2510 hum mod 6



William Grant Still

Tonya Bell

Indiana Tech

William Grant Still

I chose William grant who was born on 11 May 1895 in Woodville, the state of Mississippi. He had a family, father and mother were in Woodville a professor and a high school teacher, respectively. Other than being a professor the father was also a co-possessor of grocery in one of the stores in Woodville and passed away when William grant was just three months old. His mother Carrie took up the task and raised William grant after they moved to Little Rock which is in Arkansas where she later engaged with Charles Shepperson,

Charles Shepperson and young were still so passionate about music and that made them attend different opera and many music performances which made them tour many different places in the area. At 14 years, William started taking some violin classes and taught himself some other instruments like viola, double bass, oboe, clarinet and many other on his own. This was not only the motivation behind the drive he was also swayed by the grandmother who introduced him to negro spiritual and other elements that characterized their compositions (Edgar, 2018). This made the drive more self-driven and self-driven wit time progress can be seen as he was growing with time.

He graduated from school and at the age of sixteen years and his mother made him continue with studies in Wilberforce University where he was to pursue bachelor’s degree in science. He did not complete the course when he felt he was so disconnected and dropped one year before his graduation which was against his mother wish of him becoming a doctor. He got married to a lady by the name Grace Bundy after he dropped out of university this happened the same year. While in Oberlin College, his studies were also disrupted by the first world war and the war caused him to enroll into the navy despite the fact that navy was segregated at that time (MacDavid, 2019). His work in the army was mainly to offer dinner and play music for the officer at the navy who were on board the U.S.S. Kroonland.

By the time he left navy, he was able to go back to New York and operated with handy and the road manager, performer, and the planer. This makes him able to continue with his music exercises in two fields. The first one was at the traditional European which he obtained at Oberlin located in New York. Second was Afro-American musical style which he did with Handy. His key role was just to assemble the different music bits that are called Shuffle Along. This made him gain a lot of experience in music and still was doing a lot with George Chadwick who composed for free and received a scholarship to go and study together with Avant Garge compose who was called Edgar Varese (Peeks, 2017).

Harlem Renaissance was starting while and after the move to New York city and this made the music he was doing mainly influenced by the surrounding and happenings around at that moment. Aaron Myer at that time was also a key person in African musical Encyclopedia and took a huge role in William work as an American musician as his work mainly revolved around theme about the Africa American as his classical genre, popular, opera as well as jazz. Willian grant Will made a lot of pf music work which were up to 150 and they included nine opera, five symphonies and four ballets

From that time, he was a musician of Black Swan Records and became administrator for music label and director (MacDavid, 2019). He made tour and got shocking audience because of his classical brand which was at that time. He was also acknowledged as greatest Black classical composer, when interviewed by Fanfare Magazine, Williams Dauger Judith Anne said her father was grate artist at that time and had influence very many composers and they were able to borrow his music later om 1920s. in many years later such as in 1926, Porgy and Bess as well as other composer were seen to get their ideas mainly from Willian grant Will work. In the year 1939, they divorced with his wife and remarried Vema Arvey and got two kids a son and daughter. In his last three year of his life were mainly in nursing homes since he was suffering heart attack and stroke and he passed away in 9, December 1978 at the age of ninety-three.

In this generation William grant still have much contribution since they incorporate a lot of elements that are obtained from different genres and musical techniques. Today’s musician incorporates unique styles so that they can generate their own brand such as hip-hop brand of musical instruments. Willian grant was seen to be so versatile in his work and manner in which he did his work such as jazz, opera, pop, dance, and blues (Peeks, 2017). This kind of composition has contributed a great deal in today’s work by different modern artist. Willian was recognized as the artist who was able to incorporate the different forms of music and its elements.

Willi, grant also helped to make music better since many have taken his ideas of practicing and intense training that which William went through. This has made many musicians to be inspired and they can do a lot when they are compelled by music genre that has been existing for long time. Creativity has been able to grow when genres are combined to for unique combinations.

William did his “Afro-American Symphony” using the customary musical instruments while the artist today uses many cinematic transitions and these changes which were unexpected made the work to be looked at as metaphorical to the Black American plight (Peeks, 2017). Because of his intense training he was able to write jazz for his band leader as well as the master. And that diversity made him to be able to break the racial barrier and was recorded as the first classical music to come from Afro-Americans. This made the competition even better since it happens with racial discriminations. He made unusually music timbre as they were used to make sound that are so typical to jazz band, and they are even used today in trumpet and trombones.



References Edgar, H. (2018). Discriminating Ears: Critical Receptions of Blackness in the Music of George Gershwin and William Grant Still. Nota Bene: Canadian Undergraduate Journal of Musicology, 11(1). Peeks, A. A. (2017). William Grant Still’s violin music transcribed for saxophone (Doctoral dissertation, uga). MacDavid, A. (2019). William Grant Still: The Complex Career of a Complicated Composer. Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice, 3(3), 16.

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