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.

From the description of African American Sheet Music Collection, 1879-1940 (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 777576856

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Musical composers. African American Sheet Music Collection, 1879-1940 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
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), 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
United States
Subject
African Americans--Music
Ragtime
Blues (Music)
Sheet music
Vaudeville
Jazz
Occupation
Function

Person

Active 1879

Active 1940

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SNAC ID: 22799042