The Power of Black Music
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The Power of Black Music : Interpreting its History from Africa to the United States

4.04 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Floyd has written a path-breaking book on the development of African-American music and its influence in America. He shows how African myths and ritual - especially the "ring-shout" dances that were ubiquitous in West Africa - have underlain the development of all black music in America. It puts black music - and American music in general - into a new and exciting perspective.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 163.3 x 243.1 x 30mm | 721.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • music examples
  • 0195082354
  • 9780195082357

Back cover copy

Bold and original, The Power of Black Music offers a new way of listening to the music of black America, and appreciating its profound contribution to all American music. Striving to break down the barriers that remain between high art and low art, it brilliantly illuminates the centuries-old linkage between the music, myths, and rituals of Africa and the continuing evolution and enduring vitality of African-American music. Inspired by the pioneering work of Sterling Stuckey and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author Samuel A. Floyd, Jr., advocates a new critical approach grounded in the forms and traditions of the music itself. He accompanies readers on a fascinating journey from the African ring, through the ring shout's powerful merging of music and dance in the slave culture, to the funeral parade practices of the early New Orleans jazzmen, the bluesmen in the twenties, the beboppers in the forties, and the free jazz, rock, Motown, and concert hall composers of the sixties and beyond. Floyd dismisses the assumption that Africans brought to the United States as slaves took the music of whites in the New World and transformed it through their own performance practices. Instead, he recognizes European influences, while demonstrating how much black music has continued to share with its African counterparts. Floyd maintains that while African Americans may not have direct knowledge of African traditions and myths, they can intuitively recognize links to an authentic African cultural memory.show more

Review quote

-Diligently traces the history of Black music--its African influences and evolution.---Emerge-Dares to take on the whole span of black musical history.---Chicago Tribune-Important...An exceptionally erudite and thoroughly readable work.---I.S.A.M. Newsletter-Impressive.---Booklistshow more

About Samuel A. Floyd

Samuel A. Floyd, Jr. is Director of the Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College, Chicago. He is also the editor of Black Music in the Harlem Rennaissance.show more

Rating details

22 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 41% (9)
4 32% (7)
3 23% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 5% (1)
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