From spirituals to symphonies: African American women composers and their music by Helen Walker-Hill (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2007) challenges the assumption that black women’s only significant musical contributions have been in the worlds of blues, jazz, pop, and traditional music.
The book includes detailed discussions of the lives and works of Undine Smith Moore (left), Julia Perry, Margaret Bonds, Irene Britton Smith, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Valerie Capers, Mary Watkins, and Regina Harris Baiocchi, all of whom have combined the techniques of Western art music with their own cultural traditions and individual gifts.
This post is part of our series celebrating Black History Month. Throughout February we will be posting about resources and landmark writings in black studies. Click here or on the Black studies category on the right to see a continuously updated page of links to all of our posts in this category.
Below, Tichina Vaughn performs Dream variations, Bonds’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes.