CONTEMPORARY ART MUSIC TRADITIONS OF AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA:
ISSUES OF RACE, IDENTIY AND CANON

nb: to be expanded and adapted to suit Semester sytsem

COURSE OBJECTIVE

This course will examine a selective corpus of published and unpublished musical works by contemporary composers
of sub-Saharan Africa and those of African descent, especially African-American composers. The course will explore
in detail the musical vocabularies, stylistic tendencies, as well as the sociocultural milieu shaping the musical language(s)
of these composers. A major task is to determine the extent to which cultural, political, ideological, and indigenous musical
resources serve as a frame of reference, consciously or unconsciously, for the composers. The course will seek new
analytical perspectives that would better explain not only the manner in which the background musical and cultural resources
constitute a common frame of reference but also the idiosyncratic ways in which these resources are inscribed in individual
pieces. Musical examples and and issues of identity will be discussed frther along parallel processes in literary circles and
visual arts. The list of composers to be studied will include these: Olly Wilson, Wynton Marsalis, Anthony Davis, Hannibal
Lokumbe, David Baker, etc. For Africa: the Pan-African Orchestra, Akin Euba, Justinian Tamusuza, Gyimah Labi, Joshua
Uzoigwe, etc.. A select African-American women composers will also be briefly surveyed. The course will be supplemented
by intensive listening and video examples, as well as live demonstrations (include visiting artists and scholars) and concerts.

Objectives:

to expose students to hitherto unknown but significant body of works by African composers and those of African descent
to establish the common as well as the idiosyncratic tendencies in the works of contemporary African composers and
those of the diaspora
to establish the influences of indigenous musical and cultural background on the music of contemporary African composers
and those of the diaspora
to provide analytical perspectives that are consistent with musical languages and sociocultural implications of the works
to create an awareness of the "African presence" in the larger international world of art music
to develop a coherent conceptual framework for understanding and appreciating the music of African composers and those
of the African diaspora

Main Texts:

Roach, Hildred. Black American Music: Past and Present. 2nd edition. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing, 1992 ML3556 R58

Omojola, Bode. Nigerian Art Music, with Introductory Study of Ghanaian Art Music. Ibadan: Institute Français de
Recherche en Afrique, University of Ibadan, 1995

Suplementary Texts

Baker, David N. et al., ed. The Black Composer Speaks. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1977 ML390 B64

Banfield, William. Landscapes in Color: Conversations, Perspectives and Visions of American Composers

Kebede, Ashenafi. Roots of Black Music: The Vocal, Instrumental, and Dance Heritage of Africa and Black America.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1982 ML350 K35

Nketia, J.H. Kwabena. The Music of Africa. New York: Norton, 1974

Roberts, John Storm. Black Music of Two Worlds. New York: Praeger, 1972 ML3556 R6

Sourthern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans. 3rd edition. New York: Norton, 1997 ML3556.S74 M8 1997

Uzoigwe, Joshua. Akin Euba: An Introduction to the Life and Music of a Nigerian Composer. Bayreuth: University of Bayreuth, 1992

Evaluation:

Grades will be assigned according to the following criteria:

70%--a major research paper that is analytical in nature and addresses a specific issue or problem discussed in class

30%--class participation, brief oral reports and reading assignments

Reserve Materials:

Listening selections will supplement class discussions/examples; these items will be available at the Audio-Visual section
of the Music and Dance Library, Sullivant Hall. Supplementary reading materials as well as relevant scores will be placed on
reserve at the Music and Dance Library

Deadlines, policies, disclaimers, etc.:

The last meeting of the class will be devoted to paper presentations. Official examination time slot could also be used for
this purpose if necessary

Class participation includes voluntary learning and performance (brief demos) of pieces by composers under study

Final term papers (typed, doublespaced), which may range from any length between 12 and 25 pages, must be submitted
on the last day of classes. Extended music examples must be appended to the text and may not be counted as part of the total paper length

Instructor will discuss in class possible research topics. Reading assignment will be distributed among students to ensure
adequate coverage of each week's list but all will be encouraged to read, as much as possible, the rest of the reading items.
Many of the bibliographic items are to help you in your research work.


 

*The instructors reserves the right to change, substitute, and add to the weekly schedule

SCHEDULE

Week 1

-- global dimensions of representation and identity through the arts

-- overview of indigenous musical resources of colonial and post-colonial Africa

-- patterns of post-independence national and cultural identities in Africa and their implications for artistic/musical expressions

(African personality, Pan-Africanism, Négritude, and documents of the OAU)

Reading Assignment for this week 1:

Bottomley, "Culture, Ethnicity and the Politics/Poetics of Representation"

Irele, The African Experience in Literature and Ideology, (pp.67-124 on "What is Négritude?",
Négritude and African Personality", and "Pan-Africanism and African Nationalism", especially this last one)

Lemelle, Sidney. "The Politics of Cultural Existence: Pan-Africanism, Historical Materialism and Afrocentricity,"
in Lemelle and Kelley, Imagining Home, pp. 331-350

Nketia, The Music of Africa, chapter 2--"Music in Community Life," pp.21-34.

