Classical music is one of the few genres that did not originate from African Americans. It actually originated in Europe dating back to the 11th century and characterized by the the music that is prepared tends to be written in musical notation, which creates a musical part. This part determines details of rhythm, pitch, and where two or more musicians involved. Classical music unlike any other form of music is written down so it can be preformed centuries after it is written while ragtime and blues are improved. African Americans made their debut into the classical genre during enslavement when slave masters taught few slaves how to play the piano and read music. Later, African Americans began adding their own spin on classical music. After the Emancipation Proclamation more African Americans began to be schooled in music at the university level. African Americans and Europeans were segregated; however, whites did not mind buying compositions from African Americans and they were recognized internationally. Classical Music later influenced Rock N Roll and many other modern day genre. An important Performer includes Camilla Ella Williams.
Camilla Ella Williams was the first black woman to secure a major U.S. opera company. The classical genre was one of the few genres that actually belonged to Europeans; however, there are many African Americans within the genre that can compete with the greats. She made her debut in 1946 with the New York City Opera. It is a common misconception that she was the first black woman to appear in a major opera company but that is not the case. The first black opera singer to be in a major opera company was Caterina Jarboro. Although this is not a genre that African Americans created they still dominated any genre they participated in. There were a few African Americans that were in classical before the Emancipation Proclamation but there was a plethora of artists that were into the classical genre after enslaved people were set free.