Author: Samuel A. Floyd Jr.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1996-10-31
Genre: Social Science
When Jimi Hendrix transfixed the crowds of Woodstock with his gripping version of "The Star Spangled Banner," he was building on a foundation reaching back, in part, to the revolutionary guitar playing of Howlin' Wolf and the other great Chicago bluesmen, and to the Delta blues tradition before him. But in its unforgettable introduction, followed by his unaccompanied "talking" guitar passage and inserted calls and responses at key points in the musical narrative, Hendrix's performance of the national anthem also hearkened back to a tradition even older than the blues, a tradition rooted in the rings of dance, drum, and song shared by peoples across Africa. Bold and original, The Power of Black Music offers a new way of listening to the music of black America, and appreciating its profound contribution to all American music. Striving to break down the barriers that remain between high art and low art, it brilliantly illuminates the centuries-old linkage between the music, myths and rituals of Africa and the continuing evolution and enduring vitality of African-American music. Inspired by the pioneering work of Sterling Stuckey and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author Samuel A. Floyd, Jr, advocates a new critical approach grounded in the forms and traditions of the music itself. He accompanies readers on a fascinating journey from the African ring, through the ring shout's powerful merging of music and dance in the slave culture, to the funeral parade practices of the early new Orleans jazzmen, the bluesmen in the twenties, the beboppers in the forties, and the free jazz, rock, Motown, and concert hall composers of the sixties and beyond. Floyd dismisses the assumption that Africans brought to the United States as slaves took the music of whites in the New World and transformed it through their own performance practices. Instead, he recognizes European influences, while demonstrating how much black music has continued to share with its African counterparts. Floyd maintains that while African Americans may not have direct knowledge of African traditions and myths, they can intuitively recognize links to an authentic African cultural memory. For example, in speaking of his grandfather Omar, who died a slave as a young man, the jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet said, "Inside him he'd got the memory of all the wrong that's been done to my people. That's what the memory is....When a blues is good, that kind of memory just grows up inside it." Grounding his scholarship and meticulous research in his childhood memories of black folk culture and his own experiences as a musician and listener, Floyd maintains that the memory of Omar and all those who came before and after him remains a driving force in the black music of America, a force with the power to enrich cultures the world over.
Author: Samuel A. Floyd
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 1995
A history of African-American music identifies the links between the music, myths, and rituals of Africa and the continuing evolution and vitality of African-American music, and cites the contributions of prominent artists. Reprint.
Author: Emmett G. Price, III
Release Date: 2010-01
Showcases all facets of African American music, including folk, religious, concert, and popular styles of today. Illuminates the profound role that African American music has played in American cultural history.
Author: Sam Floyd
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-28
Powerful and embracive, The Transformation of Black Music explores the full spectrum of black musics over the past thousand years as Africans and their descendants have traveled around the globe making celebrated music both in their homelands and throughout the Diaspora. Authors Samuel A. Floyd, Melanie Zeck, and Guthrie Ramsey brilliantly discuss how the music has blossomed, permeated present traditions, and created new practices. As a companion to the ground-breaking The Power of Black Music, this text brilliantly situates emerging, morphing, and influential black musics in a broader framework of cultural, political, and social histories. Grappling with subjects frequently omitted from traditional musical texts, The Transformation of Black Music is guided by more than just the ideals of inclusivity and representation. This work covers overlooked topics that include classical musicians of African descent, and builds upon the contributions of esteemed predecessors in the field of black music study. Providing a sweeping list of figures rarely included in conventional music history and theory textbooks, the text elucidates the findings of ethnomusicologists, cultural historians, Americanists, Africanists, and anthropologists, and weaves these accounts into a powerful and informative narrative. Taking its readers on a journey - one that has never been attempted in a single volume alone - this book reflects the musical phenomena generated by forced African migration and collective memory, and considers the kinds of powerful stories that these musics were meant to tell. Filling in critical musical and historical gaps previously ignored, authors Floyd, Zeck, and Ramsey infuse an engaging musical dialogue with a deeper understanding of the interrelationships between black musical genres and mainstream music. The Transformation of Black Music will solidify not only the inestimable value of black musics, but also the importance and relevance of black music research to all musical endeavors.
