Concert band music by African -American composers: 1927--1998.
Moss, Myron David
AbstractBeginning with Clarence Cameron White's 1927 <italic>Triumphal March </italic>, this study surveys some seventy years of concert band composition by African-American composers. The study ranges chronologically from 1927 to 1998. There are band compositions by leading African-American composers, including William Grant Still, Ulysses Kay, Roger Dickerson, Hale Smith, T. J. Anderson, Adolphus Hailstork, and Ed Bland. There are jazz compositions by Oliver Nelson, Willie Ruff, Melba Liston, and Carman Moore. Regional composers are represented in the study with unpublished or self-published band compositions. The study also includes music written directly for school bands, including Ed McLin's compositions for young players, Julian Work's pieces for high school bands, and Quincy Hilliard's catalog of music for every grade level. The music covers a broad stylistic range. There are pieces in conservative, romantic styles, atonal compositions, rigorously worked-out serial pieces, compositions utilizing aleatoric techniques, and eclectic pieces drawing from a variety of traditions. The study includes a list of 98 band pieces by forty composers and another 54 educational compositions for school bands by five composers---as complete a list as the author could assemble through consulting published sources and archives. Not all of this music is readily available. Much of it was never published, and many of published pieces are now out of print. A search for scores produced many of the out-of-print pieces, some original manuscripts, and all of the music currently in print, enabling a discussion here of 75 compositions by 32 composers. Musical descriptions of each piece located include data on the music's instrumentation, length, duration, and difficulty. In addition, an analytical section on each composition presents the major thematic material, a description of the melodic and harmonic vocabulary used, and commentary on each piece's style, form, and compositional technique. The conclusions contain a selection of works whose technical command and (in some cases) successful reception in the past make them strong candidates for inclusion in today's band repertoire.
African-americanComposersConcert Band Music
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