An Anthology of African and African Diaspora Songs

Published in 2021

Dr. Louise Toppin, Editor
Dr. Scott Piper, Associate Editor
Videmus African American Art Song Series

36 Songs are for Medium to High Voice
24 Songs are for Medium to Low Voice

About this Recording Project

These recordings were created with singers from the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in May-June 2021 with pianists Sara Chiesa and Kathryn Goodson. Students were part of Dr. Louise Toppin’s African American Art Song Literature course during the Winter 2021 semester.

This recording project was supported by a grant as part of the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester at the University of Michigan in the 2020-2021 academic year.

A part of the Classic Song Research Initiative, a partnership between the Hampsong Foundation and the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

The audio tracks below are listed in alphabetical order according to composer last name (which corresponds to the order of the songs in the printed anthology).


Select Recordings of Songs from this Anthology


    Songs Not Yet Recorded

    • H. Leslie Adams, “Sence You Went Away”: commercially recorded on the albums Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams & Sence You Went Away (see below)
    • Valerie Capers, “Autumn”
    • Arthur Cunningham, “Minakesh”
    • Harriette Davison, “Stars”
    • Adolphus Hailstork, “Loveliest of Trees”
    • Fred Onovwerosouke, “Mshila,” No. 8 from Twelve African Songs
    • Eurydice V. Osterman, “Entreaty (I Am the Rose of Sharon), No. 3 from Musings
    • Robert Owens, “The Secret (Das Geheimnis),” No. 2 from Three Songs for Coloratura Soprano, op. 31
    • Hilbert Stewart, “Spring Song”
    • Howard Swanson, “One Day,” No. 3 from Songs for Patricia


    Love Rejoices: Songs of H. Leslie Adams

    (H. Leslie Adams)


    Sence You Went Away

    (H. Leslie Adams and Adolphus C. Hailstork)


    Bonus Tracks (Songs Not Included in Anthology)


      About this Anthology

      From the Editor’s Notes:

      First, our goal with this anthology was to present repertoire focused specifically on the needs of college students. That means we looked for repertoire that was unique, stylistically varied, musically challenging, and utilized poetry that covered a wide array of subjects. Second, although our repertoire does include a few historically significant composers, we chose to offer a balanced perspective from varying generations, genders, and narratives which provides a wide swath of vocal experiences. Last, as we live in a more global society, we expanded the definition of Black art song to include works from African and African Diaspora composers. (We are using the term African Diaspora to include anyone of African Descent worldwide). These works allow students to explore multiple languages through songs in French (creole), Portuguese, German, and a song in Pende from the Congo.

      Dr. Louise Toppin, Editor & Dr. Scott Piper, Associate Editor

      Sheet Music

      An Anthology of African and African Diaspora Songs - 60 Songs

      Composer(s): H. Leslie Adams, David N. Baker, Margaret Bonds, Charles Brown, H. T. Burleigh, Valerie Capers, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Arthur Cunningham, Harriette Davison Watkins, William Dawson, Mark Fax, Bruce Forsythe, Antônio Carlos Gomes, Adolphus Hailstork, Jacqueline Hairston, Maud Cuney Hare, Jeraldine Herbison, Jonathan Holland, Sylvia Hollifield, Langston Hughes, J. Rosamond Johnson, Thomas Kerr, Lena McLin, Undine Smith Moore, Andre Myers, Camille Nickerson, Fred Onovwerosuoke, Eurydice Osterman, Robert Owens, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Zenobia Powell Perry, Rosephanye Powell, Florence Price, Dave Ragland, Nadine Shanti, Carlos Simon, Hale Smith, Irene Britton Smith, Brandon Spencer, Hilbert Stewart, Howard Swanson, George Walker, Aurelia Young

      Song(s): Amazing Grace (H. Leslie Adams)
      Christmas Lullaby (H. Leslie Adams)
      Sence You Went Away (H. Leslie Adams)
      The Heart of a Woman (H. Leslie Adams)
      The Alarm Clock (David N. Baker)
      The Negro Speaks of Rivers (Margaret Bonds)
      Caring (Charles Brown)
      Desire (Charles Brown)
      Your Eyes So Deep (H. T. Burleigh)
      Your Lips Are Wine (H. T. Burleigh)
      Autumn (Valerie Capers)
      Elëanore (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor)
      The Willow Song (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor)
      Minakesh (Arthur Cunningham)
      Stars (Harriette Davison Watkins)
      Out in the Fields (William Dawson)
      The Refused (Mark Fax)
      With Rue My Heart Is Laden (Bruce Forsythe)
      Suspiro d’alma (Antônio Carlos Gomes)
      If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking (Adolphus Hailstork)
      Longing (Adolphus Hailstork)
      Loveliest of Trees (Adolphus Hailstork)
      Dormi, Jesu (Jacqueline Hairston)
      Gardé Piti Mulet Là (Maud Cuney Hare)
      I’ll Not Forget (Jeraldine Herbison)
      Little Elegy (Jonathan Holland)
      In Time of Silver Rain (Sylvia Hollifield)
      The Founding Fathers (Langston Hughes)
      This is My Land (Langston Hughes)
      L’il Gal (J. Rosamond Johnson)
      Soliloquy (Thomas Kerr)
      Amazing Grace (Lena McLin)
      The Year’s at the Spring (Lena McLin)
      I Am in Doubt (Undine Smith Moore)
      I Want to Die While You Love Me (Undine Smith Moore)
      For a Poet (Andre Myers)
      Chere, Mo Lemmé Toi (Camille Nickerson)
      Gué, Gué, Solingaie (Camille Nickerson)
      Mshila (Fred Onovwerosuoke)
      Entreaty (I Am the Rose of Sharon) (Eurydice Osterman)
      Could I but Ride Indefinite (Robert Owens)
      Die Nacht (Robert Owens)
      From the Dark Tower (Robert Owens)
      The Lynching (Robert Owens)
      The Secret (Robert Owens)
      Madrigal (Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson)
      O Children of Men (Zenobia Powell Perry)
      I Want to Die While You Love Me (Rosephanye Powell)
      Spring (Florence Price)
      The Sum (Florence Price)
      Martin Luther King, Jr. (Dave Ragland)
      Mangez, Boulez (Eat, Drink, Be Merry) (Nadine Shanti)
      Prayer (Carlos Simon)
      Troubled Woman (Hale Smith)
      Why Fades a Dream? (Irene Britton Smith)
      Dream Variations (Brandon Spencer)
      Spring Song (Hilbert Stewart)
      One Day (Howard Swanson)
      I Went to Heaven (George Walker)
      Norris Swamp (Aurelia Young)

      Voice Type: 36 Songs are for High Voice - Medium to High Voice
      24 Songs are for Medium - Medium to Low Voice

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