African-American Baseline Essay -- Music
This is a long essay on African Americans and music. It deals with many issues, from the history and development of African vocal music in America to bios and links on individual musicians. The different genres of African-American music, such as ragtime, blues, jazz and classical, are also discussed and explained.
This interesting link takes you to a link library for further information on family and institutional collections of papers which deal with topics like slave music on plantations, reports on African music by missionaries, and even some scores of early Negro music.
African American Music Research Guides from Indiana University Library
This site provides an annotated listing of African American music research guides from Indiana University Library: Black Music in the United States, Blacks in Classical Music, Bibliography of Black Music, and Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and American Musicians. It's an excellent starting point for a research project.
AMG: Hawaiian Music
Select "World" from the button menu, then choose the "Hawaiian Music" link. While Hawaiian music has received a commercialized rep replete with hula dancers, its early past contained flashy guitarists whose stunning pace represented nothing like the touristy laid-back stringed melodies of popular imagination. Today, many artists are returning to these roots and you can learn more about these artists past and present through this informative article.
Steve Winick discusses Cajun music, "the quintessential sound of the South Louisiana prairies and bayous." This informative article on the history of Cajun music comes from the folk music magazine Dirty Linen.
Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection
Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection is a multi-format ethnographic field collection of traditional fiddle tunes performed by Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia. The online collection includes 184 original sound recordings, 19 pages of fieldnotes, and 69 musical transcriptions with descriptive notes on tune histories and musical features; an illustrated essay about Reed's life, art, and influence; a list of related publications; and a glossary of musical terms. The collection is part of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center, which contains scores of other great educational resources in their American Memory collection.
This is the place for Cajun, Creole, jazz, blues, swamp pop, zydeco, New Orleans rhythm and blues, or any of Louisiana's roots music. With RealAudio or MP3 player, you can hear new and traditional Louisiana music 24 hours a day. The site also features a chat room, discussion board, and extensive links page.
The Mississippi River of Song
This amazing resource leads you up and down the Mississippi river, tracing the long history of song from country to jazz. Discover regional artists and travel with them on a timeless journey through the United States. After five years of research and planning, a Smithsonian production team spent twelve weeks on location in 1997, traveling 12,000 miles in river country and filming 200 hours of original material. A total of 50 acts and over 500 musicians were recorded in 30 towns and cities, in all 10 states along the Mississippi.
The Music of Black Americans: A History
An extract from the book by Eileen Southern, this site fuses music theory and history in its in-depth examination of the origins of the Spiritual and gospel music. The reading level is more suited to educators and advanced students.
Music of the War Between the States
Both the Union and the Confederacy had special songs that encouraged the soldiers, comforted their families, and prepared everyone for battle. This site provides the lyrics to dozens of Civil War songs, and links to articles about band music and bugle calls.
Music at the White House
GVOX and MENC have put together this online musical celebration of the 200th anniversary of the White House. Students and educators across will have fun exploring this exciting series based on the rich musical history of the White House.
Listen to nearly 700 sound recordings of American folksongs from the archives of the Library of Congress. These 1939 recordings represent a broad spectrum of musical styles, including ballads, blues, children's songs, cowboy songs, fiddle tunes, field hollers, lullabies, play-party songs, religious dramas, spirituals, and work songs.