Selected Bibliographic Sources

The selected bibliographic sources below either specifically discuss Afrocentric music and musicians or make some reference to the subject.
Sources for specific musicians covered by Afrocentric Voices are accessed from the biographies page.


Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
Biographies & Biographical Sources
Histories, Chronologies
Bibliographies, Discographies, Catalogs,
Congresses, Iconographies

Indexes & Atlases
Music Criticism
Subject-Relevant Musical Forms
Miscellaneous Subjects
Journals and Journal Guides
Articles from Periodicals/Serials/Newspapers

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790-1950. Microform. Alexandria, Va.: Chadwyck-Healey, 1987.

Burkett, Randall K., Nancy Hall Burkett, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Black Biography, 1790-1950: A Cumulative Index. Alexandria: Chadwyck-Healey, 1991.

Baskin, Wade, Richard N. Runes. Dictionary of Black Culture. New York: Philosophical Library,.

Hitchcock, H. Wiley, and Stanley Sadie, eds. The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. 4v. London: Macmillan, 1986.  [SF/CBMR]

Low, W. Augustus, Virgil A. Clift. Encyclopedia of Black America. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981.

Peterson, Bernard L. A Century of Musicals in Black and White: An Encyclopedia of Musical Stage Works By, About, or Involving African Americans. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.

Ploski, Harry A., James Williams, comp. The Negro Almanac: A Reference Work on the African American, 5th ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989.

Rywell, Martin, ed. Afro-American Encyclopedia. North Miami, Fla.: Educational Book Publishers.

Sadie, Stanley, John Tyrrell, eds. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed. New York: Grove, 2001. 29 v.

Salzman, Jack, David Lionel Smith, Cornel West, eds. Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. New York: Macmillan Library Reference, 1996.

Smith, Eric Ledell. Blacks in Opera: An Encyclopedia of People and Companies, 1873-1993. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1994.

Biographies & Biographical Sources

Abdul, Raoul. Blacks in Classical Music: A Personal History. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978. [RH]

Adams, Russell L. Great Negroes Past and Present, 3rd ed., rev. Chicago: Afro-American Publishing Co., 1994.

Arvey, Verna. In one lifetime. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1984.

Berry, Lemuel. Biographical Dictionary of Black Musicians and Music Educators. [S.l.] : Educational Book Publishers, 1978.

Carter, Madison H. An Annotated Catalog of Composers of African Ancestry. New York: Vantage Press, 1986.

Cuney-Hare, Maud. Negro Musicians and Their Music. New York: Da Capo Press, 1974.

Green, Mildred Denby. Black Women Composers: A Genesis. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1983. [SF/CBMR]

Holly, Ellistine Perkins. Biographies of Black Composers and Songwriters: A Supplementary Textbook. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1990. [SF/CBMR]

Logan, Rayford W., and Michael R. Winston, eds. Dictionary of American Negro Biography. New York: Macmillan, 1972.

Overmyer, Grace. Famous American Composers. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1945.

Reis, Claire. Composers in America: Biographical Sketches of Living Composers with a Record of Their Works, 1912-1937. New York: Macmillan, 1938.

Robinson, Wilhelmena S. International Library of Negro Life and History: Historical Negro Biographies. International Library of Afro-American Life and History, v. 5. New York: Publishers Co., 1967.

Southern, Eileen. Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1982.

Still, Judith Anne, Michael J. Dabrishus, and Carolyn L. Quin. William Grant Still: a Bio-bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996.

Story, Rosalyn M. And So I Sing: African-American Divas of Opera and Concert. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1990.

Woodward, Sidney. Out of Bondage to a Place of Esteem and Trust: The Story of a Career Unique in Musical History. New York: Merchantile Press, 1918.

Histories, Chronologies

Ammer, Christine. Unsung: A History of Women in American Music. Century ed. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 2001.

Caldwell, Hansonia LaVerne. African American Music: A Chronology 1619-1995. Los Angeles: Ikoro Communications, 1996.

Dizikes, John. Opera in America : A Cultural History. New Haven : Yale University Press, 1993.

