The Emancipation of Negro Music, in which he expressed the mixed feelings of a black classical composer attempting to incorporate African-American music within European art forms. Although he was not part of the Harlem Renaissance per se, his work embodied its goals.
His generation was far enough removed from slavery to have been impacted more by the Reconstruction and other post-war influences. There were two competing visions of the music of black Americans. One, embodied by minstrelsy, consisted of white people with black make-up ("blackface")
Locke contributed an essay about spirituals, and there are references to music throughout the book. Locke cites American Negro Songs and Spirituals, a collection compiled by John Work, and discusses the work of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and other choirs from black colleges to dignify the genre. Although jazz is today the musical style associated with Harlem of the 1920s, Locke encouraged composers to use spirituals as their inspiration. He would later write a whole book on The New Negro and His Music.
Florence Price (1887 - 1953) lived in Little Rock and then Chicago. Despite never living in Harlem, her works embody the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. She drew on themes from African-American life, and especially religious music. She was the first black female classical composer of the United States. Her works were performed by many revered musicians, including The Chicago Symphony and Marian Anderson.
William Grant Still, (1898 - 1975) belonged to a later generation, and he was not part of the circle of artists and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance despite living in New York. After graduation from Oberlin College, he performed in the popular music styles of the day. Later he achieved success with his classical compositions, including his best-known work, the Afro-American Symphony, which incorporates both spirituals and popular music idioms. He composed in every classical form, and although he frequently referenced African-American or African themes, they were only some of the many inspirations that influenced his works.
Music of Harry T. Burleigh
Music of R. Nathaniel Dett
Music of Florence Price
Writings and Music of William Grant Still