The Power of Black Music

Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States

Author: Samuel A. Floyd Jr.

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199839292

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 1423

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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.
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The Power of Black Music

Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States

Author: Samuel A. Floyd

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780195082357

Category: Music

Page: 316

View: 8020

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Explores the African heritage behind Black American music, pinpointing the African style in several noted performances
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Spirits Rejoice!

Jazz and American Religion

Author: Jason C. Bivins

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190230932

Category: Music

Page: 384

View: 3190

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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.
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The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 24: Race

Author: Thomas C. Holt,Laurie Beth Green,Charles Reagan Wilson

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469607247

Category: Reference

Page: 320

View: 3667

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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.
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Christian Congregational Music

Performance, Identity and Experience

Author: Dr Carolyn Landau,Dr Monique Ingalls,Mr Tom Wagner

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1409466043

Category: Music

Page: 242

View: 5008

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Christian Congregational Music explores the role of congregational music in Christian religious experience, examining how musicians and worshippers perform, identify with and experience belief through musical praxis. Contributors from a broad range of fields, including music studies, theology, literature, and cultural anthropology, present interdisciplinary perspectives on a variety of congregational musical styles - from African American gospel music, to evangelical praise and worship music, to Mennonite hymnody - within contemporary Europe and North America. In addressing the themes of performance, identity and experience, the volume explores several topics of interest to a broader humanities and social sciences readership, including the influence of globalization and mass mediation on congregational music style and performance; the use of congregational music to shape multifaceted identities; the role of mass mediated congregational music in shaping transnational communities; and the function of music in embodying and imparting religious belief and knowledge. In demonstrating the complex relationship between ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’ sounds and local and global identifications within the practice of congregational music, the plurality of approaches represented in this book, as well as the range of musical repertoires explored, aims to serve as a model for future congregational music scholarship.
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The Product of Our Souls

Ragtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace

Author: David Gilbert

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 146962270X

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 9342

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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.
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The Games Black Girls Play

Learning the Ropes from Double-dutch to Hip-hop

Author: Kyra D. Gaunt

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 9780814731192

Category: Games

Page: 221

View: 5388

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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.
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Uptown Conversation

The New Jazz Studies

Author: Professor of English and African-American Studies Robert O'Meally

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231123518

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 427

View: 1642

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'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.
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God Warriors

Revelation and Liberation in the African American Church

Author: Dr. Bruce J. Carter

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

ISBN: 1469102773

Category: Religion

Page: 112

View: 7452

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African American Music

An Introduction

Author: Mellonee V. Burnim,Portia K. Maultsby

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317934423

Category: Music

Page: 466

View: 3365

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American Music: An Introduction, Second Edition is a collection of seventeen essays surveying major African American musical genres, both sacred and secular, from slavery to the present. With contributions by leading scholars in the field, the work brings together analyses of African American music based on ethnographic fieldwork, which privileges the voices of the music-makers themselves, woven into a richly textured mosaic of history and culture. At the same time, it incorporates musical treatments that bring clarity to the structural, melodic, and rhythmic characteristics that both distinguish and unify African American music. The second edition has been substantially revised and updated, and includes new essays on African and African American musical continuities, African-derived instrument construction and performance practice, techno, and quartet traditions. Musical transcriptions, photographs, illustrations, and a new audio CD bring the music to life.
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