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Preface

Preface This collection of writings by the "Dean of Afro-American Compos­ ers/' The William Grant Still Reader, is the second in a two-part series. The first part is The R. Nathaniel Dett Reader, released in fall 1991. The Dett Reader was published first in this series because the Canadian-born composer and educator wrote principally on the black spirituals. The Mississippi-born and Arkansas-bred Still covered a broader expanse of American music, one that derived from or drew upon the spirituals—namely blues, jazz, and the classical tradition of black music. Dett was also the older of the two composers. His life (1882—1943) covered the early part of the twentieth century; Still's life (1895 — 1978) extended into the final quarter of the century. These musicians, who knew one another personally, were consid­ ered by such renowned composers as Howard Hanson to be Ameri­ can composers of high historical significance.1 That Hanson's senti­ ments were shared by other esteemed American musicians and studied historians who knew the work of Still and Dett is the reason we gathered into a collection first the writings of Dett, The R. Na­ thaniel Dett Reader, and now its complement, the writings of Still, The William Grant Still http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

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Copyright
Copyright © 1992 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-6.2.ix
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This collection of writings by the "Dean of Afro-American Compos­ ers/' The William Grant Still Reader, is the second in a two-part series. The first part is The R. Nathaniel Dett Reader, released in fall 1991. The Dett Reader was published first in this series because the Canadian-born composer and educator wrote principally on the black spirituals. The Mississippi-born and Arkansas-bred Still covered a broader expanse of American music, one that derived from or drew upon the spirituals—namely blues, jazz, and the classical tradition of black music. Dett was also the older of the two composers. His life (1882—1943) covered the early part of the twentieth century; Still's life (1895 — 1978) extended into the final quarter of the century. These musicians, who knew one another personally, were consid­ ered by such renowned composers as Howard Hanson to be Ameri­ can composers of high historical significance.1 That Hanson's senti­ ments were shared by other esteemed American musicians and studied historians who knew the work of Still and Dett is the reason we gathered into a collection first the writings of Dett, The R. Na­ thaniel Dett Reader, and now its complement, the writings of Still, The William Grant Still

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1992

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