Hor ACe J. mAXI le Jr. o n Vernacular e mblems and s ignification in David N. b aker ’s The Black Experience In explanations of the eclecticism in black composers’ works after World War II, noted scholar e ileen s outhern observed that those who emerged during the middle decades of the twentieth century moved beyond the overt black-nationalist tenets of earlier generations. They refused “to be tied down by racial self consciousness and drew freely upon widely di- vergent styles and sources in their writing.” Charting their own courses, composers such as u lysses Kay, u ndine s mith moore, and Hale s mith stood on the accomplishments of their predecessors and many were suc- cessful, having works performed (and later recorded). However, many of these composers “encountered, sooner or later, the ‘black experience’— that is, the understanding of what it meant to be a creative black artist in a basically hostile white society—and each coped with it as best he or she could.” African American composers responded in various ways that spanned the gamut of utilizing overt symbols of vernacular musical cul- ture in their works to avoiding references that would signify black identity. David N.
American Music – University of Illinois Press
Published: Jan 29, 2015