Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

African-American Music

Music styles of African Americans from colonial times to the present

Composers

The Dictionary of Black Composers, edited by Samuel A. FLoyd, Jr., is an
excellent starting point for information about African-American composers
Music Reference ML 105 .I5 1999 2 vols.

Use OneSearch to find books and articles about these composers:

Bonds, Margaret

Burleigh, Harry T. 

Dawson, William

Dett, R. Nathaniel

Kay, Ulysses

Powell, Zenobia

Price, Florence

Smith, Hale

Still, William Grant 

Walker, George

 

The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance:  Aesthetic Philosophy

In the 1920s, artists and writers in Harlem produced works of art celebrating the African-American experience and culture.  Although jazz was taking hold in Harlem at the time, spirituals were more important to composers of the time than jazz idioms.   Howard University professor of philosophy, Alain LeRoy Locke, one of the most influential writers of the time wrote about the arts and about music:

Music and the Harlem Renaissance

  • Harry T. Burleigh: From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance, by Jean Snyder
    ML 410 .B97 S69 2016
  • The New Negroes and their Music: The Success of the Harlem Renaissance, by Jon Michael Spencer
    ML 3556 .S77 1997
  • Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance, a Collection of Essays, edited by Samuel A. Floyd
    ML 3556.8 .N5 B6 1993
  • Deep River: Music and Memory in Harlem Renaissance Thought, by Paul Allen Anderson
    ML 3556 .A53 2001

For more books on the Harlem Renaissance, search this subject in OneSearch:

 Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- Intellectual Life -- 20th Century

See also:  "Harlem Renaissance" in The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition (Log in required from off campus)