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August 09, 1985 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1985-08-09

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, August 9, 1985 - Page 3
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Serious black American music has been
relatively ignored by music reviewers, tex-
tbook writers, and others who shape society's
perception of "serious" music, says Prof.
Willis Patterson, associate dean of the music
"So to blow our own horns, so to speak,
because no one else will," Patterson and
several supporters have put together the Black
0merican Music Symposium.
BEGINNING tonight and ending next Thur-
sday, 250 performers, composers, and music
historians will gather at the music school to
take the "first step towards an enlarged public
perception of how black American music is
woven into the tapestry of the American ex-
perience," Patterson said.

Patterson said black American artists have
significantly influenced great non-black ar-
tists. In several of George Gershwin's works,
such as in "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Porgy and
Bess," "there is a very strong influence from
black culture," Patterson said.
OTHER NON-BLACK composers, such as
Anton Dvorak, founder of the American Con-
servatory of Music, have also been impressed
by black American music, especially the
spiritual artists, Patterson said.
But Patterson also said that classic black
American music, which has endured "the
ravages of time," is often not thought of as
"classical music" such as Mozart, Bach, and
Beethoven. For example, Patterson said jazz
can be considered "America's classical
music," but many still consider it pop.

He said while black artists are quick to cite
the influence of black American artists such as
Duke Ellington, from non-white artists and
reviewers, "it tends to be a little harder to
come by."
MUCH OF this comes from the difference in
musical styles between the Ellingtons and the
Beethovens, but since racism is and has
played sucb a large part of society, it is "hard
to ignore," Patterson said.
Making serious black American music hard
to ignore is the primary goal of the symposium,
Patterson said, but another important point is
to study what makes "black American' music
different from "white American" music .
Prof. James Sandifer, a professor of music
education at the University, quoted black
American composer Hale Smith who said,
"Don't call my music black music; call it

music." Sandifer said it's important to study
the components of black American music as
you would of any composer.
THAT WAY, he said, "When you hear black
American music on the radio - it could be sung
by Bruce Springsteen or it could be sung by
Carly Simon - you can decide for yourself."
"The point is not to get burdened down by
labels," he said.
"Music is music is music," Patterson said,
"black notes on white. But in the absence of no
attention paid to it at all, for now, it's better to
label it."
"Hopefully, the day will soon come when we
can drop the labels and judge music on its own
merits, but that day has not come yet."
The symposium begins with a performance
by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra of Undine
Smith Moore's "Scenes from the Life of a Mar-
tyr," tonight at 8:30 in the Power Center.

Nicaraguan rebels
release Americans

WASHINGTON (UPI) - A group of
American religious workers apparen-
tly kidnapped by Nicaraguan rebels
was released unharmed yesterday:
one day after their "boat ride for
peace" was interrupted by gunfire,'
group officials said.
"They are free. They are
navigating the river, but they are not
completely out of danger," said
Sharon Hostetler, a spokeswoman in
Managua for the Witness for Peace
group, an ecumenical Christian
She said all 29 members of the
group's peace delegation and 14 jour-
nalists who were accompanying them
were freed at 2:30 p.m. EDT after 29
hours in captivity in Costa Rica.
THE WITNESS for Peace office in
Managua received word of the release
from the hostages by radio, he said.
Earlier, Nicaraguan President
Daniel Ortega promised officials of
the group that the army would not in-
terfere with the expected release.
The group members and journalists
were seized by gunmen on the San
Juan River Wednesday during a
"boat ride for peace."

station's policies regarding
One of the kidnapped Americans in
radio contact with the group's
Managua office said they were cap-
tured by U.S.-backed rebels of the
Democratic Revolutionary Alliance,
or ARDE, near Las Cruces, on the San

Daily Photo by DARRIAN SMITH
Scaffolding surrounds University President Harold Shapiro's house on South University Avenue.

DURING HIS visit to the office of Oreg
the ecumenical Christian won't stop release
PSN protesters won't face retrial organization late yesterday, Ortega
said the Americans' fate "is in the
(Continued from Page 1) publicity Washtenaw County Circuit Court hands of the U.S. government." Juan River that separates Nicaragua
publiity."from Costa Rica.
Daane, which said the University felt it "THEY WANTED to tell us they Judge Patrick Conlin in May. Conlin But he added he had given "very Spokesmen for ARDE, the second
had "gotten satisfaction." didn't want us to do it again, but they upheld Noah's contention that Koster clear instructions" to the army to largest of five U.S.-backed rebel
"It was a matter of us having didn't want to get carried away," Hill was unfairly given 21 extra rejections avoid the area along Nicaragua s groups, denied the group was in-
proven our point, and to let it go at said. in selecting the jury. southern border with Costa Rica, volved.
that," Daane saidyesterday. The protesters blockaded Haddad's The controversy was sparked by a where the group was believed to be In Washington yesterday,
"THE University felt the incident lab in protest of his diode research new county law that Koster and 15th held.
was over with, and that they didn't project, which they said had ap- District Court Judge George Alexan- "Even if they (rebels) shoot against spokesman Bernard Kalb said the
want to take up any more of the plications to missile tracking der felt gave the defending attorney our troops, they (the troope) have the tatAe mericans had been c
court's time," Noah said. systems. three rejections per defendant, rather order not to respond with fire because b the era g . kidnap-
"The University's main goal is to To Hill, the 17-month ordeal was not than the three total rejections the it could be a pretext for them (rebels) mericans and say that Kalb said two officials from the U.S
keep things quiet," sasid Chris Hill, a a "victory in the longrun. There's still prosecuting attorney is allowed,. t kil thed rcn an "a tha KabsitwofcalfrmheUS
University gradaute who was among military research going on," he said. But Conlin ruled in favor of Noah's they were ki in cross ire, e Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica,
those arrested. "After about a year, "But our second objective was to appeal, while Koster's request to file said, went to the general area where the
the people began forgetting about it. get people aware of what's going on, a counter-appeal with the state Court SPOKESMEN for Witness for group's barge was seized, and Costa
They wanted to let it die too," he said. and to that extent, we did well," he of Appeals was rejected. Peace said U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Rican civil guard patrols were also in
Hill said by dropping the case, the said. Koster said that if he were to con- rebels, or Contras, captured the group the region.
University was also trying to avoid an ACCORDING to Noah the case tinue his appeal, it would be to the Wednesday morning and forced them The area has been the scene of
open debate about military research won't officially be dropped uni State Supreme Court, "but it looks into Costa Rican territory as the heavy fighting recently between
on campus. "If there was another Donald Roster, attorney for the like we wont be doing that. Nicaraguan troops and rebel groups
trial, it would have been in the papers protesters, decides not to continue a Noah also said the defendants would group neared the halfway point of a trying to topple the leftist Sandinista
again, he said, "They didn't want the counter-appeal of a decision by before the case is dropped. River to protest the Reagan admin-

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