Three new books on the history of black music, performance

Black historical documentation and analysis continues to advance rapidly in the 2020s. The death of George Floyd is a tipping point that has sparked mass interest and the acquisition of books that disrupt the whitewashing of history American. Black music history in particular has been an area where scholars, historians, and senior musicians are breaking new ground in exploring, documenting, and offering new inclusive forms of analysis from predominantly musicologists and historians black. Music history through a dark lens is a long underrepresented historical perspective; Nevertheless, three new books will expand the canon of black music history and provide new historical context and diversity to scholarly books and sheet music collections.

Music in Black American Life, 1600-1945 (University of Illinois Press)

“Music in Black American Life” is a collection of articles and analysis originally published in the Black Music Research Journal, the “Music In American Life” book series, and the American Music Journal. The selected writings were chosen from a range of experts who explored the music of black Americans during colonial America through the innovations of the bebop, gospel, and blues era of jazz. Within these sounds and settings, the book examines genres and string music that are lesser known to a wide audience. Contributors include R. Reid Badger, Rae Linda Brown, Samuel A. Floyd Jr., Sandra Jean Graham, Jeffrey Magee, Robert M. Marovich, Harriet Ottenheimer, Eileen Southern, Katrina Dyonne Thompson, Stephen Wade, and Charles Wolfe.

Music in Black American Life, 1945-2020 (University of Illinois Press)

“Music in Black American Life,” the second volume, continues with his selections of writings that were originally published in Black Music Research Journal, American Music and Music in American Life with African American Music in Global Perspective. With contributions from primarily black scholars, this compilation “explores a variety of topics with works that pioneered new methodologies and modes of inquiry for hearing and studying black music”. Spanning from the jazz era of World War II, to the emergence of hip hop in underserved communities in the South Bronx, to the impact of “Hamilton” on mainstream American culture, this book is a wealth of information and stimulating reviews. Contributors include Nelson George, Wayne Everett Goins, Claudrena N. Harold, Eileen M. Hayes, Loren Kajikawa, Robin DG Kelley, Tammy L. Kernodle, Cheryl L. Keyes, Gwendolyn Pough, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Mark Tucker, and Sherrie Tucker.

New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets by Female Composers (Berklee Press)

Publisher: Terri Lyne Carrington

Iconic jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, who leads as founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, has created a visionary collection of scores by female jazz composers. Carrington has built a resource and alternative to book volumes of male-dominated jazz standards, and reinvented what is considered relevant in the canon of jazz music. The music of “New Standards” spans nearly a century, with the work of Lil Hardin Armstrong from 1922 to songs written in 2021 by recent Institute graduates. The collection also includes compositions by Mary Lou Williams, Alice Coltrane, Esperanza Spalding, Geri Allen, Maria Schneider, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Dorothy Ashby, Nubya Garcia, Nicole Mitchell and many more.