Global Melodies: Music of African Americans Ensemble draws inspiration from history of gospel

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s department of ethnomusicology offers a range of different ensembles spanning multiple regions throughout the world, each with a rich musical dynamic and sound. In “Global Melodies,” the Daily Bruin will feature various world music ensembles in an effort to showcase the diversity of music within the department.

Traditional forms of gospel music – much like various popular music genres such as blues and rock – are rooted in the history of slavery.

Gospel music is the focus of the Music of African Americans Ensemble, a performance class named Ethnomusicology 91P for lower-division credit and Ethnomusicology 161P for upper-division credit. Adjunct assistant professor of ethnomusicology James Roberson, the current director of the ensemble, said…

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