and blues emerge as freelance music and soon get written as musical compositions. When big bands emerge, they take sort of a freelance style and have very few African members.

Move ahead to the fifties. It is no coincidence that American rock and roll emerges exactly when tape recording makes music more or less permanent, fixing the sound of the original artist and version. Elvis was a big fan of gospel music and no doubt enjoyed the spirituals. But he was not a composer. Two of the biggest figures of the fifties were Buddy Holly (Lubbock, Texas) and Chuck Berry (St. Louis). They composed, played, wrote lyrics and sang (pop music grand slam). By 1959, Holly was dead, Elvis was in the army and Berry was in prison. Some Americans branded rock as a work of Satan and popular music went more to the Beach Boys. The seeds, though, went across the ocean and the British invasion would change music worldwide. Countries that did not speak English would sing in English because it was the language of contemporary rock and roll.

Without the aftermath of slavery, could the turning points have started elsewhere? Sure. I name Native Americans for one. The absence of slavery does not prevent immigration from India and Africa, and their neighborhoods would be in commercial areas as opposed to plantations. America would have contemporary composers as Germany was considered the bastion of classical music.
 
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At issue is the route some of these mass forms of song make their way into the mainstream. Mississippi claims to be the “birthplace of American music” over the prevalence of (what was termed) Negro spirituals after the Civil War. Somebody has to compose pieces of written music for it to catch on. Scott Joplin (1868-1917) was one of the first to do so with Ragtime, taking it from Missouri to New York. Jazz and blues emerge as freelance music and soon get written as musical compositions. When big bands emerge, they take sort of a freelance style and have very few African members.

Move ahead to the fifties. It is no coincidence that American rock and roll emerges exactly when tape recording makes music more or less permanent, fixing the sound of the original artist and version. Elvis was a big fan of gospel music and no doubt enjoyed the spirituals. But he was not a composer. Two of the biggest figures of the fifties were Buddy Holly (Lubbock, Texas) and Chuck Berry (St. Louis). They composed, played, wrote lyrics and sang (pop music grand slam). By 1959, Holly was dead, Elvis was in the army and Berry was in prison. Some Americans branded rock as a work of Satan and popular music went more to the Beach Boys. The seeds, though, went across the ocean and the British invasion would change music worldwide. Countries that did not speak English would sing in English because it was the language of contemporary rock and roll.

Without the aftermath of slavery, could the turning points have started elsewhere? Sure. I name Native Americans for one. The absence of slavery does not prevent immigration from India and Africa, and their neighborhoods would be in commercial areas as opposed to plantations. America would have contemporary composers as Germany was considered the bastion of classical music.
How does India factor into this? There is no Asian influence on American music.
 
How does India factor into this? There is no Asian influence on American music.
Nothing necessarily. I just threw out India because with the absence of millions of African-Americans, the option might open for more immigrants from other countries. After all, the US had open borders in the 19th century. The point is, 20th century technology will favor a faster-paced, spontaneously composed music form of some type.
 
It's well known that most style of music that came out of America (like jazz, blues, rock, disco, etc...) are a mix of White and Black styles of music. But what if slavery had never happened, and America had been like Britain's other settler colonies - overwhelmingly White until immigration laws became less restrictive in the mid-20th century? How would American music have developed? Would there still be rock and roll?
Is so diffilcut to respond this question there is almost no style of music Born in the USA without african influences, that is difficult to know how the music could develóp, I can think in any style of music popular in the Américas without African influence
 
Folk music? Also there is no reason someone else couldn't have invented the modern genres. I know people like to assume something could have only been invented by a certain group or at a certain time. But if European Americans didn't invent cars someone would have at some time.
 
Folk music? Also there is no reason someone else couldn't have invented the modern genres. I know people like to assume something could have only been invented by a certain group or at a certain time. But if European Americans didn't invent cars someone would have at some time.
Other genre would have developed, but not the same as in OTL. We can just see the difference between Indian and Western music genres.
 
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