How African Musicians Came to Medieval and Renaissance Europe - Deepstash

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In the Court of Kings: John Blanke's Musical Journey

In the Court of Kings: John Blanke's Musical Journey

In a surprising twist of history, African trumpeter John Blanke found himself a favorite in Tudor England's royal court, performing for none other than King Henry VIII. Blanke, mentioned in surviving records, earned triple the wages of a servant and a pay raise, indicating his valued role as a musician.


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The Spanish Connection: Blanke's Probable Roots

The Spanish Connection: Blanke's Probable Roots

Blanke likely arrived in England via Spain in 1501 with Catherine of Aragon, the future queen. Musical influences often traveled through wedding parties and dowries, making Blanke a striking member of the entourage.


131 reads

Multicultural Melodies: Africa's Impact on Western Music

Multicultural Melodies: Africa's Impact on Western Music

Long before Blanke's time, African musicians entered Europe through the Iberian Peninsula, documented since the Muslim conquest. Western music's multicultural roots are evident, with influences from Africa shaping song styles and even the evolution of instruments like the lute.


115 reads

Cultural Migration: Instruments, Styles, and Music Schools

Cultural Migration: Instruments, Styles, and Music Schools

From Ziryab's music school in 9th-century Córdoba to New Orleans jazz, the migration of instruments, song styles, and even music schools from Africa to Europe was significant. The legacy of Afro-European music may have largely vanished, but traces remain in the works of pioneers like Vicente Lusitano.


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Rediscovering History: Vicente Lusitano's Musical Journey

Rediscovering History: Vicente Lusitano's Musical Journey

Lusitano, a Portuguese musician of African origins, lived an extraordinary life, serving as a priest in Rome and later residing in Germany as a Protestant. Rediscovered in the 21st century, his music finally entered the classical repertoire 500 years after his birth.


103 reads


Western song styles became dominant because they were the most multicultural musical idioms in the world. Remember that the next time people attack this music for its lack of diversity. Nothing could be further from the truth.



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Absurdist. Failed musician. Successful pessimist. Gamer.


Western music has always been multicultural.


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