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Black Popular Music Collection

 Collection
Identifier: aarl001-003

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 55 musical records (of which 11 records are of 78 medium size plates and 44 are of 44 small size plates) of black musicians. The musical recordings include a wide range of music from jazz, blues, Soul to gospel. The intension for this collection is to provide access to a wide variety of Black Popular Music, also to enrich your knowledge of black cultural experiences, expression, and representations through this musical collection.

Dates

  • 1946-1972

Restrictions on Use

This collection is available for use only on the second floor (Archives Division) of the Auburn Avenue Research Library. There are no restrictions on research use of the collection, but permission must be obtained for reproductions of materials for which the Research Library does not hold copyright to researcher only for "Fair Use" as defined in the copyright law (Title 17, United States Code). Also permission must be obtained to publish reproductions from materials for which the Research Library does hold copyright for one time use only.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

Black Popular Music is a classification of music originated from African American musicians. The music characteristics includes memorable and or simple melodic lines, easy harmonics, and straightforward rhythms, moderate tempos, catchy, symmetrical melodies, in combination with bebop structure. It may be safe to say that the majority of Black popular tunes have an Afro style about them while in other cases it may be interesting to discover some of the influences that affected the composers of such songs.

It was from these musical characteristics that gave birth to the musical genres of what is today known as Jazz which started out with a mixture of many types of music. Its roots date back to the 1880's with African origins. Jazz combines elements of African music with elements of Western European music. The birthplace of that combination, which is Jazz, is said to be New Orleans. One theory as to why New Orleans is the birthplace is contributed to the black Creole subculture. Jazz made it possible for African-American music to be imitated for the first time by white musicians. The broad emotional meaning of the genre allowed such cross-cultural development without being "watered down". From jazz grew many different elements within it. Bebop, swing, Boogie Woogie, Free jazz and Hard Bop were all examples of the experimentation the musicians of the time were making to elevate the sound; Blues-secular folk music-an expressive form of music with soulful feel of gospel blended in, from its origin in the South in the early 20 th century had become by 1960s one of the most important influence on the American musical scene. Gospel-African-American music derived from church worship services and from spiritual and blues singing. Funk-an African American musical style-emanated from African-American oral tradition, and is a rhythm driven musical genre popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. Rhythm & blues-predominantly a vocal genre was often used for dancing and very popular in the late 1940s through the early 1960s. Soul-emerged in the mid 1960s was a single prominent element of musical spontaneity combined with pervasive musical and extra musical control. Finally Rock 'n' roll-essentially a form of rhythmic zed blues, became a dominant popular style in 1955.

The history of Black popular music cannot be complete without a little investigation about its origin. The Black popular music emanates from black music history that started from Work song/Spiritual (1619)--chant and lyrics derived from everyday life of slavery, where voice was used as an instrument and set the scene for what was to come. Without the Work song, none of the musical genres that came after could have existed. The "Call and Response" form of these work songs came straight out of the Slaves' African heritage.

Today, it may be safe to say that majority of American popular music of the 1950s, based chiefly on elements of vernacular of African American music.

Extent

0.5 Linear feet

Language

English

Overview

This collection contains 55 musical records (of which 11 records are of 78 medium size plates and 44 are of 44 small size plates) of black musicians. The musical recordings include a wide range of music from jazz, blues, Soul to gospel. The intention for this collection is to provide access to a wide variety of Black Popular Music, also to enrich your knowledge of black cultural experiences, expression, and representations through this musical collection. The collection has been arranged into the following series: I. Record titles, the artist, label and year of production; series II. Music category; series III. Photographs.

Series

  1. Series I: Record titles, the artist, label and year of production, 1946-1969
  2. Series II: Music category.
  3. Series III: Photographs.

Provenance

The Auburn Avenue Research Library, Archives Division purchased the Phonographs from Mr. Mike Hurtt and the Photographs from Mr. Jim Alexander, in 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Okezie E. Amalaha. Completed in 2003
Title
Inventory of the Black Popular Music Collection aarl001-003aarl001-003
Author
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
Date
2004 September 15
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

Contact:
101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303
404-613-4032