The essays contained in this volume address some of the most visible, durable and influential of African American musical styles as they developed from the mid-1960s into the 21st-century. Soul, funk, pop, R&B and hip hop practices are explored both singly and in their many convergences, and in writings that have often become regarded as landmarks in black musical scholarship. These works employ a wide range of methodologies, and taken together they show the themes and concerns of academic black musical study developing over three decades. While much of the writing here is focused on music and musicians in the United States, the book also documents important and emergent trends in the study of these styles as they have spread across the world. The volume maintains the original publication format and pagination of each essay, making for easy and accurate cross-reference and citation. Tom Perchard’s introduction gives a detailed overview of the book’s contents, and of the field as a whole, situating the present essays in a longer and wider tradition of African American music studies. In bringing together and contextualising works that are always valuable but sometimes difficult to access, the volume forms an excellent introductory resource for university music students and researchers.
Contents: Introduction. Part I Style and Genre: The Stax sound: a musicological analysis, Rob Bowman; Questions of genre in black popular music, David Brackett; Turntablature: notation, legitimization, and the art of the hip-hop DJ, Felicia M. Miyakawa; A vision of love: an etiquette of vocal ornamentation in African-American popular ballads of the early 1990s, Richard Rischar; ’Funky drummer’: New Orleans, James Brown and the rhythmic transformation of American popular music, Alexander Stewart; The construction of jazz rap as high art in hip-hop music, Justin A. Williams. Part II Theory, Analysis and Historiography: ’That ill, tight sound’: telepresence and biopolitics in post-Timbaland rap production, Dale Chapman; Goal-directed soul? Analyzing rhythmic teleology in African American popular music, Robert Fink; Accidents, hooks, and theory, Charles Kronengold; Soul music: its sociological significance and political significance in American popular culture, Portia K. Maultsby; Doin’ damage in my native language: the use of ’resistance vernaculars’ in hip hop in France, Italy, and Aotearoa/New Zealand, Tony Mitchell; Rap, soul, and the vortex at 33.3 rpm: hip-hop’s implements and African American modernisms, Ed Pavlic; Who hears here? Black music, critical bias, and the musicological skin trade, Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr. Part III Identity: ’She’s the next one’: Aretha Franklin’s Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington and the black women’s vocal legacy, Michael Awkward; Sounds authentic: black music, ethnicity, and the challenge of a changing same, Paul Gilroy; Eminem’s ’My Name Is’: signifying whiteness, rearticulating race, Loren Kajikawa; Men, women, and turntables: gender and the DJ battle, Mark Katz; ’Like old folk songs handed down from generation to generation’: history, canon, and community in B-boy culture, Joseph G. Schloss. Name index.