One of the lectures I was doing in Singapore was on the role that race relations played in the formation of American music. I was coming from the point of view of someone who grew up listening to hip hop and soul, then jazz, then swing, R&B, modern jazz, free jazz... onwards.
I made the analysis that in the end, the driving force of American music has been survival. Primarily as the first co-created environments between black and white Americans were in the Church, and the church was a means for Slaves to prove their humanity - by becoming christians. And by such, be accepted as 'men'. By combining the western christian song, belief system and environment with the still remembered song / sound / dynamic of African traditions, the first American gospels were sung.
My personal point at the end of all of this was, that, as a white Australian, I'm looking for a music and honesty in creativity that isn't reflective of a distant, un-related tradition - which is why I look towards total improvisation as an answer.
A student at the end of the lecture said to me 'so - you are saying is when you find your true personal truth, you can shoot the true arrow of love'