What is the African Diaspora?
The term African Diaspora refers to geographical locations in which people of African descent reside, or resided at one time, and are considered to constitute communities.
How does the Center define “black music”? Is it the same thing as “African-American music”?
The Center distinguishes operationally between “African-American music” and “black music.” In the CBMR’s lexicon, African-American music emanates directly from the black experience in the United States, descended from the calls, cries, hollers, spirituals, ragtime, and blues of the slavery and post-slavery periods; it includes jazz, R&B, black gospel, and all the forms to which these genres have given birth, as well as concert music composed by African-American composers.
Black music, on the other hand, is any music composed or performed by people of African descent, including African-American music, African music, Latin American and Caribbean music, and European and European-derived concert-hall music by black composers.
Does Black Music Research Journal accept unsolicited manuscripts?
The BMRJ considers all scholarly submissions relating to the study of black music. Please see the submission instructions.
Does the Center sell anything?
The Center sells its own publications; review a detailed listing and ordering information here. Purchase CDs and learn more about from the Recorded Music of the African Diaspora series, as well as other recordings by CBMR ensembles. The CBMR is on SoundCloud too!
The CBMR also offers memberships to support our various inititiatives.
Where is the Center located?
The Center is on the sixth floor at 618 South Michigan Avenue (between Harrison Street and Balbo Drive) in Chicago. Our mailing and delivery address is 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605.
Is the Center a museum?
No. But small exhibits of materials from the CBMR Library and Archives are displayed in display cases, in the library Reading Room, and occasionally in Columbia College Chicago galleries, as well as in exhibits mounted from time to time by consortia of libraries, museums, and archives in the area.
May I bring a group to tour the Center?
The CBMR Library and Archives hosts visits by groups of up to 25 people. Librarians and the Archivist are available for presentations about the Center and its collections; please contact us and let us know what you'd like to see. Visits can be arranged by calling (312) 369-7586, emailing the reference desk at email@example.com, or setting up an appointment online.
May I bring my class to visit the CBMR Library and Archives?
Sure! You are welcome to bring your class to the CBMR, with 25 students or less, or staff can come to your classroom, whether it's on campus at Columbia College Chicago or located at other Chicago-area colleges and universities. The CBMR Library and Archives staff offers presentations on research methods, music archives, or specific black music topics, as well as more in-depth workshops and hands-on sessions with the collections. Librarians are available to introduce students to the resources at the CBMR, and to assist students in a variety of projects and assignments.
All class visits should be scheduled in advance by calling the CBMR Library at (312) 369-7586, or emailing the reference desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. You and your students may also use the appointments tool. A librarian will then get in touch to discuss the class visit and activities and assignments. Advance notice is very much appreciated.
May I visit the CBMR Library and Archives?
Yes. The CBMR Library is open to the public. Current hours of operation are 10am to 4pm, Monday through Thursday, and Fridays from 10am to 1pm. Please check the main page for possible changes. Anyone with an interest in black music is welcome to come to the CBMR Library to conduct research or just to look through the collections or listen to music.
Do I need to make appointment?
No. However, since the librarians sometimes host groups of students in the CBMR Reading Room, it is always a good idea to call ahead or email email@example.com if you know in advance when you’ll be arriving. If your research time is limited, the librarians can help you plan your research to make the best use of your time.
What materials are housed in the CBMR Library and Archives?
The CBMR Library and Archives is a comprehensive research collection covering all idioms in black music of the United States and the African diaspora. Its collections include books, dissertations, periodicals, sound and video recordings, photographs, printed music, manuscripts, and archival materials. Many of these materials can be discovered by searching the CBMR Collections Database.
May I check out library materials?
No. The library and archival collections are noncirculating. All materials must be used on site. However, photocopies of print material excerpts or audio selections (for specific uses) may be made, as long as the copying meets the criteria of the “Fair Use” guidelines under copyright law. CBMR Staff will assist you.
May I contact a librarian for reference assistance?
Yes. Please feel free to contact the CBMR Library’s reference desk by telephone at (312) 369-7586 or by e-mail. You may also set up appointments online.
Does the Center accept material donations?
Yes. If you have black-music-related materials (for example, sound recordings, photographs, printed music or scores, archival materials) that you wish to donate to the CBMR Library and Archives, please contact the CBMR Archivist and Digital Librarian, Laurie Lee Moses, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and include some details about your materials, along with your contact information. You may also call (312) 369-7518.
If you wish to donate money to the Center, go directly to our ActiveNet donations page. You may read more on this website about different funds, and ways to donate to the CBMR. Simply click on the blue "Donate Now!" button when you are ready to give.
Can the Center’s performance ensemble be engaged for non-CBMR events?
Normally this is not possible unless you have sufficient funding to support all expenses associated with the event. Occasionally, CBMR performance ensembles have gone on tour.
Are recordings of the Center’s performance ensembles available for purchase?
Yes! CDs from the Recorded Music of the African Diaspora series are available for order, and other recordings may be streamed at no charge. Check out the CBMR on SoundCloud too!
Can anyone attend CBMR events?
Most CBMR events are open to the public. Many are free of charge, whereas some require tickets, RSVPs, or registration fees, often nominal.
How can I be notified of the Center’s performances and other public events?
To join our mailing list, please sign up for the email list (scroll down the page)! Or, sign up from Facebook and Like our page. If you'd like to include your mailing address for future notifications, please email email@example.com.
How can I contribute to the CBMR?
You can support the CBMR’s mission by becoming a CBMR Associate, donating materials, or making monetary gifts.