Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Encyclopedia.com: 'The British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was the first major classical composer of African descent.'

[Missa de Santa Cecília, Vol. 1; José Mauricio Nunes Garcia; Orquesta Sinfônica Brasileira; Atracao (2004)

On November 6, 2010 AfriClassical posted: “Was Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) '...the first major classical composer of African descent?” We explained that an article on the composer at Encyclopedia.com started with this statement: “The British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was the first major classical composer of African descent.” We noted, “To say that he was '...the first major classical composer of African descent' is to disregard at least two earlier composers who are also featured at AfriClassical.com” We identified them as the Afro-Brazilian composer José Mauricio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830) and the Afro-French composer Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799)

AfriClassical.com was founded to promote awareness of African Heritage in Classical Music. For more than 10 years we have concentrated on creating awareness of composers and performers of African descent in the genre of Western Classical Music. In this case the life of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is presented, but the reader is also led to believe that this composer is the earliest major classical composer of African descent. In fact, such a composer was born at least as early as 1745, about 130 years earlier. This misrepresents the period in which such composers lived by more than a century. That is a significant discrepancy.

Encyclopedia.com is copyrighted by HighBeamTM Research, Inc., so after we failed to receive a response to our online comment made on the encyclopedia's web form, we phoned HighBeam. A company representative told us that HighBeam Research cannot make changes to the content of articles provided by the various publications. This article is found at: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2506300046.html and is labeled as being from the Encyclopedia of World Biography. As of this writing the sentence in question remains online.

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