Download African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective (Critical and by Ingrid Monson PDF

By Ingrid Monson

The African Diaspora offers musical case reviews from a number of areas of the African diaspora, together with Africa, the Caribbean, Latin the United States, and Europe, that interact with broader interdisciplinary discussions approximately race, gender, politics, nationalism, and tune.

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Extra resources for African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective (Critical and Cultural Musicology, 3)

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It is a matter of idiomatic orientation and of the refinement of auditory sensibility in terms of idiomatic nuance. It is a far greater matter of convention, and hence tradition, than of impulse… It is not so much what blues musicians bring out of themselves as what they do with existing conventions” (126). Writers following Murray in writing about African American musics have also recognized the centrality of blues in the interpretation of musical meaning. In Black Culture and Black Consciousness (1977), Lawrence Levine focuses on the constant interaction between the forms of music making that have been called gospel, blues, and jazz (179–85), noting that social function may be the only criterion that could definitively distinguish them from one another (186).

I mean, he is just an incredibly bluesy, soulful player…. And, um, I think the thing I’ve gotten from him more than anything else is, you know, by listening to him I really learned a lot about playing the blues, and, and…that kind of “soul” style of tenor playing. Um, I’ve learned, I’ve learned a lot about, you know, how important the strength of your sound is, you know. Before you even worry about what notes, or what combination of notes, just the power you put into your sound and the strength of each attack, you know, and the way you play a note, whatever the note is.

In any case, when the Negro musician or dancer swings the blues, he is fulfilling the same existential requirement that determines the mission of the poet, the priest, and the medicine man…. Extemporizing in response to the exigencies of the situation in which he finds himself, he is confronting, acknowledging, and contending with the infernal absurdities and ever-impending frustrations inherent in the nature 28 THE AFRICAN DIASPORA of existence by playing with the possibilities that are also there.

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