African American Music Resources

African American Music Resources

African American music resources across the internet that focus on music that is used, created, or performed by African Americans.

  • African American Art Song Alliance
    Founded in 1997, this is the home of interchange between performers and scholars interested in art Song by African-American composers. Here you will find information and links to assist with your discovery of our contribution to Song.
  • African-American Band Music & Recordings, 1883 to 1923
    The core of this presentation consists of "stock" arrangements for bands or small orchestras of popular Songs written by African Americans. In addition, we offer a smaller selection of historic sound recordings illustrating these Songs and many others by the same composers (the arrangements might not necessarily be the same as those on the stocks). Educational materials include short biographies of composers and performers of the time and historical essays.
  • The African Diasporic Music Project
    A Compilation of original works by composers in the African Diaspora. All research associated with this project is owned and presented by Dr. Louise Toppin and Videmus. Their vision is 1) to create a repository for the concert works (those intended for the concert stage; aka classical works) of composers of the African Diaspora. (The African Diaspora in this context is defined as those composers throughout the world descended from people of West and Central Africa), 2) to provide access to scores, recordings, and programmatic information about these composers and their extant works for students, teachers, professionals and presenters, 3) to encourage the research, exploration and performance of these works, and 4) to assist students who wish to enter the George Shirley African American Art Song and Operatic Aria Competition with appropriate repertoire choices.
  • AfriClassical.com - African Heritage in Classical Music
    Here you will meet 52 composers, conductors and instrumental performers - Africans, African Americans and Afro-Europeans. Many are alive today, but one lived 500 years ago! These artists are unknown to most of us, yet are so numerous this site can present only a fraction of them. They have made enduring contributions to Classical Music.
  • Afrocentric Voices in “Classical” Music
    Afrocentric Voices in “Classical” Music was launched in February 1998 by soprano and researcher Randye Jones. The site started small, with a handful of biographies on musicians such as composer H. T. Burleigh and contralto Marian Anderson as well as a bibliography of relevant music resources. However, since Afrocentric Voices moved to its current domain in December 1999, it has seen the addition of several features, including the 2001 addition of a chronology of achievements by African American vocalists, composers and publishers, and a gallery of pictures of internationally renowned African American singers and composers of vocal music, which has now become a Pinterest page that shares the nameAfrocentric Voices.
  • Archives of African American Music and Culture
    At the AAAMC, you will find materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions primarily from the post-World War II era. Their collections highlight popular, religious, and classical music, with genres ranging from blues and gospel to R&B and contemporary hip hop. The AAAMC also houses extensive materials related to the documentation of black radio.
  • The Art of the Negro Spiritual
    The Art of the Negro Spiritual (ANS) is a research project that is looking into the rich history of the Negro spiritual as written for solo vocal performance. The research is centered around the development of spirituals from the folk music of enslaved Africans in the United States to the art Songs set for performance on the concert stage.
  • Black Grooves
    Online newsletter from the Archives of Black Music and Culture at Indiana University.
  • Center for Black Music Research
    Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) holds materials highlighting the role of black music in world culture with materials originating or representing black music in the United States, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean in a variety of formats: personal papers, scores, sheet music, audio-visual materials, photographs, books, periodicals, and commercial recordings.
  • Hip Hop Mixtapes
    In hip hop's earliest days, the music only existed in live form, and the music was spread via tapes of parties and shows. Hip hop mixtapes first appeared in the mid-1970s in New York City, featuring artists such as Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa. As more tapes became available, they began to be collected and traded by fans. In the late 70's into the early 80's DJs began recording mixtapes out of their homes, referring to them as House Tapes. DJs such as Harold G. (who later became known as Whiz Kid) and DJ Super V would create personalized House Tapes which would eventually circulate throughout New York City. In the mid-1980s, DJs, such as Brucie B, began recording their live music and selling their own mixtapes, which was soon followed by other DJs such as Kid Capri and Doo Wop. Ron G moved the mixtape forward in the early 1990s by blending R&B a cappellas with hip hop beats (known as "blends"). Blend tapes became increasingly popular by the mid-1990s, and fans increasingly looked for exclusive tracks and freestyles on the tapes. Also since the 1990s, it describes releases used to promote one or more new artists, or as a pre-release by more established artists to promote upcoming "official" albums. In the hip hop scene, mix tape is often displayed as a single term mixtape. It is now a word to generally describe full-length albums released for free, which is the modern form of mixtape that was made a popular following by 50 Cent and his group G-Unit in the early 2000s, sometimes containing all original music, other times composed of freestyles and remixes of popular tracks.
  • Music by Black Composers (MBC)
    Music by Black Composers (MBC) is dedicated to helping to bring greater diversity to the ranks of classical music performers, composers, and audiences by making the music of Black composers available to everyone.
  • Music Unites Jamaica Foundation
    Music Unites Jamaica Foundation seeks to expand the awareness of Jamaica's vast and long-standing musical heritage through the presentation of symposia, music workshops and exhibitions, as well as free concerts island- wide; and by sourcing scholarships and instruments for talented students with financial constraints. MUJF is committed to the research, preservation and promotion of the works of Jamaican composers of Classical, Patriotic, and Church music, as well music written for Theatre and Dance. The documentation of Jamaican Jazz musicians and Inter-cultural exchange activities are also part of their mission.
  • National Association for the Study & Performance of African American Music
    NASPAAM exists as a non-profit professional organization whose members give freely and tirelessly of their time and service. The organization is dedicated to promoting, performing, and preserving all facets of African-American music. NASPAAM’S focus in the 21st Century includes effective ways and means to attract younger members in their mission.
  • Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938 to 1943
    Consists of approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel Songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia. The documentation was created by John Wesley Work III in 1941 and by Lewis Jones and Willis Laurence James in March, June, and July 1943. Also included are recording made in Tennessee and Alabama (including six Sacred Harp Songs) by John Work between September 1938 and 1941.
  • The Spirituals Database
    The Spirituals Database offers searchable access to recorded track information for concert Negro Spiritual settings performed by solo Classical vocalists. The resource contains a selection from a century of historic and contemporary concert spiritual recordings produced on compact discs, long-playing (33 1/3 rpm) albums, 78 rpm records, 45 rpm discs, audio cassettes and streamed audio files, as well as demonstration recordings from musical score collections.