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Beyond BlackfaceAfrican Americans and the Creation of American Popular Culture, 1890-1930$
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W. Fitzhugh Brundage

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834626

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807878026_brundage

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Black Creativity and Black Stereotype

Black Creativity and Black Stereotype

Rethinking Twentieth-Century Popular Music in America

(p.124) Black Creativity and Black Stereotype
Beyond Blackface

Susan Curtis

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how Etude lambasted “the insane craze for ‘rag-time’ music” that was then sweeping the country. The Negro Music Journal likewise registered concern about the “real harm” such music was doing to the moral fiber and musical standards of Americans at the dawn of the new century. “It is an evil music,” the editor insisted, “that has crept into the homes and hearts of our American people regardless of race, and must be wiped out as other bad and dangerous epidemics have been exterminated.” Frank Damrosch, director of the Institute of Musical Arts, compared ragtime tunes to pimples: “They come and go. They are impurities in the musical system which must be got rid of before it can be considered clean.”

Keywords:   Etude, rag-time music, moral fiber, musical standards, evil music, Frank Damrosch

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