Observers of American society have long noted the distinctive contribution of African Americans to the nation's cultural life. We find references to African American music and dance, black forms of oral expression, even a black style of playing basketball. But what do such terms really mean? Is it legitimate to talk about a distinct African American aesthetic, or is this simply a vestige of an outmoded racial essentialism? What makes a particular form of cultural expression "black" other than the fact that some African Americans may practice it? These are some of the questions addressed in the readings gathered in this volume by Gena Dagel Caponi. The essays, some previously published and others new, spring from a variety of disciplines and cover a broad range of topics, from the communal ritual of the ring shout to the evolution of rap to the improvisational genius of Michael Jordan. While each piece focuses on a different aspect of African American expressive culture, together they reveal a set of creative principles, techniques, and practices -- a cultural aesthetic -- that is remarkably consistent and resilient.
Author: Tyler COWEN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Business & Economics
Does a market economy encourage or discourage music, literature, and the visual arts? Do economic forces of supply and demand help or harm the pursuit of creativity? This book seeks to redress the current intellectual and popular balance and to encourage a more favorable attitude toward the commercialization of culture that we associate with modernity. Economist Tyler Cowen argues that the capitalist market economy is a vital but underappreciated institutional framework for supporting a plurality of co-existing artistic visions, providing a steady stream of new and satisfying creations, supporting both high and low culture, helping consumers and artists refine their tastes, and paying homage to the past by capturing, reproducing, and disseminating it. Contemporary culture, Cowen argues, is flourishing in its various manifestations, including the visual arts, literature, music, architecture, and the cinema. Successful high culture usually comes out of a healthy and prosperous popular culture. Shakespeare and Mozart were highly popular in their own time. Beethoven's later, less accessible music was made possible in part by his early popularity. Today, consumer demand ensures that archival blues recordings, a wide array of past and current symphonies, and this week's Top 40 hit sit side by side in the music megastore. High and low culture indeed complement each other. Cowen's philosophy of cultural optimism stands in opposition to the many varieties of cultural pessimism found among conservatives, neo-conservatives, the Frankfurt School, and some versions of the political correctness and multiculturalist movements, as well as historical figures, including Rousseau and Plato. He shows that even when contemporary culture is thriving, it appears degenerate, as evidenced by the widespread acceptance of pessimism. He ends by considering the reasons why cultural pessimism has such a powerful hold on intellectuals and opinion-makers.
Author: Professor of English and African-American Studies Robert O'Meally
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Literary Criticism
'Uptown Conversation' asserts that jazz is not only a music to define, it is a culture. The essays illustrate how for more than a century jazz has initiated a call and response across art forms, geographies, and cultures, inspiring musicians, filmmakers, painters and poets.
Author: Jason C. Bivins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-04-01
In Spirits Rejoice! Jason Bivins explores the relationship between American religion and American music, and the places where religion and jazz have overlapped. Much writing about jazz tends toward glorified discographies or impressionistic descriptions of the actual sounds. Rather than providing a history, or series of biographical entries, Spirits Rejoice! takes to heart a central characteristic of jazz itself and improvises, generating a collection of themes, pursuits, reoccurring foci, and interpretations. Bivins riffs on interviews, liner notes, journals, audience reception, and critical commentary, producing a work that argues for the centrality of religious experiences to any legitimate understanding of jazz, while also suggesting that jazz opens up new interpretations of American religious history. Bivins examines themes such as musical creativity as related to specific religious traditions, jazz as a form of ritual and healing, and jazz cosmologies and metaphysics. Spirits Rejoice! connects Religious Studies to Jazz Studies through thematic portraits, and a vast number of interviews to propose a new, improvisationally fluid archive for thinking about religion, race, and sound in the United States. Bivins's conclusions explore how the sound of spirits rejoicing challenges not only prevailing understandings of race and music, but also the way we think about religion. Spirits Rejoice! is an essential volume for any student of jazz, American religion, or American culture.
Author: Kyra D. Gaunt
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2006-02-06
2007 Alan Merriam Prize presented by the Society for Ethnomusicology 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Book Award Finalist When we think of African American popular music, our first thought is probably not of double-dutch: girls bouncing between two twirling ropes, keeping time to the tick-tat under their toes. But this book argues that the games black girls play —handclapping songs, cheers, and double-dutch jump rope—both reflect and inspire the principles of black popular musicmaking. The Games Black Girls Play illustrates how black musical styles are incorporated into the earliest games African American girls learn—how, in effect, these games contain the DNA of black music. Drawing on interviews, recordings of handclapping games and cheers, and her own observation and memories of gameplaying, Kyra D. Gaunt argues that black girls' games are connected to long traditions of African and African American musicmaking, and that they teach vital musical and social lessons that are carried into adulthood. In this celebration of playground poetry and childhood choreography, she uncovers the surprisingly rich contributions of girls’ play to black popular culture.
