Academic journal article Black Music Research Journal

Introduction

Academic journal article Black Music Research Journal

Introduction

Article excerpt

This special issue of the Black Music Research Journal, entitled "Music of Black Los Angeles" (MBLA), includes essays on African music (Ruskin), spirituals (Caldwell), jazz (Dickerson, Meadows, and Sharp), art music (DjeDje), gospel-influenced praise and worship music (Johnson), electro hop (Jimenez), hip hop (Zanfagna), and black Hollywood (Patterson). The essays are organized historically, based on when musicians arrived or the years musical traditions were most prominent in the city. Thus, the time period for essays extends from the 1920s and 1930s, with discussion of art music to the late 2000s and present-day developments in sacred and secular music.

Except for Bette Cox's Music in the Central Avenue Community, 1890-c. 1955 (1996), MBLA is distinct from most edited works on the subject in that it focuses on Los Angeles (the city) as a place and space. Previous publications-Black Music Research Bulletin (1988), Black Music Research Journal (1989), and California Soul: Music of African Americans in the West (DjeDje and Meadows 1998)-were concerned with African-American music in the state of California. In focusing on the city, MBLA authors examine the degree to which blacks have impacted the musical landscape of Los Angeles, conduct analyses to determine what is special about the music and culture of black Los Angeles, and explore factors that have caused music making in Los Angeles to be distinct (or similar) to that of other cities. Most important, the authors demonstrate how Los Angeles, in varied ways, has both shaped and been shaped by the music and expressive culture of its musicians and residents. …

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