THe History of American Music

  • Francis Hopkinson

    Francis Hopkinson
    During the colonial period, true American music was almost nonexisatant. Many colonists lived hard lives and did not have the precious leisure time to create compositions. Most music in the colonies consisted of ballads, dance tunes, folk songs, psalms, minuets and sonatas, most of which were influenced by the Europeans. Francis Hopkinson was one fo the first composer of the 18th century, composing his own harphsichord pieces. However, many of his pieces were deeply influenced by Britain compose
  • Francis Scott Key

    Francis Scott Key
    Francis Scott Key was a lawyer and an amateur poet who was able to compose our national anthem. During the Battle of Baltimore. Key watched as the Fort McHenry bombarded by British ship. The fort survived the canon fire and in his patriotic fervor, Key created the Star Spangled Banner. Ironically, the lyrics was sung to a British song, showing that much of American works were influenced by Britain.
  • Hutchinson Family Singers

    Hutchinson Family Singers
    The Hutchinson famiy singers became one of the most well known entertainers of the 1840s. The group sang in four-part harmony, and they always followed their songs with comical actings. Many considered the Hutchinson Family Singers to be "American" music.
  • Stephen Collins Foster

    Stephen Collins Foster
    Stephen Collins Foster was known as "the father of American music." His compositions were truly unique in that it drew its inspiration from the American society rather than from standard British music. Many of his songs talked about the South, a region that he had never travelled to.
  • African Folk Music

    African Folk Music
    The Arican American slaves were able to preserve their tradition and language through the use of music and dance. Enslaved tribes carried their traditon across the Atlantic and passed it on to their children. Opressed and enslaved, many slaves were able to gain courage from their heritage. The African songs that were treasured were to be the foundation of jazz and blues.
  • John Philip Sousa

    John Philip Sousa
    Sousa was known throughout the nation for his military and patriotic music. His music demonstrated the American pride nad their passion to fulfill patriotic duty
  • Scott Joplin

    Scott Joplin
    Scott Joplin was known as the "The King of Ragtime". Joplin's rags were known for thier liveliness and difficult rythms. His work foreshadowed the roaring jazz age and the popularity of African Ameriocan music.
  • W. C. Handy

    W. C. Handy
    During the roaring twenties, jazz exploded onto the theatrical stages and bars. The unusual rythms and keys symbolized the American people's willingness to throw off taboos and restricitve obligation. W. C. Handy was known throughtout the nation as the "Father of the Blues". He particulary utilized African folk songs in his composition, creating racial pride among the African Americans. One of his composition, St. Louis Blues, made him almost famous overnight.
  • Vernon Dalhart

    Vernon Dalhart
    Vernon Dalhart was a major figure for country music. Born in 1883 in Jefferson, Texas, he used his distinct Southern accent to create soothing and nostalgic songs.
  • George Gershwin

    George Gershwin
    Gershwin was renowned for his piano skills and Broadway composition. One of his best orchestral work was Porgy and Bess, an opera based on the hardships of African Americans.
  • Duke Ellington

    Duke Ellington
    Duke Ellington was known for his magnificent trumpet skills and his truly unique songs. In the era of jazz and blues, many African Americans dominated the music industry. However, Duke Ellington was the famoust among them all. His works was the definition of personal music; music that came from within yourself rather than someone elses.
  • Louis Jordan

    Louis Jordan
    Known as "The King of the Jukebox", he was one of the pioneers of R&B (Rhythm and blues) and experimented with early rock and roll. He became one of the most successful performers of all time.
  • Elvis Presley

    Elvis Presley
    Known as the "King," Presley exploded onto the world stage with his new genre of music, rock and roll. Elvis Presley challanged the status quo, changing the way people dance and throwing off socail restraint.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Leonard Bernstein
    Leonard Berstein was the conductor of the New York Philarmonic, and he was knwon for his orchestral music. In particuar, West Side Story gained much acclaim from the critics and the audience. Bernstein also became one of the first American conductor to acheive worldwide fame.