Floyd, Jr., Samuel A. The Power of Black Music: Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States. New York: Oxford University
Press, 1995. [BCM]

Green, Mildred Denby. “A Study of the Lives and Works of Five Black Women Composers in America.” D.Mus.E. thesis, University of Oklahoma,

Haskins, James. Black Music in America: A History through Its People. New York: T.Y. Crowell, 1987.

Holland, Ted. This Day in African-American Music. San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1993.

Locke, Alain. The Negro and His Music — Negro Art Past and Present. New York: Arno Press and New York Times, 1969.

Patterson, Lindsay, ed. The Afro-American in Music and Art. International Library of Afro-American Life and History, v. 6. Cornwells Heights, Pa.: Publishers Agency, 1978.

Roach, Hildred. Black American Music: Past and Present. 2nd ed. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Publishing, 1992.

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1997.

Spencer, Jon Michael. Protest & Praise: Sacred Music of Black Religion. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

________. Re-Searching Black Music. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996.

Stewart, Earl E. African-American Music: An Introduction. New York: Schirmer Books ; London: Prentice Hall International, 1998.

Bibliographies, Discographies, Catalogs, Congresses, Iconographies

Brown, Rae Linda. Music, Printed and Manuscript, in the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of Negro Arts and Letters: An Annotated
. New York: Garland, 1982.

Clough, Francis F., and G.J. Cuming. The World’s Encyclopedia of Recorded Music. London: Sidgwick & Jackson Limited, 1952.

de Lerma, Dominique-René. Bibliography of Black Music. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981-84. 4 v.

________. Concert Music and Spirituals: A Selective Discography. Nashville, Tenn.: Fisk University, Institute for Research in Black American Music, 1981.

Floyd, Jr., Samuel A., ed. Black Music in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Reference and Research Materials. Millwood, N.Y.: The Scarecrow Press, 1987.

George, Zelma W. A Guide to Negro Music: An Annotated Bibliography of Negro Folk Music, And Art Music by Negro Composers or Based on Negro Thematic Material. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1953.

Gray, John, comp. Blacks in Classical Music: A Bibliographical Guide to Composers, Performers and Ensembles. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Greene, Richard. Black Classical Music Composers: a Comprehensive Discography of Recordings Available on Compact Disc. [Ardmore, Pa.: s.n.], 1998.

Johnson, James Peter. Bibliographic Guide to the Study of Afro-American Music. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Libraries, 1973.

Miller, Philip C. Vocal Music. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955.

Oja, Carol J. American Music Recordings: Discography of 20th Century U.S. Composers. Brooklyn, NY: Institute for Studies in American Music, Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, 1982.

Skowronski, JoAnn. Black Music in America: A Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1981.

Southern, Eileen, Josephine Wright, comps. African-American Traditions in Song, Sermon, Tale, and Dance, 1600-1920: An Annotated Bibliography of Literature, Collections, and Artworks. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.

_______. Images : Iconography of Music in African-American Culture, 1770s-1920s. New York: Garland Pub., 2000.

Stewart-Green, Miriam. Women Composers: A Checklist of Works for the Solo Voice. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1980. [SF/CBMR]

Tischler, Alice. Fifteen Black American Composers: A Bibliography of Their Works. Detroit: Information Coordinators, 1981. [SF/CBMR]

Turner, Patricia.K Afro-American Singers: An Index and Preliminary Discography of Long-Playing Recordings of Opera, Choral Music, and Song. Minneapolis: Challenge Productions, 1977.

________. Dictionary of Afro-American Performers: 78 RPM and  Cylinder Recordings of Opera, Choral Music and Songs, c. 1900-1949. New York: Garland Publishing, 1990.

Walker-Hill, Helen. Music by Black Women Composers: A Bibliography of Available Scores. CBMR Monograph, no. 5. Chicago: Center for Black Music Research, 1995. [SF/CBMR]

White, Evelyn Davidson. Choral Music by African American Composers: a Selected, Annotated Bibliography, 2nd ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1999.

Indexes & Atlases

Abromeit, Kathleen A. An Index to African-American Spirituals for the Solo Voice. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 1999.

