ALLIANCE for the TRANSFORMATION OF MUSICAL ACADEME
(ATMA)

DECLARATION

ON THE FOUNDATIONAL IMPORTANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC IN MUSIC
STUDIES IN AMERICA

WHEREAS:
The rich legacy of African American music—including blues, gospel, jazz, hip hop, funk, rock,
pop and wide-ranging global hybrids—is:

• A quintessentially American musical achievement and contribution to world culture;
• An enduring source of pride, empowerment and enrichment for all segments of
American society,
• Rich in the improvisatory, integrative and globally relevant tools—which also include
virtuosic technical skills, robust aural and rhythmic capacities, and embodied
musicianship—that are uniquely conducive to 21st century musical navigation and
understanding,
• A powerful resource for pedagogy, research and creativity across fields;
• Closely intertwined with the complex dynamics of race and quest for social justice,
equality and pluralistic embrace that have challenged the nation throughout its history.
• An embodiment of an arts-driven spirituality that transcends, yet celebrates, diverse
religious denominations.
• A source of insights and tools to help address pressing problems of the world, including
environmental crises, ideological divides, and ever-escalating threats to peace;

YET, this distinctly American artistic and creative expression remains at the periphery in the
culture and curricula—including those of music students gaining certification to teach in
American public schools—of most music schools and departments across the nation;

BE IT RESOLVED,
That the time has come for foundational positioning of African American music in music
studies in America in response to the artistic, aesthetic, pedagogical, societal and spiritual
needs of the present juncture in history and search for pathways for a sustainable future.

READ THE DECLARATION IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE

 

ALLIANCE for the TRANSFORMATION OF MUSICAL ACADEME
(ATMA)

DECLARATION

ON THE FOUNDATIONAL IMPORTANCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC IN MUSIC
STUDIES IN AMERICA

WHEREAS:
The rich legacy of African American music—including blues, gospel, jazz, hip hop, funk, rock,
pop and wide-ranging global hybrids—is:

• A quintessentially American musical achievement and contribution to world culture;
• An enduring source of pride, empowerment and enrichment for all segments of
American society,
• Rich in the improvisatory, integrative and globally relevant tools—which also include
virtuosic technical skills, robust aural and rhythmic capacities, and embodied
musicianship—that are uniquely conducive to 21st century musical navigation and
understanding,
• A powerful resource for pedagogy, research and creativity across fields;
• Closely intertwined with the complex dynamics of race and quest for social justice,
equality and pluralistic embrace that have challenged the nation throughout its history.
• An embodiment of an arts-driven spirituality that transcends, yet celebrates, diverse
religious denominations.
• A source of insights and tools to help address pressing problems of the world, including
environmental crises, ideological divides, and ever-escalating threats to peace;

YET, this distinctly American artistic and creative expression remains at the periphery in the
culture and curricula—including those of music students gaining certification to teach in
American public schools—of most music schools and departments across the nation;

BE IT RESOLVED,
That the time has come for foundational positioning of African American music in music
studies in America in response to the artistic, aesthetic, pedagogical, societal and spiritual
needs of the present juncture in history and search for pathways for a sustainable future.

READ THE DECLARATION IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE