By Ingrid Monson
The African Diaspora provides musical case experiences from quite a few areas of the African diaspora, together with Africa, the Caribbean, Latin the United States, and Europe, that have interaction 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)
One might say that it is not properly a noun at all, but a verb…. I define the word to include not only performing and composing…but also listening and even dancing to music; all those involved in any way in a musical performance can be thought of as musicking. (50, emphasis in original) And by extension African American music is “an approach to the act of music making, a way of playing and responding to music” (14). The most expressive moments in or performances of music, he argues, will be those that “most subtly, comprehensively and powerfully [articulate] the relationships of our ideal society—which may or may not have any real, or even possible, existence beyond the duration of the performance” (70).
13 Newsome, like Barth in a previously cited comment, underscores the importance of taking whatever resources one gets from elsewhere and giving them a personal spin, an individual interpretation. He later amplifies his point and Wilson’s previous one by asserting that one’s sound should be consistent regardless of the tune serving as a vehicle for improvisation. Musicians without distinctive sounds tend to place the emphasis in the wrong place, having the attitude that You know, if you play, I don’t know, if you play “Impressions,” [you should] play like Trane [John Coltrane].
I will begin by comparing a number of works by selected scholars interested in accounting for meanings in African American musics (Baraka 1963; Ellison 1964; Murray 1970; 1976; Levine 1977; Small 1987; Floyd 1995). The conclusions of that survey will be placed in relief against the ideas and attitudes of the individuals interviewed during fieldwork conducted in New York City in the mid-1990s. Through such a juxtaposition, I will show that one of the primary forces driving the creation and making possible the interpretation of African American musics and, in particular, jazz is concern both with the blues as an aesthetic or sensibility and with performance as a sacred, ritual act.