This post is dedicated to Nigerian composer and ethnomusicologist, Joshua Uzoigwe (July 1, 1946 – October 15, 2005).

Joshua Uzoigwe
Joshua Uzoigwe - from the personal collection of Godwin Sadoh

 

I recently received an email from Professor Godwin Sadoh, who has been an avid supporter of the work that has gone into creating this site. As a prolific scholar of African Art Music in particular, he was kind enough to provide me with a complete list of his publications featuring the life and work of Uzoigwe and "specifically set to preserve his legacy and meritorious  contributions to Nigerian art music".

The full list is below. Let me know if you find any of these useful!

 

BOOKS

Five Decades of Music Transmutation in Nigeria and the Diaspora. Columbus, OH:  GSS Publications, 2015. 50% discount for a limited period.

Joshua Uzoigwe: Memoirs of a Nigerian Composer-Ethnomusicologist.  S.C.: Booksurge Publishing, 2007.

“Joshua Uzoigwe: An Introduction to the Life and Music of a Modern Nigerian Composer.” [M.A. Thesis, University of Pittsburgh, 1998].

ARTICLES

"Cross-Cultural Expressions in the Music of Joshua Uzoigwe."  Musical Times, vol.157, No.1935 (Summer 2016): 99–106. [UK]

“African Musicology: A Bibliographical Guide to Nigerian Art Music (1927-2009).”  MLA Notes 66, No. 3 (March 2010): 485-502. [U.S.A.]

“Modern Nigerian Music: The Post-Colonial Experience.” Musical Times 150, No. 1908 (Autumn 2009): 79-84. [U.K.]

“The Emergence of Percussion in Nigerian Art Music.” Percussive Notes 46, No. 6  (December 2008): 52-61. [U.S.A.]

“Twentieth-Century Nigerian Composers.” Choral Journal 47, No. 10(April 2007): 33-39. [U.S.A.]

“Nigerian Art Music Composers.” NTAMA Journal of African Music and Popular Culture, Universität Hildesheim, Germany.  January 10, 2007. [Germany]

“Hybrid Composition: An Introduction to the Age of Atonality in Nigeria.” The Diapason 97,  No. 11 (November 2006): 22-25. [U.S.A.]

“The Creative Experience of a Contemporary Nigerian Composer.” Living Music 20, No. 1 (Spring 2005) : 6-9. [U.S.A.]

“Intercultural Creativity in Joshua Uzoigwe’s Music.”  Africa 74, no. 4 (Dec. 2004) : 633-661.  Africa is the official journal of the International African Institute, London,  United Kingdom. [U.K.]

“Joshua Uzoigwe.”  Published at http://africadatabase.org September, 2003.  In Contemporary Africa Database, London, [U.K.].

“Creativity and Dance in Joshua Uzoigwe’s Music.”  Composer-USA 9, no. 2 [Spring 2003]: 4-5.  [U.S.A.]

These publications have been cataloged in prestigious libraries all over the world, including Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institute, American Ivy Leagues, and world-class university libraries in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa (especially Nigeria and South Africa).

FORTHCOMING 

A CD of piano works by African composers including Joshua Uzoigwe's Talking Drums.  
Pianist: Silvia Belfiore
Release Date: 2020.

More on Joshua Uzoigwe can be found in his Wikipedia page.

Don't forget you can find a list of more general information related to this research on the Resources page.

October is Black History Month in the UK and this year, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance have let me do a plainsightSOUND Instagram takeover!

This is an opportunity to highlight the musicians that feature on this site. It will hopefully encourage some new visitors too.

If you have an Instagram account and would like to join in the conversation, head over to https://www.instagram.com and search #plainsightsound. Don't worry, if you don't have an account, you can still see the pictures during Black History Month and after. Don't forget, you can use the same hashtag on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news.

Everyone who appears should already be shown in the Timeline. Let me know if there's anyone missing...

