Disclaimer *I am not an artist* SOUL For the soul portion of my piece, I referenced artists such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and James Carr. These artists were major contributors to soul music. Some important record labels for the soul genre were Atlantic records and Motown records. So What Makes Soul, Soul?  After inducting […]

“Never Can Say Goodbye…” I’m Out of Here

Doc, after the attitudes and side eyes that went on in this class, we must finally part ways. I loved being able to spend class time exploring the melodies that have been produced by Black artists. This class was just as much a history class as it was a music class. We were able to […]

We Want The Funk-Gotta Have That…

What is it about the things Black people create? That music for us, by us. Well funk was definitely that. Founded in the mid 60’s, Funk was created by Black Americans who wanted to have some good ole fun. Funk was an entirely new sound, one that focused less on melodies and chords, and more […]

We In This…Theater?

Musical theater by the 1890’s in America was a genre completely powered by white people. Any form of representation of African Americans was once completely seen by the white lense and was usually presented in the form of Black face or through coon songs. However, in 1898, William Marion Cook and Bob Cole brought Black […]

We About to Jazz It Up: Improvisation and Commodification

Rising from what was already booming of the Blues and Ragtime, in the cosmopolitan streets of New Orleans, came Jazz. Emerging in the early 1900’s, Jazz found itself being born from the jerk of creoles being torn away from their elitist status, due to new Jim Crow laws, and being pushed away towards their other […]

Artist Biography Outline: Rick James

OUTLINE METHODOLOGY: Insert methods used for research(music, documentaries, biographies, etc). Perhaps insert prior knowledge of artist. INTRODUCTION: Who is Rick James? What genre is he known for and what genres did he influence? What record company was he signed to? Was this artist ever problematic? THESIS:  Although plagued with maintaining a life of “drugs, sex […]

We Got The Rhythm: How Black Artists Found Their Footing in Classical Music

While classical music has its origins in western culture, stylized after both sacred and secular music, it is extremely hard to find a music genre where Black people did not have some sort of influence and involvement, and classical music is not one of those genres. Classical music has a timeline from as early as […]

The Commodification of Black Music: The Blues

Birthed in the shacks of share crops, blues became a genre that would go on to shape all other popular music genres in America to come. Blues found itself upon the Mississippi Delta. Evolved from the sounds of Negro spirituals, blues features sounds including chants, hollers, revivalist hymns, drum music, harmonicas, guitars(introducing the use of […]

They Hate Us But Want to Be Us: Coon Songs

Ragtime can be described as song and dance inscribed in syncopated  instrumentals. It has a great combination of early jazz and classical music, and written and oral tradition.  There are many different styles and sub-genres of Ragtime, including two-step, foxtrot, and folk ragtime. However, there is a very, interesting (for a lack of words) sub-genre […]

Black Folks in the Media: Quartets

While quartets, in a social scale, would be considered white American culture, African Americans were the originators and are responsible for the boom of Black people in the media. Too be quite honest, by the end of the 19th century, black music was American pop music, or at least a huge part of American culture. […]

The Creation and the Revival of Negro Folk Music

African music, as described by J.H. Kwabena Nketia, contains a lead singer, call-response phrases, repetitive choruses, and rhythmic structures. However, after the many people of Africa were forcefully transported to different parts of the world from the indies to America,  they had to adjust to the new customs, cultures, and sounds. Many gradually learned to […]

Francesca Small-IME

Introduction  My name is Francesca Small, I am a sophomore English Major, Spanish Minor, from Brooklyn, New York.  I plan on pursuing a career as a professor of world and comparative literature with a focus on cultural studies and cultural authority. Mindset I have a great love for music. I always wished I was a […]