The Evolution of Music in Black Music in America by James Haskins

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The Evolution of Music in Black Music in America by James Haskins I have definitely learned a lot about the Evolution of Music in this class. I found it to be very intriguing. So when I was faced with the chore of deciding what I would do my report on, I chose to use the book Black Music in America by James Haskins. This book gave a detailed account of not only the music genres but it’s performers. American music is made up of music from many different types of ethnic backgrounds. What gives this book a plus is that it highlights aspects American music, and its performers. The people and events that really caught my attention were the concert singers, Minstrelsies, Jubilee songs, and brass bands. Born as a slave, a girl by the name of Elizabeth Greenfield moved to Philadelphia. She moved there with her Mistress and her parents. Luckily while in Philadelphia they were set free. At the age of forty-two she moved to buffalo New York in order to embark on new opportunities as a singer. When she reached New York opportunity came knocking. She began a career of concert singing. With a range of three and one quarter octaves you would think that opportunity kept knocking, but it didn’t. Therefore she moved to Europe where she would get the attention and credit that she deserved. While in Europe Elizabeth was shown great appreciation for her talent. Even Queen Victoria demanded that she performed for her at the Buckingham Palace. She gained newfound popularity in the states, because of her new accomplishments. As we know, it wasn’t easy for blacks to make a living in the U.S. That forced blacks to either perform in Europe or the northern states of the U.S. Some blacks even had to resort to performing in Minstrelsies. Minstrelsies... ... middle of paper ... ...ts out. In fact that prompted them to play as loud as possible in order to overwhelm the Creoles. Buddy Bolden was one of the blacks that had the ability to do just that. Along with his strong sound that he strived for, he improvised standard ragtime and blues pieces. Unfortunately he didn’t have as much control over his life that he had over his trombone. He became an alcoholic, contracted syphilis, and then ultimately dies in a mental institution. It is sad that he died without knowing his contribution to the development of what we now call jazz. I made a conscious decision to highlight the information in this book that I had never read about in the past. On the contrary you should know that this book contains very detailed information on the parts of black American music history that is popular in today's society. It covers everything from slave songs to Motown.

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