Flaskaland
Sunday, April 27, 2003
 

(From NOLA by Jon Newlin)

"Antonin Dvorak, the Bohemian composer residing in the United States as head of the National Conservatory of Music, wrote in the New York Herald in May of 1893, 'I am now satisfied that the future music of this country must be founded upon what are called the Negro melodies. This must be the real foundation of any serious and original school of composition to be developed in the United States. When I first came here last year I was impressed with this idea, and it has developed into a settled conviction.'

"And so it happened, as it would have even without the benediction of a famous classical composer. In the wake of the 1890s, the period covered in this handsomely produced and formidably researched book, came much of the body (certainly the blood and muscle and guts) of modern popular music: blues, country and urban, gospel, hot jazz and swing and rhythm and blues and rock'n'roll, with no end in or out of sight, and ancestral voices prophesying Waller and Ellington, Bessie Smith and Aretha Franklin, Armstrong and Charlie Parker, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Sonny Rollins."


OUT OF SIGHT:
THE RISE OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC
By Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff
University Press of Mississippi, $75





 




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