A historical study of the development of Black music and biographies of selected Black composers

Louchrisa E. Ford High, Tennessee State University


This study was undertaken to investigate the historical development of the spiritual, jazz, gospel, and Black concert music; and the lives and musical contributions of selected Black composers. Additionally, selective lists of choral works, including concert music, spirituals, and gospel songs; audio-visual aids, including video cassettes, films, and filmstrips; and discographies of spirituals, jazz, gospel, and concert music were compiled. Data gathered for this study were limited to four areas of Black music--the spiritual, jazz, gospel, and concert music. This study was significant because it presented outstanding achievements of Blacks in music, and it provided useful information for research and educational purposes. From this historical study, the following conclusions were made: (1) There are strong historical and sociological implications for inclusion of Black music in the curriculum. (2) Even though some progress has been made, the compositions of Black composers are still not widely performed by major orchestras and performing groups. (3) The Black composer of concert music is still encountering serious difficulty in getting works published and recorded. (4) Black music is an a perpetual state of evolution, and there will be many new forms of expressions developed. (5) Black music is an indispensable part of America's musical heritage, and it will continue to be influenced by the music of many different groups and cultures.

Subject Area

Music|Biographies|African Americans

Recommended Citation

Louchrisa E. Ford High, "A historical study of the development of Black music and biographies of selected Black composers" (1988). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9017217.