The Transformation of Black Music: A Selected Bibliography

October 17th, 2017

The Transformation of Black Music is the long-awaited follow-up to Floyd’s groundbreaking masterpiece The Power of Black Music, which explored the enduring vitality of African musics, myths, and rituals throughout the Diaspora. In their new work, Floyd and Zeck, with a contribution on Afro-modernism by Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., demonstrate how black musics on four continents continue to blossom and create new practices. They situate these musics in the broader framework of cultural, political, and social histories, all the while maintaining a focus on the dynamic musical practices emerging, morphing, and influencing each other both in Africa and the Diaspora. The Transformation of Black Music weaves together the expertise of ethnomusicologists, cultural historians, Americanists, Africanists, and anthropologists into a powerful narrative that provides a deeper understanding of the interrelationships among black musical genres, traditions, and styles with mainstream musical endeavors—historical and contemporary. Melanie Zeck and Bobbi Wilsyn will discuss The Transformation of Black Music on Tuesday 10/24, 6pm at the Seminary Co-op.

The Power of Black Music: Interpreting its History from Africa to the United States by Samuel A. Floyd Jr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)
The Music of Black Americans: A History. 3rd edition by Eileen Southern (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997)
Africa and the Blues by Gerhard Kubik (University Press of Mississippi, 1999)


About the authors: Samuel A. Floyd Jr., who passed away in 2016, was Founding Director of the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) at Columbia College Chicago, author of numerous books and journal articles on the history of black music, and member of the Visiting Committee to the Department of Music, The University of Chicago.

Melanie Zeck, CBMR Research Fellow, managing editor of the Center’s Black Music Research Journal, and PhD candidate (Musicology) at The University of Chicago, worked with Floyd over the last 11 years of his life to bring his monumental work to completion.

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