The Man. The Myth. The Lengend.

Christopher Francis Breaux aka Frank Ocean      *Disclaimer* Frank Ocean is an artist whose work transcends that of conventional mediums. Obviously he has a body of musical works released through standard issue mediums (LPs, music videos, etc.), however, there’s so much more beyond that which makes collecting and showcasing it all extraordinarily difficult. To […]

“Jazz is Freedom.” : A Comprehensive Analysis of Jazz

Origins and Characteristics “Jazz is freedom,” according to Thelonious Monk, and for many individuals involved in the ever so fluid movement that was and is jazz, this statement rang and rings true. Through the influence of other genres, such as blues and ragtime, Jazz has been grown and cultivated into what it is today. Jazz […]

Emergence: The Black presence in Classical Music

Origins and Characteristics for the Black Community Even though Classical music was not derived from the Black body, the Black body has had a tremendous hand in cultivating this once fully “whitewashed” genre. There were many new black composers and musicians coming to the forefront sharing the musical talents locally, nationally, and internationally post Emancipation. […]

The Ultimate Griot: Blues and its Influence on America

Origin and Characteristics When you think of the Blues, some of the many words that come to mind might include, soul, expression, and heart. Some of the instruments that may come to mind might include a saxophone, a trumpet, or a piano. Some of the artists that come to mind might include BB King, or […]

Rag is the Gag!

What is Ragtime and Where Did It Come From? Ragtime has many definitions. Some may say Ragtime is ” rhythm in which the accompaniment is strict two-four time and the melody, with improvised embellishments, is in steady syncopation,” or even “a style of American music having rhythm, popular from about 1890 to 1915.” Some might even say that […]

Filled with Jubilee: Quartet Style

Origins and Characteristics of the Genre Jubilee Quartets have a rich upbringing. Being a derivative of Negro Spirituals and Folk music, Quartet music got its initial start in the late 1800s. Negro Spirituals often told stories of hardships and trial and frequently featured themes of sorrow, but Jubilee Quartets brought a live, rejuvenated, mostly acapella sound […]

White Mediocrity vs. Black Genius: Dyson Deals the Dirt

On Friday in class, we watched Michael Eric Dyson’s interview with the Breakfast Club. The subject matter of the interview was pretty dense, but the subject that stuck out to me the most was when Dyson talked about white mediocrity versus black genius. For years now, the black community has struggled with trying to get […]

Folk and Negro Spiritual Music

The Origins of the Negro Spiritual African peoples were taken from Africa and enslaved here in the United States starting in 1619, ending in 1865. Despite being taken from their homes and having many aspects of their ways of life stripped from them, one practice they were able to retain was their music. Negro spirituals emerged from […]