Roach, Black American Music, pp. 7-17{"African Heritage")

Ryker, Harrison, ed. New Music in the Orient (selected pages to be announced)

Week 2

-- discussion of Irele, "Is African Art Music Possible?" (discussion with Irele)

-- preliminary discussions on parallel courses of developments and debates in African literature and philosophy

-- colonial legacy and the formative influences of the church on art music culture in Africa

--choral music: constraints and opportunities for a leading genre of composition

Reading Assignment for this week 2:

Agawu, "Conversation with Ephraim Amu"

Irele, "Is African Art Music Possible?"

Omojola, Nigerian Art Music, pp. 1-38 (Introduction/Historical Background)

Roach, Black American Music, pp. 295-296

Week 3

--the Pan-African Orchestra

Reading Assignment for this week 3:

Avorgbedor, "The Pan-African Orchestra..."

Euba, "Creating Authentic Forms of New African Art Music"

Mensah, Atta Anan. "Compositional Practices in African Music"

Stokes, ed. Ethnicity, Identity, and Music

Week 4

the music of Amu and Nketia

-- techniques and processes of incorporating and interpreting indigenous resources

-- discrete indigenous musical resources--pitch, rhythm, and language

Reading Assignment for this week 4:

Agawu, "The Impact of Language on Musical Composition in Ghana "

Dor, George. "Trends and Stylistic Traits in the Art Compositions of E. Amu, N.Z. Nayo, and J.H.K.Nketia"

Nketia, "Exploring African Musical Resources in Contemporary Compositions"

Omojola, Nigerian Art Music, pp.149-164

Week 5

the music of Euba and Labi

-- explorations in "African pianism"

-- Euba at the crossroads of 20th-Ccentury atonal procedures and Yoruba musical practices: the vocal/chamber works

Reading Assignment for this week 5:

Omojola, Nigerian Art Music ("African Pianism," chapter 4, pp. 79-88,)

Troup, "Towards an African Pianism: Interculturalism on the March"

Uzoigwe, Akin Euba: An Introduction to the Life and Music of a Nigerian Composer (pages to be announced)

Euba, "Intercultural Expressions in Neo-African Art Music: Methods, Models and Means"

Week 6

--theoretical implications and the quest for identity in African Literature and Philosophy

--building a framework for identitying African idendity in composition--the folklore-in- literature identification model

Reading Assignment for this week 6:

Euba, "Intercultural Expressions in Neo-African Art Music: Methods, Models and Means"

Hountonjin, African Philosophy

Irele, "Is African Art Music Possible?" ; The African Experience in Literature and Ideology

Nketia, "Exploring African Musical Resources in Contemporary Compositions"

Omojola, pp.165-169 ""Summary and Conclusions")

??? "A theory for Identifying Folklore in Literature"

Wolff, "The Ideology of Autonomous art"

Week 7

the '20s and '60s background to art music in African-American society

--shifting currents: Harlem Renaissance artists; the Black Arts Movement

-- "black aesthetic" and parallels from literature, painting, dance, and music

--introduction to contemporary performing artists

Reading Assignment for week 7:

Hutchinson, The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White (chapter on "Reading these United States")

Jones (Baraka), "A Black Value System,"

Jones (Baraka), Blues People (browse)

Neal, Larry. "Any Day Now: Black Art and Black Liberation"

Ogren, Kathy J. "'What is Africa to Me?': African Strategies in the Harlem Renaissance"

Powell, "Art History and Black Memory: Toward a "Blues Aesthetic"

Roach, Black American Music, pp.187-188; 269-272

Southern, pp406-451 ("Harlem Renaissance")

Walters, Pan Africanism in the African Diaspora: An analysis of Modern Afrocentric Political Movements

Week 8

--African-American "folk" genres as resources (specific composers, early and contemporary)

--improvisation as "cultural presence/affirmation": Davis & Hannibal

Reading Assignment for this week 8:

Roach, 39-61

Baker, Blues, Ideology (pp to be announced

Floyd, The Power of Black Music (pp to be announced)

Gates, The Signifying Monkey (pp to be announced)

Wilson, "The Heterogeneous Sound Ideal"

Wilson, "The Black-American Composer"

Week 9

--continuation of improvisation as "cultural presence" (Marsalis)

--diversity among contemporary African-American composers (selective composers and their contrastive features/approaches)

Reading Assignmenfor this week 9:

Floyd, The Power of Black Music

Gilroy, "Sounds Authentic: Black Music, Ethnicity, and the Challenge of a Changing Same"

Roach, Black American Music (selections from chapter 10,13)

Week 10

--diversity in the African-American art music tradition, contd.

-- building a theoretical framework----signifying and the blues paradigms

--alternative theories, models, and perspectives on African retentions

Reading Assignment for this week 10:

Baker (David), The Black Composer Speaks (pp to be announced)

Baker, Blues, Ideology

Gilroy, "Sounds Authentic: Black Music, Ethnicity, and the Challenge of a Changing Same"

Jones (Baraka),

Addison, The Black Aesthetic

Roach, Black American Music (selections from chapters 10, 13)

Shapiro, "The Politics of Representation"

GO TO THE READING LIST


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