Musical composers

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The term African American music is given to the range of music and musical genres that evolved from or were influenced by African American culture. The polyrhythmic songs of enslaved Africans merged with multiple cultural traditions, including polka, waltzes, classical music, and religious works. The influence of African American music began in the 19th century. During the 1830s Second Great Awakening, the slaves began to develop Spirituals and other Christian music, often serving to conceal messages of subversion or signals to escape. After the Civil War, the migration of freed slaves and African Americans spread the evolving African American music across the nation.

By the 20th century, the United States had established several symphony orchestras and major opera companies. American composers had developed a new style that separated them from their European counterparts, and the field of music education started taking shape. Although barred from participating in the newly established orchestras and companies, black musicians could attend music schools and conservatories, some created in the 1910s to cater to aspiring black musicians. Major cities witnessed the formation of black symphony orchestras, opera and musical companies. The four decades following the turn of the century gave rise to ragtime, blues, and jazz as popular musical styles, led by masters such as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington. The decades following World War II would move these musical styles into mainstream culture.

Source:

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History, 3rd edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997.

From the guide to the African American Sheet Music Collection 2002-063, 2002-264., 1879-1940, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf African American Sheet Music Collection 2002-063, 2002-264., 1879-1940 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barbour, J. Berni, b. 1881 person
associatedWith Basie, Count, 1904-1984 person
associatedWith Blake, Eubie, 1887-1983 person
associatedWith Bland, James A. (James Allen), 1854-1911 person
associatedWith Brooks, Shelton person
associatedWith Brymn, J. Tim, 1881-1946 person
associatedWith Burris, Jim person
associatedWith Cole, Bob, 1868-1911 person
associatedWith Cook, Doc, 1881-1958 person
associatedWith Creamer, Henry, 1879-1930 person
associatedWith Davis, Gussie L., 1863-1899 person
associatedWith Dawson, William Levi, 1899-1990 person
associatedWith Dett, R. Nathaniel, 1882-1943 person
associatedWith Dorsey, Thomas Andrew person
associatedWith Dunbar, Paul Laurence, 1872-1906 person
associatedWith Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974 person
associatedWith Europe, James Reese, 1881-1919 person
associatedWith Hampton, Lionel person
associatedWith Handy, W. C. (William Christopher), 1873-1958 person
associatedWith Hill, J. Leubrie (John Leubrie), d. 1916 person
associatedWith Hines, Earl, 1903-1983 person
associatedWith Jackson, Tony, 1876-1921 person
associatedWith Johnson Brothers person
associatedWith Johnson, James Weldon, 1871-1938 person
associatedWith Johnson, J. Rosamond (John Rosamond), 1873-1954 person
associatedWith Johnson, Lukie person
associatedWith Jones, Irving person
associatedWith Jones, Willie person
associatedWith Ku Klux Klan, 1915- corporateBody
associatedWith Ku Klux Klan (19th cent.) corporateBody
associatedWith Layton, Turner, 1894-1978 person
associatedWith Mack, Cecil, 1883-1944 person
associatedWith Martin, Robert A. person
associatedWith Morris, Kenneth, 1879-1937 person
associatedWith Oliver, King, 1885-1938 person
associatedWith Overstreet, W. Benton person
associatedWith Pinkard, Maceo, 1897-1962 person
associatedWith Piron, Armand J., 1888-1943 person
associatedWith Razaf, Andy, 1895-1973 person
associatedWith Rogers, Alex, 1876-1930 person
associatedWith Smith, Chris, 1879-1949 person
associatedWith Waller, Fats, 1904-1943 person
associatedWith Williams, Bert, 1874-1922 person
associatedWith Williams, Clarence, 1893-1965 person
associatedWith Williams, J. M. (J. Mayo), 1894-1980 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Ragtime
Sheet music
Vaudeville
African Americans
Blues (Music)
Jazz
Occupation
Activity

Person

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