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Timbral Bombast

On Saturday, the Birmingham Royal Ballet will take the stage, not to the languid string melodies of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky or Adolphe Adam, but to the distorted power chords of pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath. The new production, “Black Sabbath – The Ballet,” honors the hometown musicians whose eponymous debut album helped spark a global […]

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Centuries of Silence

Only then can his creative genius begin redounding, as it should, to the glory of Black music history,” writes the musicologist Robert Stevenson in his 1982 article, “The First Black Published Composer.” Stevenson’s subject was Vicente Lusitano (ca. 1520-ca. 1561), an African-Portuguese priest and musician who enjoyed an international career. Stevenson heralds works like the […]

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