The musical forms brought to the Americas by African slaves were generally functional form: that is, they were used to aid in ritual, work, daily life, and war. Antiphonal singing also facilitated communication across distances.
Antiphonal singing is a feature of many mountain cultures; yodeling developed, for instance, as a way of communicating from one Alpine height to another.
In the 1964 film Zulu, about the 1879 battle of Rorke’s Drift in Zululand (present-day South Africa), the use of antiphonal music in war is highlighted. The Zulus use music to prepare for war, to intimidate the enemy, to wage war, and, in the end, in a moving scene, to salute the victors.
What do you think the purpose of call-and-response form is in religious music?
Call and response in the spiritual “Job, Job.”
(A rendition which somehow always reminds me of this movie.)