African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective (Critical and by Ingrid Monson

By Ingrid Monson

The African Diaspora provides musical case experiences from a variety of areas of the African diaspora, together with Africa, the Caribbean, Latin the United States, and Europe, that interact with broader interdisciplinary discussions approximately race, gender, politics, nationalism, and track.

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Additional resources for African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective (Critical and Cultural Musicology, 3)

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He intensifies his view of the relationship between blues and jazz when he glosses “jazz” as “purely instrumental blues” (71) and explains that “although jazz developed out of a kind of blues, blues in its later popular connotation came to mean a way of playing jazz” (71; emphasis in original). Blues, in relation to jazz, then, functions not only as a noun denoting a musical progenitor and a higher level of musical categoriza tion, but also as one describing modifiable musical forms (8-, 12-, and 16-bar I–IV–V progressions: see Koch 1982) and an approach to playing derived from performance on such forms.

So, it’s just…hey, man, all that comes into the music, you know. All of our experiences, music or any artistic endeavor or expression, you know, be it by word of mouth or painting or dance or whatever. All of it is there. And, and, uh, I think that that’s what they were doing in the Harlem Renaissance, man…. [T]hey were taking a look at all of our experiences, and that’s why Duke Ellington was such a, such a master, man. 27 Other musicians expressed similar sentiments, though all were largely silent on the processes whereby the experiences of daily life are translated into or expressed in musical performance.

Moreover, he posits performance as the central arena in which the blues and African American musics make their impact. Those performances, however, cannot be interpreted solely on the basis of sound: one must be attentive to what is brought to each musical encounter and its relationship to African American culture. The writers just surveyed can be broadly characterized as being concerned with jazz performance as a blues-based, ritual activity. In different ways, they emphasize the roles of cultural background, skill, and training, and individual and group expression.

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