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The Product of Our SoulsRagtime, Race, and the Birth of the Manhattan Musical Marketplace$
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David Gilbert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622699

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622699.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

A New Musical Rhythm Was Given to the People

A New Musical Rhythm Was Given to the People

Ragtime and Representation in Black Manhattan

(p.16) Chapter One A New Musical Rhythm Was Given to the People
The Product of Our Souls

David Gilbert

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the American cultural revolution brought about by the ragtime operetta, Clorindy; or, The Origin of the Cakewalk, and how it initiated a reevaluation of Negro music and its place within a cultural market dominated by white ideologies and sensibilities. In their performance, Will Marion Cook and Ernest Hogan inaugurated new considerations of Negro music, by disrupting many of the rigid distinctions African American intellectuals held between folk/formal and high/low (and many others). Most significantly, the duo called attention to a historical process that turned the folk music of the American slave into the sound of modern America. In the first and second decades of the twentieth century, Negro music resounded as a rhythmic dance music representing not only African American modernity, but U.S. modernity more broadly.

Keywords:   Clorindy, Will Marion Cook, Ernest Hogan, Negro music, African American modernity, folk music, ragtime

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