De Charms, Desiree and Paul F. Breed. Songs in Collections: An Index. Detroit: Information Coordinators, 1966. [SF/CBMR]

de Lerma, Dominique-René, and Marsha J. Reisser. Black Music and Musicians in the New Grove Dictionary of American Music and the New Harvard Dictionary of Music. CBMR Monographs, no. 1. Chicago: Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College, 1989.

Sears, Minnie E. Song Index. Reprint. Hamden, Conn: Shoe String Press, 1966. [SF/CBMR]

Vann, Kimberly R. Black Music in Ebony: An Annotated Guide to the Articles on Music in Ebony Magazine, 1945-1985. CBMR Monographs, no. 2. Chicago: Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College. 1990.

Music Criticism

Breckenridge, Stan L. “African-American music: structure and analysis of vocal performance, 1955-95.” Ph.D diss., Claremont Graduate University, 1998.

Cone, James H. The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation. New York: Seabury Press, 1972.

Floyd, Jr., Samuel A., ed. Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance: a Collection of Essays. Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies, No. 128. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.

Jones, Arthur C. Wade in the Water: the Wisdom of the Spirituals. New York: Orbis ; Northam: Roundhouse, 1999.

Keck, George R. and Sherrill V. Martin, ed. Feel the Spirit: Studies in Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Music. Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies, No. 119. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Perry, Frank. Afro-American Vocal Music: A Select Guide to Fifteen Composers. Berrien Spring, MI, Vande Vere, 1991.

Roberts, John Storm. Black Music of Two Worlds : African, Caribbean, Latin, and African-American Traditions, 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer, 1998.

Southern, Eileen, comp. Readings in Black American Music. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 1983. [SF/CBMR]

Solie, Ruth A., ed. Musiocology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Thomas, Velma Maia. No man can hinder me: the journey from slavery to emancipation through Song. New York: Crown, 2001.

Wright, Josephine, with Samuel A. Floyd, Jr., ed. New Perspectives on Music: Essays in Honor of Eileen Southern. Warren, Mich.: Harmonie Park Press, 1992.

Subject-Relevant Musical Forms

Caldwell, Hansonia LaVerne. “Black Idioms in Opera As Reflected in the Works of Six Afro-American Composers.” Thesis, University of Southern
California, 1974.

Clency, Cleveland Charles. “European Classical Influences in Modern Choral Settings of the African-American Spiritual: a Doctoral Essay.” Mus.D. thesis, University of Miami, 1999.

Cruz, Jon. Culture on the Margins: the Black Spiritual and the Rise of American Cultural Interpretation. Princeton, N.J.; Chichester: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Dent, Cedric Carl. “The Harmonic Development of the Black Religious Quartet Singing Tradition.” Ph.D diss., University of Maryland-College Park, 1997.

Dunn-Powell, Rosephanye. “The Solo Vocal Writing Style of William Grant Still.” Mus.D. thesis, Florida State University, 1993.

Epstein, Dena J. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Friedberg, Ruth C. American Art Song and American Poetry. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, 1987. 3 v.

Hawkins, Kimberly. ” Heard an Angel Singing: African-American Spirituals in the Harlem Renaissance.” Ph.D diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1997.

Katz, Bernard, ed. The Social Implications of Early Negro Music in the United States. New York: Arno Press, 1969.

Krehbiel, Henry Edward. Afro-American Folk Songs: A Study in Racial and National Music. New York: G. Schirmer, 1914.

Lovell, Jr., John. Black Song: The Forge and the Flame. New York: Paragon House Publishers, 1972.

McCorvey, Everett David. “The Art Songs of Black American Composers.” Ph.D. diss., The University of Alabama, 1989.

Phillips, Mark. “Personality characteristics of undergraduate music majors in selected historically African-American colleges and universities: an investigation of relationships as measured by the Myers-Briggs type indicator.” Ph.D diss., University of Oklahoma, 1997.

Still, William Grant, Jon Michael Spencer. The William Grant Still Reader: Essays on American Music. Black Sacred Music, v. 6, no. 2. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1992.

Upton, William Treat. Art-Song in America: A Study in the Development of American Music. Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1930.

Miscellaneous Subjects

Cheatham, Wallace. Dialogues on opera and the African-American experience. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1997.

