Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr., is an award-winning musicologist, music historian, composer, and pianist whose prescient theoretical and critical interventions have bridged Black cultural studies and musicology. Representing twenty-five years of commentary and scholarship, these essays document Ramsey’s search to understand America's Black musical past and present and to find his own voice as an African American writer in the field of musicology. This far-reaching collection embraces historiography, ethnography, cultural criticism, musical analysis, and autobiography, traversing the landscape of Black musical expression from sacred music to art music, and jazz to hip-hop. Taken together, these essays and the provocative introduction that precedes them are testament to the legacy work that has come to define a field, as well as a rousing call to readers to continue to ask the hard questions and write the hard truths.
About the Author
A Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. is a prize-winning music historian, pianist, composer. He is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Pennsylvania.
"The book stands as a testament to [Guthrie's] commitment. His 14 essays capture a range of perspectives and musical styles as he traces the history of Black music from the Civil War through to the work of one of the brightest stars currently on the scene, Robert Glasper. Ramsey brings a depth and an essential understanding to the discussion of American popular music." — Christian Science Monitor