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Plantation Song: Delius, Barbershop, and the Blues

Plantation Song: Delius, Barbershop, and the Blues VIC HOBSON Discussion around the racial origins of US music has a long history. In 1893, Richard Wallaschek claimed African erican songs were "mere imitations of European compositions which Negroes have picked up and served up again with slight variations."1 George Pullen Jackson held a similar view, arguing "Negro Spirituals" were "`interpretations' of the White Spirituals."2 When ragtime was published in the late 1890s, it was composed, performed, and enjoyed by ericans of all races.3 More than a century later, the extent to which ragtime owes its heritage to African erican musical practice is still contested.4 The blues first appeared in published sheet music in the early twentieth century.5 Despite the significance of the blues in popular music, the origin (or origins) of the blues remains unknown. Although it is widely believed that the blues began ong African ericans, many of its earliest composers and performers were white.6 The racial origins of jazz are also contested. The first to record jazz were the white Original Dixieland Jazz Band, and they claimed to be its creators.7 Generally, writers accept that the syncopated rhythms of ragtime and jazz are of African origin.8 There is also consensus that African ericans introduced http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Plantation Song: Delius, Barbershop, and the Blues

American Music , Volume 31 (3) – Mar 14, 2013

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349
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Abstract

VIC HOBSON Discussion around the racial origins of US music has a long history. In 1893, Richard Wallaschek claimed African erican songs were "mere imitations of European compositions which Negroes have picked up and served up again with slight variations."1 George Pullen Jackson held a similar view, arguing "Negro Spirituals" were "`interpretations' of the White Spirituals."2 When ragtime was published in the late 1890s, it was composed, performed, and enjoyed by ericans of all races.3 More than a century later, the extent to which ragtime owes its heritage to African erican musical practice is still contested.4 The blues first appeared in published sheet music in the early twentieth century.5 Despite the significance of the blues in popular music, the origin (or origins) of the blues remains unknown. Although it is widely believed that the blues began ong African ericans, many of its earliest composers and performers were white.6 The racial origins of jazz are also contested. The first to record jazz were the white Original Dixieland Jazz Band, and they claimed to be its creators.7 Generally, writers accept that the syncopated rhythms of ragtime and jazz are of African origin.8 There is also consensus that African ericans introduced

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Mar 14, 2013

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