Progressive Pioneer: Grace Jones

Thesis: Through disco music and abnormal appearance, Grace jones catalyzed the notions of undefined gender norms, queer identity, and open sexuality. Disco was a new sound that largely placed emphasis on the expression of individuality.  It is a style of music that was popularized in the 1970s with a sound that is noted by four-on-the-floor […]

Row Through the Times: The History of Record Row

Thesis: Record Row produced sounds of African American to be heard by groups across a broad range of races.   Record Row was a stretched avenue in Chicago crowded with restaurants, clubs, and record labels.  It emitted the sounds of jazz, gospel, soul, blues, and R&B.  Two of the most successful labels on the avenue […]

Father of Jazz: Buddy Bolden

Thesis: Buddy Bolden was significant for being a noted figure in the creation of the genre of jazz. Jazz is a genre of music that originated in New Orleans as a descendant of ragtime and blues.  It consists of swinging, call and response, and polyrhythms and improvisation of soloists and the ensemble. Bolden was a […]

Baby’s Got Crazy Blues: Mamie Smith

Thesis: Mamie Smith is significant by being the first to make a blues record, which paved way for other blues artists and increased the popularity of race records. The blues is a genre of music that originated in the south, expressing  experiences, feelings, and emotions.  In this genre, there is a primary voice, the singer […]

Scott Joplin: King of Ragtime

Scott Joplin is known as the King of Ragtime because he mastered and diversified a sector of musical entertainment that was previously segregated between black and white Americans by being the forefront for written ragtime music. Ragtime is a genre of music created in the 19th century that is characterized by its syncopated rhythm accompanied by […]

G.O.L.D. : The Golden Gate Quartet

Thesis: The Golden Gate Quartet is responsible for their lasting influence on the genres of gospel, blues, and jazz music. Quartets were derived from arranged spiritual singing.  African-American quartets typically range from 4-6 voices or instruments divided into a four part harmony.  For men’s quarters specifically, this harmony includes baritone, 1st tenor, 2nd tenor, and […]

Fisk Forever: The History and Legacy of Arranged Spirituals

Fisk Forever: The History and Legacy of Arranged Spirituals The Fisk Jubilee singers were the forefront for the creation of HBCU choruses by being the first to present an arranged style of music. Fisk University is an institution that was founded in 1866 for newly freed African-American people. The University faced financial hardship shortly after […]

WTF: What the Folk?

WTF: What the Folk? Thesis: Folk music is the advent of music expressed for and by black people in America. (W)hat is folk Music? Folk music is a genre created by enslaved people in the 19th century during the period of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Folk music conveys the message of unity, yet sorrow and […]