(b Tallahassee, FL, 1 Feb 1937). American musicologist and music administrator. His early training was in music education: he graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1957 (BME) and Southern Illinois University in 1965 (MME). He received the PhD from Southern Illinois in 1969. Floyd taught at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (1962–4) and Southern Illinois University (1966–78). He was then appointed director of the Institute for Research in Black Music, Fisk University (1978–83). From 1983 to 1990 he was director of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College, Chicago and he was reappointed to this position in 1993.
Floyd's research has centred on the music of Black Americans. He has worked on the bibliography of the field, and his interests include interdisciplinary studies and music in Harlem. He is editor of Black Music Research Journal and Lenox Avenue: a Journal of Interartistic Inquiry, and artistic director of the Black Music Repertory Ensemble. As a musician, Floyd has been active as a percussionist; he taught percussion instruments and studies at both Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and at Southern Illinois University. His honours include the Irving Lowens Award from the Sonneck Society for American Music.
‘A Black Composer in Nineteenth-Century St. Louis’, 19CM, iv (1980–81), 121–33
‘Social Dance Music of Black Composers in the Nineteenth Century and the Emergence of Classical Ragtime’, BPM, viii (1980), 161–93
‘Toward a Philosophy of Black Music Scholarship’, Black Music Research Journal, ii (1981–2), 72–93
‘An Oral History: the Great Lakes Experience’, BPM, xi (1983), 41–61
Black Music in the United States: an Annotated Bibliography of Selected Reference and Research Materials (Millwood, NY, 1983)
with M.Reisser: ‘The Sources of Resources of Classic Ragtime Music’, Black Music Research Journal, iv (1984), 22–59
‘Books on Black Music by Black Authors: a Bibliography’, BPM, xiv (1986), 215–32
‘Afro-American Music and Dance’, Black Studies: Theory, Method, and Cultural Perspectives, ed. T. Anderson (Pullman, WA, 1990), 216–26
ed.: Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance: a Collection of Essays (New York, 1990) [incl. ‘Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance: an Overview’, 1–28]
‘Ring Shout! Literary Studies, Historical Studies, and Black Music Inquiry’, Black Music Research Journal, xi (1991), 267–88
ed., with J.Wright: New Perspectives on Music: Essays in Honor of Eileen Southern (Warren, MI, 1992) [incl ‘Eileen Jackson Southern: Quiet Revolutionary’, 3–15]
‘Troping the Blues: from Spirituals to the Concert Hall’, Black Music Research Journal, xiii (1993), 31–51
The Power of Black Music: Interpreting its History from Africa to the United States (New York, 1995)
(bap. Bearsted, Kent, 17 Jan 1574; d London, 8 Sept 1637). English writer and composer. Robert was the seventh child of Sir Thomas Fludd, knight, who lived at Milgate House, Bearsted. He was admitted a commoner at St John’s College, Oxford, in 1591, obtained the BA on 3 February 1596 and the MA on 8 July 1598. After six years travelling through Europe teaching, he returned to England and achieved the degrees of MB and MD at Christ Church, Oxford, on 16 May 1605. His unorthodox views, associated with Rosicrucianism, hindered his admission to the College of Physicians, but he was eventually elected a Fellow on 20 September 1609. He practised in London, lived for a time in Fenchurch Street and died unmarried on 8 September 1637 at his home in the parish of St Catherine’s, Coleman Street. He was buried in the chancel of Bearsted church on 21 September 1637, where there is an elaborate memorial he designed himself.
Of Fludd’s many Latin treatises only a few touch on music. Utriusque cosmi … metaphysica, physica atque technica histories (Oppenheim, 1617–24; see illustration) treats of musical phenomena in tract I, book 3; tract II, part i, book 6, and part ii, book 4. In obscure language and with fantastic diagrams Fludd postulated that the universe was a musical instrument set playing by the soul or spirit of the world. He criticized his contemporary theoreticians Kepler and Mersenne. Kepler’s Harmonices mundi (1619) attacked Fludd’s theories, to which the latter replied in his Monochordum mundi symphoniacum (Frankfurt, 1622, 2/1625). Mersenne’s Quaestiones celeberimae in Genesim (Paris, 1623) also censured Fludd, provoking Sophiae cum moria certamen (Frankfurt, 1629) and Summum bonorum quod est verum (Frankfurt, 1629) in reply. Fludd’s abstruse fantasies leave most agreeing with Hawkins that he was ‘a man of a disordered imagination’.
13 trite dances for two trebles and a bass by ‘Dr Fludd’ (US-NH Filmer 3) come from the Filmer home at East Sutton, a few miles from Bearsted. The manuscript dates from the later years of Fludd’s life and the pieces may reasonably be assumed to be by him.
P.J.Amman: ‘The Musical Theory and Philosophy of Robert Fludd’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, xxx (1967), 198–227
J.Godwin: ‘Robert Fludd on the Lute and Pandora’, LSJ, xv (1973), 11–19
J.Godwin: ‘Instruments in Robert Fludd’s Utriusque cosmi … historia’, GSJ, xxvi (1973), 2–14
T.Barton: Robert Fludd’s ‘Temple of Music’: a Description and Commentary (diss., U. of Oregon, 1978)