“Musical Passage: A Voyage to 1688 Jamaica” is a Small Axe Project Commons Event hosted by sx archipelagos, featuring Laurent Dubois, David Garner, and Mary Caton Lingold. The material will be available from . See details below.
Description: Musical Passage uses a digital format to explore a unique artifact of early African diasporic music. The site is designed around two pages from eighteenth-century British naturalist and collector Hans Sloane’s A Voyage to the Islands (1707), which documents his time in Jamaica in the late 1680s. The pages of Voyage that have been placed at the center of this site present notation of songs played at a “festival.” This material is precious and fascinating, representing the earliest notation we have of music produced by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean or North America. The performers whose music is represented and interpreted here were likely survivors of the Middle Passage who may have been playing music they had learned in their homelands. They may also have been in the process of creating entirely new performance traditions.