Jazz it Up!

Jazz music originated in the African American community. Jazz music developed from the influence of blues and ragtime music. Like the blues and ragtime genres of music, jazz music has the characteristics of the call and response style, and the rhythm of the music gives off a “swing” effect. Jazz is known for its improvisation. […]

Jubilee Quartets!

Jubilee quartets were popular African American religious groups. Jubilee quartet singers originated in 1871 when a Caucasian when the students at Fisk University began to sing gospel music, in efforts to raise money for African American students to continue to attend the school. Although not the only Jubilee quartet group, the Fisk Jubilee Quartet singers […]

African Americans in Musical Theater!

Before African-Americans added their unmatched spice to the genre, musical theater was mainly an opportunity for white people to mock their secondhand impression of black culture. It was common for the actors and actresses to use blackface and sing “coon” songs. The plays consisted of exaggerated stereotypes that insulted black people and their culture. In 1898, Will […]

Peace Out!

Well, its near to the official end of the semester. Every day of the semester proved to me that I made a good decision enrolling in the class. The class emphasized the musical talents that the black community has contributed to American culture. I learned some things about African-American music that I would have never known. […]

A Class Act!

The impact that African Americans had on the history of classical music is usually overlooked when considering the genre.  Originating from the 16th century to the 20th century, black composers and conductors contributed a great deal to the classical genre, giving it a distinct sound that could not be compared to white classical music. Classical music is […]

Evolution of Hip Hop

This poster represents the evolution of east and west hip-hop music from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Starting with The Sugarhill Gang on the east side and N.W.A. on the west side, hip-hop music has made significant change throughout the years.

“A Bunch of Love Songs”

R&B or Rhythm and Blues is a term that has been used to describe blues-influenced music since the 1930s. The term was coined by Jerry Wexler, influential music producer, for Billboard magazine to indicate the rhythmic beat of the songs combined with the blues-like lyrics- sadness or love. At its beginning, the word was used in […]

Are you down with the Blues?

The blues genre has its roots in American slave plantations of the 19th century. The slaves would sing negro spirituals, chants, and work songs while on their feet, day to night. The genre took on the name “blues” because of the soulful but sulky tone of the songs. Blues spread to be more of a […]

It’s Time for Ragtime!

Ragtime originated in the Midwest African American communities in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The name “ragtime” was coined from its previous term “ragged time”, signaling its percussive and syncopated rhythm of the music. Once ragtime became wildly popular, it made an impact on white communities. It started to be performed as a form […]

From Gospel to Rhythm & Blues- Jubilee Quartets

The jubilee quartet genre had its start in the mid-1800s, as African American university a cappella groups emerged on the scene. Groups received the name of “jubilee quartets” because of the repetitive characteristic of the songs they performed. Groups would consist of four-six voices contributing to a four-part harmony, accompanied by either no instruments or a […]

Rochelle Alexander’s IME

Hello! My name is Rochelle Alexander. I am a first-year, early childhood education major at Spelman College. I am originally from Brooklyn, New York, but I currently reside in Dover, Delaware. My immediate and extended family are all from Caribbean Islands, therefore, I grew up listening mainly to Soca and Dancehall music.  As I grew […]