Front cover image for The music of Black Americans : a history

The music of Black Americans : a history

Eileen Southern (Author)
Beginning with the arrival of the first Africans in the English colonies, Eileen Southern weaves a fascinating narrative of intense musical activity, which has not only played a vital role in the lives of black Americans but has also deeply influenced music performance in the United States and many other parts of the world. Dr. Southern fully chronicles the singers, instrumentalists, and composers who created this rich body of music and skillfully describes the genres and styles that characterize it from its earliest manifestations among a people in slavery to the rap beat of the late twentieth century. Along the way, she covers numerous topics - such as Colonial-Era music, Revolutionary War performers, church music, minstrelsy, ragtime, swing, concert music, soul, pop, and opera - bringing them to life and placing them in their historical and cultural contexts
Print Book, English, 1997
Third edition View all formats and editions
Norton, New York, 1997
Criticism, interpretation, etc
xxii, 678 pages : illustrations, portraits, music, facsimiles ; 24 cm
9780393038439, 9780393971415, 0393038432, 0393971414
Song in a strange land, 1619-1775. The African legacy ; The colonial era
Let my people go, 1776-1865. Two wars and the new nation ; Antebellum urban life ; Antebellum rural life ; The war years and emancipation
Blow ye the trumpet, 1865-1919. After the war ; The new century ; Precursors of jazz
Lift every voice, 1920-1996. The jazz age ; The Harlem Renaissance and beyond ; The mid-century decades ; Singers, instrumentalists, and composers
Currents in contemporary arenas. Part one: Song in a strange land, 1619-1775. The African legacy. Music in West Africa (The role of music in society ; Occasions for music making ; Professional musicians ; Musical instruments and performance practice ; Music and poetry ; Music and the dance ; Summary) ; The African diaspora (From indentured servitude to slavery ; African retentions in the New World)
The colonial era. Music in the colonies ; Primary sources of information (The colonial newspaper ; Other primary sources) ; Congregational singing: psalmody and hymnody (Singing in the meetinghouse ; Psalm singing in the community ; The Reform movement ; The growth of hymnody) ; Religious instruction and psalmody (Patterns of slavery in north and south ; Conversion and religious instruction in the north ; Missionary activities in the south) ; Recreational music (Holiday celebrations ; Social diversions of the colonists ; Slave dance musicians ; Social singing ; Slave recreational activities) ; Development of musical skills ; Slave festivals in the African tradition ('Lection day festivities ; Pinkster celebrations ; Other slave gatherings)
Part two: Let my people go, 1776-1865. Two wars and the new nation. Black musicians in the armed services (The Revolutionary War ; The War of 1812) ; The post-revolutionary period (Musical activities in the new nation ; Black singing-school masters ; Black benevolent and fraternal societies) ; The black church (The earliest black congregations ; Methodist ; Dissenters ; Richard Allen's hymnals) ; Independent black denominations (Denominational hymnals ; Importance of the black church) ; The camp meeting (Singing in the camp meeting ; The camp-meeting hymn ; Shouts in the camp meeting) ; Ethiopian minstrelsy (Antecedents of minstrel songs ; Growth of the "Ethiopian" music ; Black entertainers in Ethiopian minstrelsy)
Antebellum urban life. Black musicians and the general state of music. Urban music in the north (The concert stage ; Sacred music concerts ; Grand concerts and concert troupes ; Bands and orchestras ; Composers ; The Philadelphia school ; Composers in other cities ; Music in the theater ; Balls and holiday celebrations ; Dance halls and dives ; Street vendors and itinerant musicians) ; Music of the black church (Music in the worship service ; Camp meetings and bush meetings ; Informal religious practices) ; Urban music in the south (New Orleans: a musical center ; Vocal music ; Brass bands and orchestras ; A symphony orchestra ; Dance orchestras and recreational music ; Black fiddlers and white dancers) ; African traditions in the south (Dancing in the Place Congo ; John Conny festivals ; Voodoo) ; The anti-slavery movement (Anti-slavery songs ; The Underground Railroad) ; Music of the black church, II (Music instruction in Sabbath schools) ; Songs on the waterfront
Antebellum rural life. Primary sources of information ; The musical sources ; Daily life on the plantation ; Songs of narration and social comment ; Worksongs ; Recreational music (Dance music ; Musical instruments ; Other recreational activities) ; Entertainment for the masters ; Importance of music to the slaves ; The worship service (Spirituals ; The shout) ; Other religious services ; All origin for the spiritual ; Character of the folk music (Melody and scales ; Rhythmic features ; Musical texture ; Poetic language and themes ; Performance practice ; Summary)
