African American Art Song: An Opportunity for Better Understanding

Dr. Darryl Taylor
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Black participation in musical culture is far from limited to popular genres such as jazz and blues. For more than a century, African American composers have written in western classical style, yet the works of these musicians is neglected by all but a few performers and scholars.

Commonly, the totality of a scholar/singer's acquaintance with art song literature by African-American composers is limited to spirituals. This manner of training and performance gives a distinct impression to all: African-American contribution to this culture is limited to a style of song some three hundred years old.

A net result of years of research, this presentation acquaints the listener with significant repertoire, personalities, and historical points that point up the need for broader appreciation of this neglected music.

Keywords: African American, Art Song, Music, Diversity, Composers
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies, Teaching and Learning, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: African American Art Song

Dr. Darryl Taylor

Founder, The African American Art Song Alliance

Darryl Taylor's New York Recital debut took place at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. As a young performer has sung in concert halls across the United States and Europe, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Merkin Concert Hall, Barcelona's Palau de la Mùsica, and was a featured artist under the sponsorship of the Cultural Committee for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. His numerous tours of Spain have garnered him particular praise. Founder of the African American Art Song Alliance, Taylor has debuted numerous works, including Daniel Bernard Roumaine's Epilogue, 1965 (a performance with the composer on violin and George Shirley as narrator), Erik Santos' Dreamer: Seven Poems by Langston Hughes, Deon Nielsen Price's To the Children of War, Theodore Wiprud's A Georgia Song. His recording, "Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams", was released on Albany Records and was cited as a top ten best classical recording by American Record Guide in 2001. He recorded "Dreamer: A Portrait of Langston Hughes" for Naxos Records' American Classics Series. In demand a lecturer, Darryl Taylor has enlightened students and faculty of Juilliard School, Manhattan School, the University of Michigan, Duke University, Florida State University, and Morehouse College, among many others. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Darryl Taylor holds degrees from the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan. He is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon Music Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society, and the National Association of Negro Musicians. Dr Taylor serves on the music faculty of the University of California, Irvine.

Ref: H05P0478