Parting Thoughts

Dr. Johnson, I’ll admit I thought I knew exactly what to expect from this class. However, after the first week of class I was quickly proven wrong. I got rid of my expectations, kept an open mind, and I’m glad I did. I’m glad that now the information I learned in this class is something […]

Earth, Wind and Fire/Chicago: Different Bands, Different Sounds, Same Audience?

[embedyt][/embedyt] In 2004, funk band Earth, Wind, and Fire and rock band Chicago joined one another on a joint tour. Their performance at the Greek theatre was recorded and released in 2005, going double platinum in just a few months after its release. What would possess two bands from two different genres, that appeal […]

Minstrel Shows- Musical Theatre

How did the minstrel show develop? Describe its form, major characters, and musical content. When and why did African Americans become minstrels? In what seminal ways did African American and White minstrel performances differ?   Minstrel shows first emerged in the 1840s as a form of entertainment. In these shows, those in them performed songs […]

Music Through the Ages: 1965-1990

The genre name Rhythm and Blues, R&B, replaced the term race records in 1949. These R&B songs first emerged during World War II and the music reflected the social and economic changes in America at the time. Drawing inspiration from blues and jazz, African Americans during World War II and the Second Great Migration took […]

“I Said A Hip Hop”- From Basements to Billboard

Hip Hop music, like many genres, began as something that was uniquely Black. It was yet another way for African Americans to express themselves. Originating in the 1970s in New York, the earliest hip hop artists had various platforms to express themselves including MC-ing, DJ-ing, and even dancing. Hip hop pays homage to the oral […]

Wynton Marsalis Bibliography, Outline, & PPT

Bibliography Biography-Wynton Marsalis. Retrieved from Elie, L. (1990). An Interview with Wynton Marsalis. Callaloo, 13(2), 271-290. doi:10.2307/2931700 FARLEY, J. (2011). Jazz as a Black American Art Form: Definitions of the Jazz Preservation Act. Journal of American Studies, 45(1), 113-129. Retrieved from Monson, I. (2015) Jazz. In Burnim, M. V. & Maultsby, P. K. […]

The Revolution Will Not Be Jazz-ified

Jazz music has persisted and been an integral part in African American culture for almost a century. Jazz music has its root in the years African Americans spent playing ragtime and blues music. However, distinct from genres before it, jazz was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans was home for many diverse groups of […]

A Class(ical) Act

Undine Smith Moore is just one of the many African American women living in, what is traditionally, a man’s world of classical music. She was born on August 25, 1904 in Jarratt, Virginia. Beginning piano lessons at the tender age of seven, these lessons would serve as the foundation for her rather successful career as […]

Money Blues: The Profit Made From Blues Music

Willie Dixon–a well-known blues writer–sued rock band Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement not just once, but TWICE. In 1972, when Dixon discovered that the lyrics to his “Bring it On Home” (written in 1966) were extremely similar, almost identical, to the lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s “Bring it On Home” (written in 1969) Dixon took the […]

“Ragtime Was my Lullaby”

Ragtime music emerged in African American communities in the late 19th century. These songs had heavy usage of the piano as well as whistling. However, the element of ragtime music that truly distinguishes it from other genres is the syncopated rhythms played throughout. Around the time that Ragtime music was becoming popular, marches written by […]

Four’s a Party: A History of Jubilee Quartets

Origin of the Genre: Jubilee quartets originated in the mid-1800s and are a combination of quartet singing in the European tradition and African American singing. The jubilee genre came out of the Negro Spiritual as it is comprised of sacred texts but sung in a faster tempo. Often times growing out of religious settings, jubilee […]

Negro Spirituals: The Genesis of Sacred Music

A post by Amariah Sledge & Kennedy Brooks Origin of the Genre: The Negro Spiritual was birthed from the Christian beliefs adopted by African Americans in the 18th and 19th century. When Africans were first brought to North America, the Christianity they saw was formatted to justify slavery. However during the first Great Awakening, Christianity […]

Folk Music: Humble Beginnings

A post by Amariah Sledge & Kennedy Brooks Origin of the Genre: Before their arrival in America, music was somehow integrated into everyday happenings for Africans. Often times this music was accompanied by dancing while working or during a celebration. This occurrence persisted even as Africans were brought to North America and Caribbean islands. The […]

Amariah Sledge IME

Hello, my name is Amariah Sledge. I am a sophomore biology, pre-med major with a minor in public health from Hampton, Virginia. My career goal is to become a reproductive endocrinologist and assist those wanting to start families. Music runs deep in my family. My great grandfather was a pastor of an AME Church and […]