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African American Music: A Chronology, 1619-1995 by Hansonia L. Caldwell

Dr. Caldwell necessarily regards her useful chronology as “a work in progress,” for the subject is ever expanding. There is substantial information here about jazz and jazz musicians, and it is enlightening to consider this side-by-side with data on other influential developments in African American music. Entries concerning, for example, jazz, gospel, soul, blues, opera, symphony, movie soundtracks and Broadway musicals tend to effect a welcome broadening of perspective, while yearly lists of notable deaths are, in so many cases, melancholy reminders of the high cost of the musical life. There are also a commendable index and a copious bibliography.

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