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Asian American music  

Eric Hung, Nancy Rao, Susan M Asai, You Young Kang, Alison Arnold, Amy R. Catlin, and Christi-Anne Castro

Although Filipino sailors established fishing villages in the Louisiana bayous in the 1760s, sustained Asian immigration to the United States and Hawaii did not begin until the 1830s. Over the next century, hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos—and smaller numbers of Koreans and immigrants from South Asia—arrived on American and Hawaiian soil to work on plantations and railroads, and in goldmines and factories. Racial tension and outright hostility, often generated by white laborers who feared for their jobs, greeted these early Asian immigrants, and they became frequent targets of mob violence and lynchings. Discrimination and race-based crimes encouraged the growth of ethnic enclaves, which aided the development of distinct micro-musical cultures. “Yellow Peril” fears fueled the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which expanded into the 1924 Asian Exclusion Act. These bills effectively halted the first wave of Chinese, and later, most Asian immigration to the United States. This extended history of racial bigotry and intolerance against all Asians ultimately sparked the formation of a pan-ethnic “Asian American movement” in the 1960s....


Bates, Bob  

Hugh Davies

(b Kansas City, MO, Jan 23, 1940). American artist and educator, co-founder in 1989 and artistic director of Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles. He holds a BA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati. Working in Los Angeles since 1976 he has built several instruments, based on the hurdy-gurdy principle, which he plays in solo performances and in duets with his wife, Gail Bates. The first was a drone instrument (1976), in which a bow operated by a pendulum moves across a string. The Fuser (1978) uses a similar idea: each note on its two 40-note keyboards operates a ‘finger’ at a different point along the length of one of two strings, which are bowed by treadle-operated, rosined wheels. The hollow tubing of the framework adds to the effect of two dome-shaped resonators, one at each end of the instrument. Two people play the Fuser, which measures about 3.5 × 1 × 1.25 metres. The Converter (prototype ...


Character notation  


European American music  

Philip V. Bohlman, Stephen Erdely, Leon Janikian, Christina Jaremko, Ain Haas, Chris Goertzen, D.K. Wilgus, Mark Levy, Robert C. Metil, Jesse A. Johnston, Julien Olivier, Stephen D. Winick, Bill C. Malone, Barry Jean Ancelet, Michael G. Kaloyanides, Lynn M. Hooker, Mick Moloney, Marcello Sorce Keller, Janice E. Kleeman, Timothy J. Cooley, Kate Brucher, Carol Silverman, Kenneth A. Thigpen, Margaret H. Beissinger, Margarita Mazo, Mark Forry, Janet L. Sturman, Robert B. Klymasz, and Denis Hlynka

The music of European American ethnic groups is very diverse and has a variety more representative of American history and culture than of pre-immigration experience in Europe. Both the musical style and the cultural settings of a repertory are altered, often dramatically, by immigration. Despite this shift of cultural context from the many nations of Europe to the single locus of the United States, European American musics have tended to increase in variety and number, and whereas many continue to thrive generations after transplantation to American soil, others change significantly, gradually disappearing or entering a broader and more hybrid American mainstream.

This article deals with the music of immigrant groups from Western and Eastern Europe. For convenience, traditions are discussed under geographical headings, although this organization may not always reflect modern political boundaries. Hispanic and Portuguese traditions, because they are the result of immigration from Latin America as well as from Iberia, are treated separately (...


Menhaden chanteys  

Joseph Maurer


Songs used to coordinate labor among the African American fishermen of Virginia and North Carolina who worked the Chesapeake menhaden fishery. The chanteys came to broader public prominence through the performance careers of two singing groups composed of retired fishermen: the Menhaden Chanteymen of Carteret County, North Carolina, and the Northern Neck Chantey Singers, based on the Northern Neck peninsula of Virginia. Folklorists working for the North Carolina Arts Council brought together the Menhaden Chanteymen in 1988. William Hudnall organized the Northern Neck Chantey Singers in 1991 at the request of the Greater Reedville Association for a July 4th event. Public interest led both groups to increased prominence and performance careers stretching into the early 2010s, including concerts at various public folklore events and maritime music festivals. Members of the groups had used the songs during their work in the local industry from the 1930s through the 1980s. As in other chantey contexts, the songs were used to coordinate labor, particularly hauling aboard heavy nets full of fish. The chanteys developed from 19th-century land-based African American work contexts to their application in the 20th-century fishing industry. The precise historical relationship between African American fishing chanteys and the more popular and well-known ‘sea chanteys’ is a subject of study and debate. While 20th-century scholars tended to view the menhaden chantey tradition as relatively distinct, more recent scholarship suggests that the menhaden fishing chanteys and the deep-water chanteys were both ultimately derived from similar land-based African American work song practices in the American South....


National Association of Negro Musicians  

Dominique-René de Lerma


Organization founded in 1919 in Chicago to promote interest in African American music. Earlier efforts to found such an organization had been made by Clarence Cameron White in 1916 and R. Nathaniel Dett in 1918, both of whom participated in the first convention of the association and served as president during the 1920s. Governed by a board of directors and elected officers, the organization has met annually in various cities during the summer for workshops, concerts, recitals, panel discussions, business meetings, and youth concerts. Its numerous regional branches have sponsored other activities throughout the year. Among the recipients of national awards and special tributes early in their careers have been Hazel Harrison, Marian Anderson, Julia Perry, Arthur LaBrew, Grace Bumbry, Leon Bates, and Awadagin Pratt.