Message from a reader

A couple of weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a really nice email from Emma Price in Australia who had come across my website while researching her own project.

Through her work, Emma had compiled some material about ‘F. Bridgetower’ – cellist, composer and younger brother of George Bridgetower. The elder Bridgetower is better remembered as a former friend of Beethoven and the original violinist that the ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata was dedicated to.

Hearing from Emma was great because most of the references I’d found for George don’t mention any siblings at all. Even those that do, can’t agree on the possible younger brother’s name, with mentions of his death based on guesswork. These also assume that he was the same Frederick Joseph Bridgetower who died in Liverpool the mid-1800s. Today though, modern technology and online tools like digitised historical newspapers make this kind of information much easier to research.

New information

Emma was kind enough to pass on some material including newspaper scans and photos of scores that she’d found at the National Library of Ireland, Dublin.

Teaching advertisement for Frederic Bridgtower
Teaching advertisement for Frederic Bridgtower

MR. BRIDGTOWER,

Professor of Music, and Teacher of the Violoncello and Piano-forte,

HAVING at the earnest solicitation of many respectable friends, determined to fix his future residence in Dublin, has taken the house No. 2, Exchange-court, near Dame Street, where he will receive Pupils on the Violoncello, and respectfully attend to any commands he may be honoured with to teach abroad on either of the above instruments.

Pastoral Rondo title page
Title page for 'A Pastoral Rondo' by Frederic Bridgtower

I was also pointed towards other recent work that filled some of the gaps in the brothers’ life stories including New Light on George Bridgtower (Hart, 2017). The relatively recent paper includes lots of new details and reminders, like the different spellings that the family used (Bridgetown/Bridgetower/ Bridgtower), which was a big help. A lot of other research materials end up regurgitating the same old myths and made-up stories, so it was great to see something where the author was able to use original sources and newspapers of the day. Using this new information, I’ve been able to update Frederick’s entry on the timeline.

Updated timeline - still no image of Frederic/k though!

Future additions

Huge thanks to Emma for sending over this material. I set this page up to share my research with other people who find it useful or are just interested in this topic. In the short time since it launched, it’s been great to get messages from people who are keen and willing to share their own work. If you can think of anyone who might be missing from the project, please get in touch using the contact page.

 

NB. It turns out there was also a third brother, Johannes Albertus, who was born in Mainz in 1787. If anyone has any information on him, please pass it on!

Award icon

International composition competition alert!

Although my research usually focuses on historical composers, I've just heard about a new award that might be useful to some international readers of this blog - the Commonwealth International Competition Award.

The award aims to "promote composition around the world" and "give young composers the skills they need to further their careers" and it's interesting to see in the FAQs that it's open to all styles of music, not just European classical music!
 
There are two categories:
 
FLYERS - under 18s from around the world but excluding UK residents or those getting any specialist music education in the UK ie specialist music schools and Junior conservatoires.
STARTERS - anyone interested in composition who is from one of the 4 target regions (2019 is Antigua and Barbuda, India, New Zealand, and Rwanda)
There doesn't appear to be a cash prize but winners will get a composition teacher as well as a recording and performance of their piece by the Dionysus Ensemble. If you think you or someone you know might be eligible, have a look at the website and send something in. The closing date is 31st July 2019, so you've still got time! https://cicompositionaward.com/

Woman holding giant smiley face
So happy!

Those of you who have been following the progress of this site over the last few months will be pleased to see that the timeline is now working properly!

There are still a few little bugs to work out with how it displays but you can now scroll through to see details of most of the musicians who have been researched so far in this project.

It would be great to be able to include images for all of the musicians (not everything on Wikipedia is public domain) so if you happen to own an original photograph of anyone featured in the project and would be happy for it to be used, please get in touch. In the meantime, take a look at the timeline of Black musicians in British classical music (up to the mid-20th century) in all its glory.

Happy scrolling!