Harlemand The New "Negro" Changes
Thehistorical progress of the African Americans in the field of musicwas characterized by the emergence of Blues and Jazz music which wasprominent among the African Americans and was also classified as“Race Music.” The African music developments began way back inthe early parts of the 20th century. The African Americans at thistime used music to air out their views as a community. Thedevelopment in music was also contributed to by the evolution in thevisual arts and the Harlem Renaissance (InSherrard-Johnson, 2015).The Harlem Renaissance was significant in bringing the originalcultural identity of the blacks and in the process awakening greatAfrican American Talents.
BillieHoliday’s music on Strange Fruit depicts an era whereAfrican-American music was about flexing the vocals. In her song, shetells a story but with minimal instrumentals. The music is mainlyabout the story line of the lyrics in the music. Besides, she tendsto release the emotions embedded in the musical lyrics. DukeEllington’s track “It don’t mean a thing” on the other handportrays an era where music was judged on the type of musicalinstruments and the prowess in playing them. This is seen when Dukebegins his performance by playing the violin on his own. At this timehe shows his ability and talent in playing the Violin, and on theother hand, his background instrument players also show the samecommitment. Cab Calloway on the other hand in his Minnie the Moocherportrays a mixture of the instrumental prowess and the vocals as wellas the stage performance. He displays an artistic property and anexemplary stage performance that lightens the audience. An analysisof the three artists depicts a significant change in the AfricanAmerican musical performances and the history of shifts in theAfrican American musical, artistic area.
InSherrard-Johnson, C. (2015). Acompanion to the Harlem Renaissance.