DOI: 10.1177/27527646231217443 ISSN: 2752-7646

Black Music Aesthetics in General Music Part 1: Exploring Black Musics

Loneka Wilkinson Battiste
  • Education
  • Music

Black Music Aesthetics (BMA), guided by conceptual approaches grounded in African belief systems, are found in the structure and performance practices of Black musics. Music education in American society leans strongly toward Western European aesthetics, which includes: the centrality of rhythm, pitch, and harmony to musical understanding; a reliance on written notation for preserving and sharing musical ideas; and a primary focus on sounds. While Black music and musicality can be explored using Western European aesthetics, they cannot be thoroughly explored in this way. In this series of articles, I draw on the work of ethnomusicologists to define BMA and provide concrete examples for incorporating them in general music. The first article in this series provides a historical foundation and definition for BMA and offers examples of how it can be centered in the study of Black musics.

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