Black History Month – Black composers (part one)

Tales of One City

As Black History Month draws to a close, the Music Library explores Black composers and performers who we believe deserve a place on your playlist all year round. The first in a series of blogs, we look at some of the earliest documented Black classical composers.

Ignatius Sancho
According to a biography by Joseph Jekyll, Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave shipenroute to the Spanish West Indies from Guinea around 1729. However, according to his letters that were published posthumously, Sancho states that he was born in Africa. Sancho’s mother died when he was a baby and his father committed suicide when faced with a life in enslavement. The orphaned Sancho was forced to work as a slave at a house in Greenwich when he was around the age of two and it was during this time that he met the 2nd Duke of Montagu, John Montagu, who helped…

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