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Article

Peter Manuel

The field of Afro-Caribbean music comprises a vast and heterogeneous corpus of genres and practices, with most forms of Caribbean music evolving as syncretic products of diverse African- and European-derived elements. Many of these genres have established substantial presences in or influences on music culture in the mainland United States, whether through the activities of diasporic communities or via cross-cultural interactions....

Article

Gunther Schuller

A jazz style. It was created from a fusion of bop with traditional Cuban elements, that arose in the 1940s, primarily in the work of Dizzy Gillespie; it is distinguished from the more general Latin jazz by the specific influence of Cuban dance, folk and popular idioms. Although a Latin-American or Caribbean influence (Jelly Roll Morton called it the ‘Latin tinge’) is discernible in jazz from the late 19th century, the earliest use of Cuban elements is traceable only to Alberto Socarras and Mario Bauzá in the late 1930s. Afro-Cuban jazz became a clearly defined style and acquired an international following only when Gillespie, who had been influenced by Bauzá, began to collaborate with the outstanding Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo. For Gillespie, Bauzá, and others, the main impulse for the Afro-Cuban movements came from their feeling that American jazz of the 1930s and 1940s, being essentially monorhythmic, needed the kind of enrichment that an infusion of Afro-Cuban polyrhythms would provide....

Article

M. Rusty Jones

(b Tehran, Iran, March 9, 1960). American guitarist and educator of Iranian birth. She took up the guitar at the age of ten, later moving to the United States. She received BM and MM degrees in guitar from the Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory of Music. In ...

Article

Paula Morgan

(b Hohoe, Sept 28, 1956). American musicologist and music theorist, of Ghanaian birth. He studied at Reading University (1974–7) and with Arnold Whittall at King’s College, London (1977–8), where he took the MMus in analysis. He took the doctorate under Leonard Ratner at Stanford University (...

Article

Ágbe  

Afro-Cuban rattle. It is a large gourd with a net of beads or seeds on cords around the outside acting as external strikers. It can be shaken or struck with the palm of the hand and might be played in groups of three different sizes, the largest about 50 cm long. Nowadays a tin sphere sometimes substitutes for the gourd; it is distinct from the ...

Article

Agbosí  

John M. Schechter

Double-headed drum of Cuba. It is 30 to 50 cm long and 15 to 25 cm in diameter at its ends, slightly wider in the middle. Initially constructed from a single piece of wood, it was sometimes made of staves, with its heads nailed on. For private religious rituals of the Yoruba-associated Egguado people, its function was to call and greet the female deity Obbá. The calls on the ...

Article

Joseph A. Brown

(b Knoxville, Nov 27, 1909; d New York, May 16, 1955). American novelist, screenwriter, journalist, poet, and film critic. Son of Laura Tyler Agee and Hugh James (Jay) Agee, James Agee graduated from Exeter Academy and Harvard University (1932), before becoming a staff writer for ...

Article

Samuel S. Brylawski

(b Chicago, Oct 6, 1893; d Los Angeles, May 6, 1979). American composer. He began his career as a song plugger and arranger for the publishing companies of George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin, and had his first success as a songwriter (in collaboration with the composer George W. Meyer) with ...

Article

David P. McAllester and J. Richard Haefer

Term used by the Navajo of the southwestern USA for various rattles. It can also denote the decorated stick carried in the Enemyway ceremony, representing the power of Changing Woman and Enemy Slayer. ‘Aghááł nímaazígíí is the name for a wild gourd rattle, ndilkal ‘aghááł...

Article

Agida  

J. Richard Haefer

Single-headed cylindrical drum of Suriname. It is played with the tumao and apinti drums and is the lowest sounding of the three. It is made from a hollow log commonly 2 to 3 metres long and about 15 to 20 cm in diameter, though drums vary in size. The head is fastened by cords with tuning wedges. The drum is laid on the ground, the performer kneeling beside it and playing with one stick and one hand. A steady beat is played against which the other two drums improvise. Two tones are achieved by striking either the centre or edge of the head. The ...

Article

K.A. Gourlay and Amanda Villepastour

Lamellaphone of the Ọ̀yọ́ Yorùbá in Nigeria. It has diffused to the Nago peoples of Benin and Lucumí people in Cuba, where it is known as the marímbula. Five adjustable metal tongues are mounted on a large wooden box resonator, which can be 45 cm by 60 cm and 22 cm deep or larger. The instrument is played on the lap, suspended from the neck at waist level so that the tongues can be plucked with the fingers of either hand, or resting on the floor with the player seated. The ...

Article

Agogo  

James Holland

(from Afro-Brazilian agogô). Percussion instrument. It consists of two conical bells mounted on a sprung steel hoop (it is classified as a percussion idiophone) and is used in samba bands. The player holds the instrument in one hand and strikes the bells with a wooden or metal stick held in the other. A variety of sounds and rhythmic patterns is produced by striking the bells in different spots and squeezing them together. There are also variations on the original, in the form of triple and quattro agogos and a blade agogo, which has a small metal blade between the two bells. There are also wooden agogos: in this case the ‘bells’ are side by side and not on a sprung steel hoop....

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Verona, July 21, 1874; d Abington, pa , July 26, 1951). Italian tenor . He made his début in 1895 at Nuovi Ligure. In 1897, after singing Rodolfo for the first time at Cagliari, he took the role in the American première of La bohème...

Article

John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (...

Article

Katherine Hagedorn

(b Simpson, Matanzas, Cuba, Oct 10, 1925; d Los Angeles, CA, May 7, 2010). Cuban drummer. A master drummer, Francisco Aguabella’s expertise in Afro-Cuban sacred drumming traditions included Lucumí batá, Iyesá, Arará, and Abakwá, as well as the popular genres of rumba, comparsa...

Article

(b Mexico City, Dec 7, 1945). Mexican pianist and composer. She studied the piano at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and composition in the workshop of the Conservatorio Nacional de Música under Héctor Quintanar and Mario Lavista. Her extensive output reveals a diversity of techniques and styles without formal adherence to compositional schools or avant-garde trends, but with an emphasis on the search for expressive freedom. Avant-garde techniques, however, are sometimes used to enhance the colour and integrity of her music, as in ...

Article

Lina Barrientos

(b Huara, April 12, 1931). Chilean composer. He studied orchestration in 1945 with the Dutch teacher Fré Focke and composition at the National Conservatory of the University of Chile. From 1963 he studied conducting at the Cologne Musikhochschule with Wolfgang von der Nahme. He taught in Concepción, first as director of the city’s conservatory and later as director of the Arts Department of the University of Concepción (...

Article

Eldonna L. May

(b Brownsville, TX, Nov 2, 1962). American percussionist, improviser, and composer. He received his bachelor’s degree from Corpus Christi State University; his master’s degrees in percussion performance from the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with John Bergamo; and a DMA in contemporary music performance from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied with Steven Schick and ...

Article

Abel Stewart

(b New York, NY, Dec 18, 1980). American singer. She is one of the most popular singers of her generation. Her father (originally from Ecuador), a sergeant in the US Army, and her American mother, a Spanish teacher, divorced when Aguilera was seven. As a child, Aguilera placed second on the television show ...

Article

John Koegel

A sacred and secular traditional song type in Puerto Rico and other areas of the Circum-Caribbean region (Trinidad, Venezuela), as well as in Mexico, Chile, Spain, and the Puerto Rican community in the United States. In Puerto Rico it is particularly associated with Christmas and is related to the non-polyphonic ...