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Foreword

Foreword There was a time when the musical genius of the African American was restricted to rags and coon songs and nothing was known about the talent of such Afro-European composers as the Chevalier de Saint-Georges and Jose Mauricio Nunes-Garcia . It was the visit of two Europeans to the United States, Antonin Dvorak and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, that helped endow Afro-America with the cultural security to move forward toward the Harlem Renaissance. Dvorak, a Bohemian composer, knew quite well that a minority people needed to affirm their cultural creativity while preserving their dignity, and he urged American musicians to examine their indigenous music as a means toward establishing an American musical identity. Cole­ ridge-Taylor came to the United States from England as the foremost Afro-English composer, giving proof of the accomplishments blacks could attain. The immediate benefits of Dvofak's stay in the 1890s included his contribution to the education of Will Marion Cook, who was to open the doors of musical theater to his compatriots, and Harry Burleigh, who fixed the spiritual as art song. In the next decade the tours of Coleridge-Taylor and the performances of his cantata, Hiawatha 's Wedding Feast, showed all Americans an aspect of artistry http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

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Copyright
Copyright © 1991 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-5.2.vii
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

There was a time when the musical genius of the African American was restricted to rags and coon songs and nothing was known about the talent of such Afro-European composers as the Chevalier de Saint-Georges and Jose Mauricio Nunes-Garcia . It was the visit of two Europeans to the United States, Antonin Dvorak and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, that helped endow Afro-America with the cultural security to move forward toward the Harlem Renaissance. Dvorak, a Bohemian composer, knew quite well that a minority people needed to affirm their cultural creativity while preserving their dignity, and he urged American musicians to examine their indigenous music as a means toward establishing an American musical identity. Cole­ ridge-Taylor came to the United States from England as the foremost Afro-English composer, giving proof of the accomplishments blacks could attain. The immediate benefits of Dvofak's stay in the 1890s included his contribution to the education of Will Marion Cook, who was to open the doors of musical theater to his compatriots, and Harry Burleigh, who fixed the spiritual as art song. In the next decade the tours of Coleridge-Taylor and the performances of his cantata, Hiawatha 's Wedding Feast, showed all Americans an aspect of artistry

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1991

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