Black Music Research Journal

This journal offers articles on philosophy, aesthetics, history and criticism of black music.

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring

"Cien Porciento Tico Tico": Reggae, Belonging, and the Afro-Caribbean Ticos of Costa Rica
"Puerto Limon hands in the air!" The DJ shouted into the microphone in Spanish inflected with a West Indian accent. It was reggae night at Ebony, a San Jose nightclub, in January 2012, and the DJ was calling all limoneuses to raise their hands and...
Freedom Songs: Helping Black Activists, Black Residents, and White Volunteers Work Together in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, during the Summer of 1964
"Freedom songs" is the umbrella term for the diverse body of songs adapted or composed for the civil rights movement, particularly songs in most frequent use in that struggle during the early 1960s. Many of these songs remain familiar today, among...
Ragga Soca Burning the Moral Compass: An Analysis of "Hellfire" Lyrics in the Music of Bunji Garlin
Ragga soca, a music indigenous to the twin island Caribbean nation Trinidad and Tobago, incorporates the freestyle aesthetics of hip-hop lyricists, the political critique and social commentary of calypso, the "chant down Babylon" demeanor and stagecraft...
Revisiting the Katanga Guitar Style(s) and Some Other Early African Guitar Idioms
Before the rise of rap and hip-hop in Africa during the 1990s, the guitar reigned supreme for over a half a century as an integral instrument in syncretized forms of African jazz and popular music. It served as an indispensable resource in an array...
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