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Black Classical Music and Musicians: Home

Black musicians performingThis guide focuses on Black music and musicians in Western art music. Ask a librarian for help finding resources on Black musicians in other genres, or music by other underrepresented groups.

All our guides are works in progress! If you know of a resource that should be included here, please tell us.


Repertoire: Find a Specific Work/Composer | Discover More Music

Recordings: Streaming Audio & Video | Hardcopy Recordings

Research: General Resources | Composers | Performers | Vocal Music

Take Action: Decolonize the Classroom | Explore Anti-Racist Resources | Support an Organization

Selected Books in the Allen Library

Singing Like Germans

Tells the story of Black musicians in German-speaking Europe over more than a century, exploring how people reinforced or challenged racial identities in the concert hall.

The Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education

Frames social justice within social, historical, cultural, and political contexts; grapples with issues of inclusivity and diversity, racism, and other cycles of injustice in music pedagogy; and offers specific examples of social justice in action.

It's Our Music Too: The Black Experience in Classical Music

Tells the story of how Blacks have influenced the development, history, and structure of classical music.

The Transformation of Black Music

Explores the full spectrum of black musics over the past thousand years, situating them in a broader framework of cultural, political, and social histories.

Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement

Reveals how black opera unearths suppressed truths that provoke complex reconsideration of racial, gender, sexual, and other oppressive ideologies.

Musical Landscapes in Color

Traces the lives and careers of 40 Black composers and provides perspectives on a world that has been slow to recognize their remarkable contributions to classical music.

Expanding the Canon: Black Composers in the Music Theory Classroom

Demonstrates why diversification is badly needed and provides practical lesson plans for teaching music theory with music by Black composers.

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