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March 12 , 2008

Musical Landscapes in Color

Conversations with Black American Composers


A sequel to the award-winning The Black Composer Speaks (Scarecrow Press, 1978), this exploration of the creative world of African American composers traces the lives and careers of 40 talented individuals and, in their own words, provides perspectives on a world that has been slow to recognize their remarkable contributions to classical music. The discussion places the music of these composers within the greater context of Western art music, but analyzes it through the lenses of sociology, Western concepts of art and taste, and vernacular musical forms, including spirituals, blues, jazz, and contemporary popular music. Each chapter is devoted to an individual composer, who discusses his or her musical training, compositional techniques and style, and the composer's personal philosophy as reflected in his or her music. A selected list of compositions for each composer is included, as well as a photo and sample of the composer's "hand." Banfield offers unprecedented insight into the history and influence of the African American composer with this documentary, which will appeal to everyone from the music scholar to the general reader.

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