From Spirituals to Symphonies

From Spirituals to Symphonies

African-American Women Composers and Their Music

Book - 2002
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ABC-CLIO

African-American women composers remain largely unknown despite their important musical contributions. Active in the United States since the late-19th century, several gained national and international recognition during their lifetimes, only to have their work neglected after their deaths. From Spirituals to Symphonies is a unique, extensively researched examination of the history and scope of musical composition by African-American women, focusing on the implications of race, gender, and class for their musical creativity, and demonstrating how this important, underappreciated category of American art was shaped by the unique individual personalities of its participants.

Their particular times, communities, families, racial heritages, economic circumstances, education, and musical training were all brought to bear on their music, and author Helen Walker-Hill challenges the assumption that black women's only important musical contributions have been in folk, jazz, and pop. With unprecedented detail, she charts the lives and the output of a group of artists whose work has gone unnoticed for too many years.


African-American women composers remain largely unknown despite their important musical contributions. Active in the United States since the late-19th century, several gained national and international recognition during their lifetimes, only to have their work neglected after their deaths. From Spirituals to Symphonies is a unique, extensively researched examination of the history and scope of musical composition by African-American women, focusing on the implications of race, gender, and class for their musical creativity, and demonstrating how this important, underappreciated category of American art was shaped by the unique individual personalities of its participants.
Surveys the history and scope of concert music by African-American women, including instrumental, choral, and chamber works, as well as symphonies and operas.

Book News
This volume explores the history and scope of musical composition by African-American women, with a focus on the implications of race, gender, and class for their musical creativity. Following an historical overview, eight chapters study individual composers who, taken together, represent a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, generations, geographical locations, and musical styles. Topics include biographical information, social issues, and each individual's music. A concluding section ties together major themes and examines the impact of other circumstances such as family of origin, marital status, motherhood, sexual orientation, disabilities, and professional issues. The book contains several b&w photographs of composers. Of interest to the academic and the general reader. Walker-Hill is the recipient of several research grants awarded in connection with this work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
ISBN: 9780313299476
0313299471
Call Number: 927.8 WAL
Characteristics: xvi, 401 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bib Control Number: 429376

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Black Music Month
KimberlyB_H Jun 08, 2020

Focusing on the effect of race, gender, and class, From Spirituals to Symphonies notes the important role played by individual personalities and circumstances in shaping this underappreciated category of American art. The book provides an in-depth look of the backgrounds, experiences, and musical... Read More »


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