Donovan, Richard X. Black Musicians of America. Portland, Ore.: National Book, 1991. [RH]

James, Shaylor L. “Contributions of Four Selected Twentieth-Century Afro-American Classical Composers: William Grant Still, Howard Swanson,
Ulysses Kay, and Olly Wilson.” Ph.D thesis, Florida State University, 1988.

Lomax, John A. and Alan Lomax. Folk Song USA: The 111 Best American  Ballads. New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce, 1947.

Spencer, Jon Michael. The Rhythms of Black Folk: Race, Religion, and Pan-Africanism. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 1995.

Standifer, James A. and Barbara Reeder. Source Book of African and Afro-American Materials for Music Educators. [Washington]:
Contemporary Music Project, [1972].

Still Judith Ann and Celeste Anne Headlee. William Grant Still and the Fusion of Cultures in American Music. 2nd ed. Flagstaff, AZ: Master-Player Library, 1995.

Trotter, James Monroe. Music and Some Highly Musical People. New York: Lee & Shepard, 1878.

Walker, Wyatt Tee. “Somebody’s Calling My Name:” “Black Sacred Music and Social Change. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1990.

Walker-Hill, Helen. From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American Women Composers and Their Music. Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 2002.

Journals and Journal Guides

Black Music Research Bulletin. Chicago: Columbia College Center for Black Music Research, 1988-

Black Music Research Journal. Nashville: Institute for Research in Black American Music, Fisk University, 1981-

The Black Perspective in Music. Cambria Heights, New York: Foundation for the Research in the Afro-American Creative Arts, 1973-1990.

The Negro spiritual. Oakland, CA : Friends of Negro Spirituals, 1999-

Articles from Periodicals/Serials/Newspapers

Ames, Russell. “Art of Negro Folk Song.” Journal of American Folklore 56 (October 1943): 241-255.

Boyer, Horace Clarence. “The Afro-American Vocal Tradition: An Introduction.” Massachusetts Music News 25 (April 1977): 34,

Dawson, William L. “Interpretation of the Religious Folk-Songs of the American Negro.” Etude 73 (March 1955): 11, 58, 61.

Dvorak, Antonin. “Music in America.” Harper’s 90 (1895): 428-434.

Epstein, Dena J. “A White Origin for the Black Spiritual? An Invalid Theory and How It Grew.” American Music, 1 (Summer 1983):

Garst, John F. “Mutual Reinforcement and the Origins of Spirituals.” American Music, 4 (Winter 1986): 390-406.

Kerby, Marion. “A Warning Against Over-Refinement of the Negro Spiritual.” The Musician, 32 (July 1928): 9, 29-30.

Lee, Henry. “Swing Low, Sweet Charity.” The Black Perspective in Music, 2 (Summer 1984): 84-86. (Reprinted from Coronet,
July 1947.)

Levy, Alan Howard. “The Search for Identity in American Music, 1890-1920.” American Music, 2 (Summer 1984): 70-81.

Walker-Hill, Helen. “Music by Black Women Composers at the American Music Research Center.” American Music Research Center Journal, 2
(1992): 23-51.

Wilson, Olly. “Black Music As an Art Form.” Black Music Research Journal, 12 (1984): 1-22.


Clark, Edgar Rogie, ed. Negro Art Songs: Album by Contemporary Composers. New York: Edward B. Marks, 1946. [SF/CBMR]

The Hall Johnson Collection. New York: Carl Fischer, 2003.

Patterson, Willis C., ed. Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers. New York: E.B. Marks Music, 1977.

_______. The New Negro Spiritual. Ann Arbor, MI: Willis Patterson Publishing, 2002.

_______. The Second Anthology of Art Songs by African American Composers. Ann Arbor, MI: Willis Patterson Publishing, 2002.

Simmons, Margaret R. and Jeanine Wagner, comp. A New Anthology of Art Songs by African American Composers. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2004.

Taylor, Vivian, ed. Art Songs and Spirituals by African-American Women Composers. Bryn Mawr, Pa.: Hildegard Publishing, 1995. [SF/CBMR]


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Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music. Created by Randye Jones. Created/Last modified: February 10, 2016. Accessed:.