Uncovering Musical Treasures:
A non-exhaustive & dynamic resource/database of composers of color
To say that 2020 has turned the world upside down would be somewhat of an understatement. In our ever global and interconnected world, we see more tragedy, more virality, more polarization, and we are all overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information.
This certainly has been the case for me, where my best efforts to research classical music beyond the standard repertoire often took me to websites that had not been updated in many years, dusty archives, and all around a lot of words and not much direction. I am embarrassed to say that my search also started later; if I had done this research earlier--especially while I was still in school--wouldn't I have had so many more resources at my disposal?
And therein I saw the real problem: why isn't this information--from trustworthy sources--available for those not at elite universities with bountiful funding? Albeit belatedly, I am no longer willing to delay this work. Great music can move mountains, but not if they are hidden away, unheard, or worst, deliberately discarded.
The classical music industry has not been the best teacher for diversity or access; however, for me, the music has been my best teacher for empathy and listening. So I wanted to take what I learned and practice it in a way that is relevant to the world around me.
It is clear that the world--and the classical music industry--has a lot of work to do to honor the spirits/diversity....
This database is by no means exhaustive, and I welcome any and all suggestions and feedback. In addition, if there is someone who does not want to be on this list, please let me know right away! This is an educational resource that I originally started for myself, so that I would have a way of organizing my research; I made it public so that I can keep myself accountable to the work I have started and so that I might, in my own small way, combat the lack of information--the real omission of information of composers who were denied a place in the history books because of the color of their skin or their gender identity. That being said, the composer's (or composer's estate) wishes will absolutely be honored first and foremost.
So with these goals, I am embarking on a project to help curate a database with resources so that we can all play more, listen more, and get lost on the internet a little less.
**curated?? noted where we have research on this composer, and where research is really hard to come by?
**what about kids music/lit resource curated page?