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For their musical uplift: Emma Azalia Hackley and voice culture in African American communities

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The noted African American soprano Emma Azalia Hackley (1867-1922) abandoned her concert career in the early twentieth century and began travelling throughout the United States, organizing community choruses and promoting community music making. She spent the remainder of her life engaged in what she called 'musical social uplift', which entailed teaching voice culture to hundreds of thousands of African Americans. To accomplish her goals, she formulated a unique pedagogy especially suited to black citizens in times of racism and segregation. Because of her commitment to music education and community activism, she became famous as the 'National Vocal Teacher' of African Americans.

Keywords: African American music; Hackley, Emma Azalia; community music; music pedagogy; musical social uplift; voice culture

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Case Western Reserve University

Publication date: December 9, 2011

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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