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Transatlantic Black Music Concepts

8 weeks / 3-hour weekly sessions
Instructor: Khalif Diouf
Start date: June 14th

For this course, artist Khalif Diouf will take students on a deep dive into Black music history, starting from pre-colonial African cultural development and closing with an analysis of contemporary Black sounds. This course will provide an introduction to music concepts, a history of ethnomusicology, and trace the roots of Black music. With a session focused on the construction of pre-colonial African identity, participants will gain deeper insight into the influence of African cultures on European music, while drawing connections to the rise of the colonial period in Subsaharan Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Through an analysis of Blues, Country, Ragtime, Jazz, and how those forms of Black music all lead to new genres of music, Diouf will break down questions of cultural ownership by linking white creative theft to coloniality. The course will close by looking into Afrofuturism, Subversion and Black Electronic Music, and a final group critique of audio projects. By the end of the course, students will be able to draw connections between the sounds in contemporary music to their Transatlantic histories. Students participating in this course  will be asked to complete readings, watch documentaries and record their own sounds on audio production software. All course materials will be provided upon registration, and readings will be mandatory for successful completion of this class.



Khalif Jones, neé Diouf, is a New York City-native musician and performer known for their sociopolitical club-ready music. His background in dance earned him a degree in choreography from Wesleyan University in 2011. He went on to become a figure as an openly gay rapper with the success of his 2012 underground banger "Wut.”  Formerly using the moniker Le1f, his debut album was released on XL Recordings in 2015.