SouthernB L.H. White: “The NANM,” American Musician, vol.2/2 (1921), 18 J.A. Mills: “The National Association of Negro Musicians,” HiFi/MusAm, vol.29/8 (1979), 14–15 D.E. McGinty: A Documentary History of the National Association of Negro Musicians...



Charles Garrett



J. Richard Haefer

Generic term for Anglo instruments used by the Tohono O’odham (Papago) Indians of Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora, Mexico. Piastakuḍ (‘fiesta thing’) refers to those instruments used to perform waila (social dance music; from the Spanish bailar, called ‘chicken scratch’ by Anglos) and pascola dance tunes. They include the gi:dal (guitar), kuikud (flute, saxophone, trumpet, or clarinet), wi:olin (violin), a:lpa (harp), wañamdam (accordian), and tamblo (drum). In the mid-19th century the O’odham began to borrow polka, schottische, and two-step tunes played by guitar, saxophone, accordion, and drums from nearby Anglo communities and incorporate them within their all-night keihina social dance, imparting to them the O’odham concepts of traditional ñe’i (song), that is, assigning specific songs to certain portions of the dance cycle: sundown songs, midnight songs, sunrise songs. O’odham distinctly consider these songs and instruments as their own and not as Anglo music. In like manner, pascola, with harp and violin, was borrowed from their neighbouring Yaqui Indians....


Race and ethnicity  

Loren Kajikawa

According to today’s social scientists, cultural theorists, and scholars in ethnic studies and related fields, race and ethnicity are best understood as distinct yet related social categories involved in the demarcation of human difference. In common parlance, the terms are often grouped together as in the heading of this entry, or with “ethnicity” serving as a euphemism for “race.” Like gender, class, or sexuality, the operations of race and ethnicity affect every aspect of music, including composition, performance, distribution, reception, theory, and the popular and analytic discourses around music. Attention to issues of race and ethnicity has therefore emerged as a fundamental component to both the history and the critical examination of music in the United States and beyond.

As an ideology of difference with roots in scientific discourse, definitions of race typically appeal to differences in skin color, body types, or other traits assumed to be biologically inborn. Omi and Winant (...


Society of Black Composers  

Eldonna L. May


African American composers collective, established in 1968 and dissolved in 1973. Believing that black music was a catalyst for social change and community coalition building, an eclectic, politically active, visionary group of young composers came together in New York in 1968 to found the Society of Black Composers. Their agenda was tripartite: to develop their composition skills, to promote the work of black modern and classical composers, and to enrich the cultural life of black communities. In addition to supporting the work of African American composers, the collective sought to increase musical, political, and cultural awareness. It presented concerts, colloquia, and lectures to perform and discuss the music of its members. The society also broadened the scope of contemporary musical composition by incorporating elements of other cultural traditions.

The society’s members hailed from diverse musical backgrounds, ranging from jazz to classical to avant-garde, and included Talib Rasul Hakim (Stephen Chambers), William Fischer, Carman Moore, Dorothy Rudd Moore, John Price, Alvin Singleton, Roger Dickerson, Primous Fountain, James Furman, Adolphus Hailstork, Wendell Logan, and Olly Wilson. Support from the Ford, Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Whitney foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities enabled members to study and perform in Europe and Africa....


Sphinx Organization  

Aja Burrell Wood

National nonprofit organization founded in 1996 by University of Michigan graduates Aaron P(aul) Dworkin and Carrie Chester. Dworkin and Chester sought to increase cultural diversity in the field of classical music and simultaneously overcome cultural stereotypes. The mission of the organization is, first, to increase the participation of blacks and Latinos as students in music schools, as professional musicians, and as classical music audiences; and second, to administer youth development initiatives in underserved communities through music education and by providing high-quality musical instruments.

The Sphinx Competition, a cornerstone program, began in 1998 as an annual string competition for black and Latino classical string players, from junior high through college, who compete for prizes and scholarships. The organization has since expanded to include an additional 13 professional, educational, community outreach, and performance initiatives under their Artist Development, Sphinx Prep, Sphinx Performance Academy, Sphinx Legacy Project, and Sphinx Presents programs. Sphinx also currently maintains three ensembles comprised of critically acclaimed professionals: The Sphinx Symphony, Sphinx Virtuosi, and Catalyst Quartet. The organization also regularly commissions, programs, and archives works by black and Latino composers....


Tate, Greg(ory Stephen)  

Alex Harris Stein

(b Dayton, OH, Oct 14, 1957; d New York, Dec 7, 2021). American writer, guitarist, and bandleader. He was a staff writer for the Village Voice from 1987 to 2003 (a contributor from 1981) and one of a group of young African Americans writing for the Voice on black culture, politics, and identity. His work focused on black music and culture from a postmodern, black nationalist perspective and is noteworthy for an unconventional style that Tate described as blending academic and street culture. One of the first journalists to cover hip hop, he wrote about Miles Davis, George Clinton, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, and others. He contributed to the New York Times, Rolling Stone, VIBE, the Washington Post, Spin, The Nation, Down Beat, and other publications. His books include Flyboy in the Buttermilk (New York, 1992), Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience (Chicago, ...