Can’t Hide Love For This Performance: The Elements and Chicago

After viewing the Earth, Wind, & Fire (EWF) AND Chicago Concert, my love for their music and the way it makes feel when I hear it grew even more.  As a child, I grew up listening to Earth, Wind, & Fire and always loved their music.  It amazes me how universal their music is which […]

Jazz: From Ragtime to Riches

“America’s Classical Music” or “African-American Classical Music” is what this genre has been dubbed.  Jazz is widely regarded at the pinnacle of African-American music in the twentieth century. Defined by its “hallmarks of improvisation, syncopation, a rhythmic pulse known as swing, blues feeling, and harmonic complexity”, Jazz is unlike any other African-American musical genre. Many […]

Quartets

Like many of the first genres of African American music in the western world, the quartet was born out of European and African American aesthetics and musical values. The quartet, an ensemble of four voices or four instruments, originated in the mid-1800s out of the collegiate singing movement. Early African American sacred a cappella groups […]

Classical Music and the African American Composer and Musician

Prior to the Civil War, there was only a small number of classically trained African-American composers working professionally in the United States. These composers received formal instruction in music mainly from immigrant European musicians or from local practitioners or were self-taught. These early composers mainly wrote short compositions based upon European models — waltzes, cotillions, […]

Negro Spirituals – A Unique and Symbolic Thread in African American Culture

One of the earliest forms of religious music developed in black culture in America is the spiritual. The genre of music came out of slavery and symbolized the slaves’ unique expression of Christian religious values and ideals tempered by the social, cultural, and physical experience of prolonged involuntary servitude. It is impossible to determine the […]

Quartets

Like many of the first genres of African American music in the western world, the quartet was born out of European and African American aesthetics and musical values. The quartet, an ensemble of four voices or four instruments, originated in the mid-1800s out of the collegiate singing movement. Early African American sacred a cappella groups […]

Ragtime – From Oral to Print

Ragtime was created and made popular by African American musicians, many of whom could not read or write music. It developed as a playing style and was played in brothels, saloons, bars, and other entertainment venues were Blacks first found performing opportunities. One of the first musicians to Biller, Ben Harney published his “You’ve Been […]

Can’t Quit The Blues

At the turn of the 19th century – late 1890s – a musical form dubbed “the blues” began to emerge in the Deep South of the United States. This innovative new form of music coincided with the beginnings of ragtime, jazz, gospel music, and barbershop-style harmony. Blues came along as the White resistance to Black […]

ThisIsQTZ. Takes Spelman College by Storm

Jada Henderson, also known as QTZ., is a graduating senior, singer, and songwriter at the illustrious Spelman College.  I was privileged enough to be able to attend her senior recital where she performed original songs she just released on her new EP.  I really enjoyed the concert/recital in its entirety because it was original, and […]

Folk Music – A Means of Communicating

When Africans were brought to the New World, they were speaking many different languages but had to find a way to communicate with each other and with their new masters. Music and dance played a key role in acculturation, the process of change that occurs when two different cultural groups come into prolonged contact. The […]

Gabrielle Castle’s IME

Hello, my name is Gabrielle Castle, and I am a sophomore at Spelman College, majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Pre-Law, minoring in French and music.  I am a very musically inclined individual and believe that music is not only the universal language, but that it nourishes and edifies the mind, body and […]