Notes from February 4th
Notes from February 4th Classics 102
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Casey Kampegaard on Thursday February 5, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Classics 102 at University of Massachusetts taught by Eric Poehler in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 86 views.
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Date Created: 02/05/15
African American Music The Black Atlantic The Great Migration Geography of Hip Hop The Black Atlantic 0 Africa and black diaspora are inextricably linked through cultural practices in the Black Atlantic 0 Culture is not determined through essences or via static tradition Music is particularly illustrative and constitutive of AfricanAmerican and black identities Essences and pluralities are each wrongheaded ways of approaching the study of cultural identities Gilroy s concept of the Black Atlantic is a quotunit of analysis 0 Allows for analysis of cultural transmission and relationship among black peoples without resorting to racial essence or structural retentions from Africa 0 Relies instead on cultural processes and exchanges Musicmaking is a practice that allows for agency for change in tradition o Tradition is not simple replicating identity tradition allows for the creation and performance of cultural identity Diaspora The Atlantic acts as a space that does not divide cultures but allows for exchanges 0 Culture and tradition is founded on change not on static retention Diaspora quotDe ning condition of spacequot 0 What is diaspora o For Gilroy diaspora is a critical concept for understanding the quotun nished history of blacks in the modern world Relationship between local global Diaspora engenders a relationship between local and global o Gilroy refers to vernacular the local iterations of culture 0 When examining black musics it is important to remember the local 0 Must not ignore the vernacular in favor of broad and essentializing concepts of blackness Back on the Block Quincy ones Emphasis of Hip Hop s relationship to Jazz Embodiment of the Changing Same Also an attempt to introduce the vernacular quotThe Block For Gilroy fails on the level of authenticity because it fails to particularize o Generalizes the experiences of black music as one Hip Hop and Jazz and life on the block are the same for all African Americans 0 quotBack on the Block engages and comments on the current for 1991 state of black music but misses the crucial particularities for black music and musicians 0 As Gilroy points out theories of blackness often oversimplify the experiences of black people to a single and undifferentiated identity 0 For Gilroy the experience of being black is similar and related in terms of cultural practice but is different depending on place and agency 0 Afrocentric blackness for Gilroy ought to be supplanted by a more particular view of black identity and black musics Opposition to racism while also recognizing the diversity of black musical cultural identities and practices Migration Experience of migration is constitutive of black cultural expression 0 The history of black peoples is a history of movement and migration 0 A history of changing and adapting cultural identities and agencies 0 Black music is not a xed product that black peoples from America to Africa quottap into 0 Black music unites subject positions across the Black Atlantic Two Examples for Gilroy s Black Atlantic 0 The Fisk Jubilee Singers 0 Earliest tours of FJS countered the essentialist musics put forth by minstrelsy as being of black America 0 Fisk tours allowed a cosmopolitan presentation of black music that was at once more measured and more authentic than that put forth in other forms of popular culture of the late 19th century as in minstrel troupes 0 LL CoolJ quotAround the Way Girlquot 0 Gilroy deals with sexual politics of African American musics obliquely o The woman at the center of the song is not an essentialized portrait of blackness but a woman of lived experience in the African American community For Gilroy this is a more authentic presentation than Jones quotBack on the Block The Great Migration Many AfricanAmericans move from the rural south to the industrial north for many reasons but the two most common are to escape the Jim Crowe laws and to obtain jobs Occurred largely between 19001940 though lingering migration continued through the 60 s 0 Very important for music as blues and jazz musics were crucial to the cultural identity of displaced peoples during the great migration Folklore and the Great Migration Jon Michael Spencer39s argument with respect to the Great Migration is that it led to the gradual dissipation of folklore and religiosity as associated with rural identity Spencer39s main argument isn t solid 0 He ignores the relationship between the sacred and the secular in African American musics and has a strict and essentialist de nition of religiosity and folklore 0 His understanding of the city is also one of the modernist alienation without a nuanced understanding of the formations of communities and agency as in Gilroy What Can We Take Away from Spencer39s Argument Continuum of blues styles that emerge and transform as part of the GM 0 Spencer is right in identifying the changes in blues styles that result from the shifting of places and cultural contexts of the GM 0 Country Blues City Blues Urban Blues 0 the changes in content that Spencer identi es are valid 0 changes in text and instrumentation Spencer does offer a vivid picture of the changing landscape of AfricanAmerican music as a result of the Great Migration 0 His conclusions about the meaning of these changes in landscape are where he misses the mark 0 What the Great Migration does mean for religiosity and folklore are changes and adaptations to the stories and traditions of the south in order to provide new meanings understandings and communities in the urban north Demonstration of relationship between race and class as in Gilroy 0 Race is the modality through which class is performed 0 For Spencer middleclass black audiences that identi ed with the church didn t recognize the spirituality in evidence in urban blues Gritty urban environment of lower class is more earthy and secular Three examples of blues during the GM 0 Tom Rushen Blues Charley Patton 0 Country blues Delta Blues straight from the Mississippi Delta 0 What are the stylistic structural elements Usually one singer and one instrument Call and response in this song 0 What are the elements of musical process context Improvised Abides by blues form 0 St Louis Blues Bessie Smith 0 City Blues Classic Blues 0 What are the stylistic structural elements More performative aspect to this song More instruments Call and response 0 What are the elements of musical process context More nuanced and formalized presentation in the structure of the blues aspect of the song Text is different this is generalized whereas Tom Rushen was a speci c story Mannish Boy Muddy Waters 0 Urban Blues Chicago Electric Blues 0 What are the stylistic structural elements Call and response Repetition of the same riff Even more instruments including electric instruments 0 What are the elements of musical process context Development of how these musics connect is unique
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