Negro String Quartet
Negro String Quartet
Founded by Felix Weir and active from 1920 to 1933, the Negro String Quartet performed in the musical programs of many churches and community organizations in Harlem and at Columbia University. Its members were Weir and Arthur Boyd, first and second violins respectively; Hall Johnson, viola; and Marion Cumbo, cello. They performed both European chamber music and the music of African-American composers, including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Clarence Cameron White. Johnson, who later formed his own choir and arranged many African-American spirituals, also composed and arranged music for the quartet. The Negro String Quartet was the musical descendant of the American String Quartet, also founded by Weir, which included Joseph Lymos, Hall Johnson, and Leonard Jeter. Despite its brief tenure (1914–1919), its members bequeathed a distinguished reputation to the Negro String Quartet: Johnson and Jeter were members of the original pit orchestra of the Broadway musical Shuffle Along (together with Eubie Blake and William Grant Still). Jeter performed the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1914 and was one of Marion Cumbo's cello teachers.
The Negro String Quartet's most significant performance was on November 28, 1925, at Carnegie Hall, when it accompanied Roland Hayes singing spirituals arranged by Hall Johnson for tenor, piano, and string quartet. Of that performance, the New York Times music critic Olin Downes wrote, "The performance had the profound and mystical feeling that the slave songs possess—a spirituality and pathos given them in fact as well as in name. Thus the final group was not merely an expected item of an entertainment, but rather the contribution of musicians and artists together in the presence of a common ideal of beauty."
Cuney-Hare, Maude. Negro Musicians and Their Music. Washington, D.C.: Associated Publishers, 1936.
Waters, Ethel, with Charles Samuels. His Eye Is on the Sparrow. New York: Doubleday, 1951.
timothy w. holley (1996)
"Negro String Quartet." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 12, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/negro-string-quartet
"Negro String Quartet." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. . Retrieved November 12, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/negro-string-quartet
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.