Author: David Gilbert
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2015-05-18
Genre: Social Science
In 1912 James Reese Europe made history by conducting his 125-member Clef Club Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. The first concert by an African American ensemble at the esteemed venue was more than just a concert--it was a political act of desegregation, a defiant challenge to the status quo in American music. In this book, David Gilbert explores how Europe and other African American performers, at the height of Jim Crow, transformed their racial difference into the mass-market commodity known as "black music." Gilbert shows how Europe and others used the rhythmic sounds of ragtime, blues, and jazz to construct new representations of black identity, challenging many of the nation's preconceived ideas about race, culture, and modernity and setting off a musical craze in the process. Gilbert sheds new light on the little-known era of African American music and culture between the heyday of minstrelsy and the Harlem Renaissance. He demonstrates how black performers played a pioneering role in establishing New York City as the center of American popular music, from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway, and shows how African Americans shaped American mass culture in their own image.
She's So Fine explores the music, reception and cultural significance of 1960s girl singers and girl groups in the US and the UK. Using approaches from the fields of musicology, women's studies, film and media studies, and cultural studies, this volume is the first interdisciplinary work to link close musical readings with rigorous cultural analysis in the treatment of artists such as Martha and the Vandellas, The Crystals, The Blossoms, Brenda Lee, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Tina Turner, and Marianne Faithfull.
Author: Sarah Barber
Release Date: 2013-02-01
Historians are increasingly looking beyond the traditional, and turning to visual, oral, aural, and virtual sources to inform their work. The challenges these sources pose require new skills of interpretation and require historians to consider alternative theoretical and practical approaches. In order to help historians successfully move beyond traditional text, Sarah Barber and Corinna Peniston-Bird bring together chapters from historical specialists in the fields of fine art, photography, film, oral history, architecture, virtual sources, music, cartoons, landscape and material culture to explain why, when and how these less traditional sources can be used. Each chapter introduces the reader to the source, suggests the methodological and theoretical questions historians should keep in mind when using it, and provides case studies to illustrate best practice in analysis and interpretation. Pulling these disparate sources together, the introduction discusses the nature of historical sources and those factors which are unique to, and shared by, the sources covered throughout the book. Taking examples from around the globe, this collection of essays aims to inspire practitioners of history to expand their horizons, and incorporate a wide variety of primary sources in their work.
Author: Simon Gikandi
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2011-08-01
Genre: Literary Criticism
It would be easy to assume that, in the eighteenth century, slavery and the culture of taste--the world of politeness, manners, and aesthetics--existed as separate and unequal domains, unrelated in the spheres of social life. But to the contrary, Slavery and the Culture of Taste demonstrates that these two areas of modernity were surprisingly entwined. Ranging across Britain, the antebellum South, and the West Indies, and examining vast archives, including portraits, period paintings, personal narratives, and diaries, Simon Gikandi illustrates how the violence and ugliness of enslavement actually shaped theories of taste, notions of beauty, and practices of high culture, and how slavery's impurity informed and haunted the rarified customs of the time. Gikandi focuses on the ways that the enslavement of Africans and the profits derived from this exploitation enabled the moment of taste in European--mainly British--life, leading to a transformation of bourgeois ideas regarding freedom and selfhood. He explores how these connections played out in the immense fortunes made in the West Indies sugar colonies, supporting the lavish lives of English barons and altering the ideals that defined middle-class subjects. Discussing how the ownership of slaves turned the American planter class into a new aristocracy, Gikandi engages with the slaves' own response to the strange interplay of modern notions of freedom and the realities of bondage, and he emphasizes the aesthetic and cultural processes developed by slaves to create spaces of freedom outside the regimen of enforced labor and truncated leisure. Through a close look at the eighteenth century's many remarkable documents and artworks, Slavery and the Culture of Taste sets forth the tensions and contradictions entangling a brutal practice and the distinctions of civility.
Author: Thomas C. Holt
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2013-06-03
There is no denying that race is a critical issue in understanding the South. However, this concluding volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture challenges previous understandings, revealing the region's rich, ever-expanding diversity and providing new explorations of race relations. In 36 thematic and 29 topical essays, contributors examine such subjects as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Japanese American incarceration in the South, relations between African Americans and Native Americans, Chinese men adopting Mexican identities, Latino religious practices, and Vietnamese life in the region. Together the essays paint a nuanced portrait of how concepts of race in the South have influenced its history, art, politics, and culture beyond the familiar binary of black and white.