Sunday, March 13, 2016

CBMR tweets link to Rahni Kennedy's post on Ed Bland on Blog of the Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

The Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago, tweets: 

Read this blog post about Ed Bland by Rahni Kennedy, then come check out the CBMR's collection of his work!

Blog of the Hamon Arts Library

Ed Bland
(Image Courtesy of Marry Batten)

Rahni Kennedy
Several years ago when I was brainstorming for a doctoral performance project, I knew that I wanted to deal with something that had to deal with African-American composers.  This was because through all my studies I found that black composers were seldom represented in the classroom and on the performance stage.  After some initial research I came across the works of Ed Bland mostly because it seemed he had many compositions for clarinet (my instrument).  After acquiring his album Urban Classical, I became fascinated by the music I was listening to and decided to focus my research on him.

The musical compositions of Ed Bland provide great insight into the history of African-American composers in the second half of the 20th century.  With a formal career expanding over a half-century, composing in both the traditional classical style and commercial style, Ed Bland’s music synthesizes of wide variety of stylistic elements which include Western influences, African-American rooted genres (jazz, blues, and gospel), and West African drumming. This adaptation of world music into classical composition exemplifies a recent trend of American composers.

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