The war years and emancipation. Music in the Union army ; Music in the Confederate army ; Music in the contraband camp ; Emancipation
Part three: Blow ye the trumpet, 1865-1919. After the war. Songs of the people ; Dissemination of the spirituals (The Fisk Jubilee Singers and other student groups ; Professional jubilee singers) ; Black Ethiopian minstrelsy (Minstrel troupes ; Minstrel traditions ; Minstrel stars) ; The concert stage (Prima Donnas ; Male vocalists and ensembles ; Concert instrumental artists ; Concert musicians abroad) ; Traveling road shows ; Festivals and extravaganzas ; Brass bands and dance orchestras (U.S. Army bands ; Society dance orchestras) ; Other musical organizations ; Itinerant and community musicians ; Composers and writers ; Music of the black church, III (Hymn writers and collectors)
The new century. The general state of music ; Music nationalism (Nationalistic music of black composers) ; In the concert world (Concert singers ; Concert violinists and pianists ; Artist professors) ; Music educators ; Symphony orchestras, opera companies, and choral societies (Symphony orchestras ; Opera companies and choral societies) ; Theaters and theater music ; Shows on the road (Black showmen and the circus) ; Vaudeville and musical comedies ; Musicals on and off Broadway (The Walker and Williams Company) ; Black entertainers abroad ; Military music ; The music business (Musicians' unions ; Music publishing) ; Early recordings of black musicians ; Professional organizations (ASCAP ; The National Association of Negro Musicians)
Precursors of jazz. The general state of music ; The emergence of ragtime (Ragtime songs ; Instrumental rags ; Composers of piano rags ; Rag performers ; Ragtime elements in the music of white composers) ; The blues (Blues and spirituals ; Characteristics of the blues ; Father of the blues) ; Brass bands and string bands (Brass bands and dance orchestras in New Orleans ; Syncopated orchestras in New York ; Syncopated orchestras in Chicago and other cities) ; World War I (Songs of the war ; After the war) ; Summary
Part four: Lift every voice, 1920-1996. The jazz age. Characteristics of jazz ; Race records (Early black recording companies ; Women and blues ; Downhome blues) ; Jazz band recording ; The big bands ; The swing era ; Kansas City jazz ; Principal jazz instrumentalists ; Jazz singers ; Jazz pianists ; Jazz women as bandleaders ; Jazz composer-arrangers ; White musicians and jazz ; The end of an era
The Harlem Renaissance and beyond. The general state of music in the nation ; In the concert world (Concert/opera singers ; Concert artists in mid-career) ; Musical organizations (Professional choruses) ; Composers and composer/educators (Dean of Afro-American composers) ; Black musicals on Broadway ; Harlem and the new Negro ; The federal arts project ; The media: films and radio ; Concerts, festivals, and operas ; Writing about music ; The emergence of gospel (White gospel hymnody ; Music in the black folk church ; Lining-out and Dr. Watts ; Shape-note singing and The Sacred Harp ; Black church songs ; Father of gospel music ; Other gospel composers ; Gospel traditions
The mid-century decades. World War II (The Great Lakes experience ; The USO camp shows ; Regimental bands and choruses) ; The black revolution ; Educating the black community ; The gospel sound (Gospel composers/performers ; Gospel quartets ; Milestones in gospel history) ; New developments in jazz (Bebop ; Free jazz ; Innovations of the seventies ; Jazz at the keyboard ; Jazz singers ; Jazz festivals ; Jazz in the church) ; The urban blues (The Mississippi Delta blues ; Chicago blues ; Blues styles in other places ; Blues in Europe and festivals ; Blues repertoires ; Library of Congress recordings) ; Popular music (Pop soloists ; Pop quartets ; Rhythm 'n' blues ; Soul music ; Rock 'n' roll ; New dance music)
Singers, instrumentalists, and composers (Singers at mid-century ; Pianists and other instrumentalists ; Symphony orchestra players and conductors) ; The world of opera (The concert/opera singers ; New opera companies ; A new old opera) ; Composers (Composers after the war ; The society of black composers ; Composers and synthesizers) ; Black musicals on Broadway ; Other forms of theater music (Music for the dance)
Currents in contemporary arenas. Jazz improvisers and composers ; A new generation ; Blakey's kids ; Aspects of the new music ; The young lions ; The professors ; "Classical" composers and improvisers ; Concert artists ; Community-based music groups (Academic-based groups ; Professional groups) ; Opera: old and new ; Opera companies ; Black singers on stage ; Symphony orchestras: the conductors ; Symphony instrumentalists ; Symphony of the New World ; Festivals (FESTAC in Nigeria ; Celebration at Lincoln Center ; A symposium in Michigan ; The Atlanta festivals ; Summer festivals ; The Cincinnati festival ; Carnegie Hall concerts) ; Cabaret divas ; Resources of the past (Ragtime ; Blues revivals ; Popular music ; The new pop music: rap) ; Women in black church music ; Gospel since the 1980s (Hymnals and performance practice ; Contemporary gospel) ; A gospel Greek myth ; Coda