Music of the African Diaspora: The Historical Reception of African American Concert Music
The University of Maryland McNair Scholars Undergraduate Research Journal, 2, (2010): 166-179.
African American concert music (AACM) has made one of the largest contributions to the establishment and development of American music. Black composers (and musicians) of this genre played a vital role in achieving the goals of the Harlem Renaissance, which were racial vindication and “re-representation.” Leaders of the Renaissance believed that African American composers would bring these goals to fruition because composers would remove barriers in education, and they would replace the negative images of Black people with the genuine, positive picture. Today, however, AACM is seldom heard, performed or studied in performances, academia, and in recordings. The lack of knowledge of this genre is a problem because only part of history is being told. This study will use the historical method of inquiry, and it seeks to explore how AACM was initially received and why it is marginalized today. The researcher will locate primary sources that will be analyzed first hand to find meanings and relationships that can provide answers to the research questions.