The Impact of Gospel Music

Gospel music is the new age or twentieth-century form of African American religious music. It evolved in urban cities such as Chicago, Detroit, New York, and others following the Great Migration. The term “gospel music” was not widely used until the 1930s. Around this time, Thomas Dorsey was named the “Father of Gospel Music”. He […]

Jubilee Quartets

An outgrowth of the African American university singing movement, this quartet tradition is an artistic form with a distinctive history and aesthetic expression that originated around the mid-1800s. It is important to note that, within the context of African American music, a quartet is defined by the number of designated harmony parts, not by the […]

Negro Spirituals: the Blueprints

The precise start date of spirituals is unknown, but one could say they became popular in the late 1700s after the first Great Awakening. We can only track spirituals from the earliest accounts from slave owners. Its critical to mention that Spirituals and Hymns are not the same. Spirituals often include a call & response, […]

The Artistry of Bobby McFerrin

A native of New York City, Bobby McFerrin is well known as a folk-jazz vocalist and musician. He made his mark on the world with his incredible vocal techniques including scat singing, polyphonic overtone singing, and improvisational vocal percussion. He utilizes his instrument, the voice, in a way that many current-day vocalists do not. An […]

The Blues. Say it like it is.

The Blues’ origins can be placed in the 1890s, but the genre rose to fame significantly by the 1910s. This popular music style has influences from European music, in areas such as form, harmony, and instrumentation. As well as African influences in the music’s rhythm, tonal, and timbral flexibility. The tradition of American Blues is […]

The Versatility of Jazz Music

Jazz is often regarded as “America’s classical music” or “African American classical music”. Many view it as the pinnacle of African American music in the twentieth century; jazz music is differentiated from other genres due to the originality of its improvisation, the extreme skill exhibited by its performers and composers, and its overall artistry. The […]