A History

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Dr. Linda F. Williams co-authored the texts on “Ragtime,” Syncopated Brass Bands,” New Orleans-Style Jazz,” “Stride Piano,” “Big Band Jazz,” “Swing Bands,” “Bebop,” “Cool,” “Hard Bop,” “Soul Jazz,” “Avant-Garde / Free Jazz,” and “Jazz Fusion.”

Fredara Hadley contributed the text on “Holy Hip-Hop,” and Linda Tillery the text on “Rock.”

Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon and Dr. Fernando Orejuela made valuable suggestions that helped finalize the text on “Freedom Songs” and “Hip Hop,” respectively. My selection of some artists and musical examples resulted from my discussions with Keith McCutchen, Dr. Fernando Orejuela, Tyrone Cooper, and Fredara Hadley.

Jeff Tamarkin provided useful editorial assistance and suggestions.

The text for “Techno” was derived from an essay on the topic by Beverly May that appears in African American Music: An Introduction, edited by Mellonee V. Burnim and Portia K. Maultsby.


Allen, Ray. Singing in the Spirit: African-American Sacred Quartets in New York City. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.

Barlow, William. Looking Up at Down: The Emergence of Blues Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989.

Berlin, Edward A. RAGTIME: A Musical and Cultural History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

Boyer, Horace Clarence. How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel. Washington, DC: Elliott & Clark Publishing, 1995.

Burnim, Mellonee V. and Portia K. Maultsby, eds. African American Music: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Chang, Jeff and DJ Kool Herc. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: St. Martins Press, 2005

Epstein, Dena J. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Gabbard, Krin, ed. Jazz among the Discourses. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995.

Garofalo, Reebee. Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the USA, 4th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007

Gioia, Ted. The History of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Gridley, Mark. Jazz Styles: History and Analysis. 10th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2008.

Harrison, Daphne Duval. Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920s. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988.

Horton, James Oliver, and Lois E. Horton. Hard Road to Freedom: The Story of African America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2002.

Jones, Bessie and Bess Lomax Hawes. Step It Down: Games, Plays, Songs, and Stories from the Afro-American Heritage. New York: Harper and Row, 1972. Keyes, Cheryl L. Rap Music and Street Consciousness. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Neal, Mark Anthony. What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Popular Culture. New York: Routledge, 1998.

Pollard, Deborah Smith. When the Church Becomes Your Party: Contemporary Gospel Music. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2008.

Reagon, Bernice Johnson, ed. We’ll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering African American Gospel Composers. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992.

Riis, Thomas L. Just Before Jazz. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.

Tirro, Frank. Jazz, A History. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993.

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