First Advisor

John Ott

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in History and University Honors






Black musicians -- Europe -- History -- 16th century, Black musicians -- Europe -- History -- 17th century, Blacks -- Europe – History, Europe -- Ethnic relations -- 16th century, Europe -- Ethnic relations -- 17th century, Blacks in art, African art




This research project concerning Black Africans in Renaissance Europe is predicated on including Africans into a global history they have largely been excluded from, even though there is ample evidence that proves their cultural influence, in this case, with music. Culture is inextricably linked to the politics of the time. European societies were highly hierarchical, so nothing was approved without the blessing of the elites. In almost every strata of the social hierarchy, music is an important component, from military exhibitions to court and formal events to informal social gatherings. In some European societies, musicians were employed as government officials. By studying early modern art such as paintings and statues, we get a sense of the presence of Africans in Europe. When studied alongside African artwork in the same time period, commonalities and continuities present themselves when making connections between the two continents. This implies that there was a give and take of politics and culture between them. By viewing Africans as active participants in the exchange of bodies, ideas and culture, we can begin to understand the complexities and nuances that brought people of European and African origin together.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier