Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Eric Lott

Subject Categories

Aesthetics | American Literature | American Material Culture | Art Education | Art Practice | Music Theory | Painting | Poetry


Music, American Literature and Culture, Visual Art, Creative Writing


music lessons is a digital chapbook that explores the relationships between James Baldwin’s writing and Beauford Delaney’s paintings through music. From Delaney’s “Composition 16” (1954-56) to Baldwin’s “The Uses of the Blues” (1964), their collaboration with the core elements of jazz music gives their work rhythm and melodic contour that any/body can vibe with. Absorbing the influences of artists Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and putting them to paint and text, music lessons demonstrates how music not only transforms the ways we experience and move our bodies but also the ways that we perceive space, relationships, and time. What’s more, Delaney and Baldwin teach us the real and simple truth of music—that is, what a body can make of the past in the present, and how to press on from there.