Black History Month 2018

Share this page

“Black History Month is essential in promoting learning, providing information and contributing to community cohesion. For the past 30 years it has shone, and continues to shine, a beacon of light on the facts about Black history, heritage, legacy and the ongoing struggles for equality and justice. More than that, it educates, informs and inspires us each day of the year to be proud of who we are and to understand our history, our origins, why we are here and our right to stay and exist as equals.” – Lord Ouseley

Every October the UK marks Black History Month – an opportunity to promote knowledge of Black history, both cultural and via heritage, as well as to disseminate information on Black contributions to British society.

This year Sound and Music will mark Black History Month through a range of activities which will both highlight the significant contributions to new music history that Black composers in the UK have made in the past (including those who have been overlooked or omitted from accepted history) and celebrate living composers working today across a range of backgrounds, styles and genres.

Sound and Music’s aims are threefold. We want to showcase the work of Black and, more widely, other minority ethnic composers in the UK. We want to address our own historical shortcomings in recognising racial inequalities in new music. And we want to begin to bring together and energise a national conversation about this issue.

Sound and Music has put together a variety of content to mark this year’s Black History Month, including playlists, new composer profiles, opportunities to curate content and discover new composers, and a bespoke new set of sounds and resources for our educational platform Minute of Listening. The collection will introduce young ears to a huge range of music, from work by UK-based composer Errolyn Wallen and improvisations by Ornette Coleman to recordings of Bayaka music made in Central African Republic.

“I am delighted that Sound and Music have decided to make it a priority to enhance the profile of musicians and artists from marginalised cultures. With Black History Month we honour and respect those upon whose shoulders we stand, those remarkable persons that walked before us. As a composer and artistic director, I have endeavoured to trumpet untold histories that have been submerged in mainstream historiography, through my artwork. Music and all the other arts can be powerful instruments of change for the better and I trust that this emphatic contribution will assist in bringing about cultural equality in our societies.” – Professor Shirley J Thompson, Composer & Artistic Director

Sound and Music is also publishing data about applications to its artist development programme, as a public acknowledgement of where there are gaps and where improvements are needed.

You can see the findings and the full Data Report here.

“By exploring underrepresented perspectives, creating new opportunities and delving further into new music history we hope to close some of the gaps, discover great new composers and to hear and share some truly extraordinary work. Addressing historic marginalisation, discrimination and bias is not only a pressing issue for the music sector, but a huge creative opportunity to revitalise and reinvigorate the music that is heard today. Sound and Music believes this is essential to the future of music.” Susanna Eastburn MBE, Chief Executive, Sound and Music

Find out more #BlackHistoryMonth #NewMusic

Black History Month 2018: Reviewing the Data

Black History Month 2019

Black History Month 2020

Share this page