While there are hundreds of African-American composers, too often they remain unfamiliar to performers and to audiences. In response, the Center for Black Music Research has worked for decades to create an unparalleled collection of 4500 musical scores by black composers, as well as 5400 books and dissertations and 11,000 sound recordings! Additional resources are:
Additionally, the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Music by Black Composers project is creating, among other things, educational performance volumes of black composers’ music for young violinists, while the Hildegard Publishing Company provides scores by African-American composers for purchase online.
Some performers working to promote African-American composers’ music include the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra African American Network, and the Colour of Music Festival.
As a starting point, read about prominent African-American composers like Scott Joplin, George Walker and William Grant Still, as well as other composers of African descent, in this Guardian article, and read about contemporary African American composers in this WFMT blog post!
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