Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in History and University Honors
Black musicians -- Europe -- History -- 17th century, Black musicians -- Europe -- History -- 16th century, Europe -- Ethnic relations -- History -- 17th century, Europe -- Ethnic relations -- History -- 16th century, Blacks in art, Africans -- Europe -- History
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 the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
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Taylor, Jamar, "A Cultural History of Black Musicians in Renaissance Europe, 1500-1700" (2020). University Honors Theses. Paper 890.