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Sinful tunes and spirituals : Black folk music to the Civil War

Author: Dena J Epstein
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, ©1977.
Series: Music in American life.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Epstein, Dena J., 1916-2013.
Sinful tunes and spirituals.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, ©1977
(OCoLC)891962803
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Dena J Epstein
ISBN: 0252005201 9780252005206 0252008758 9780252008757
OCLC Number: 2929602
Description: xix, 433 pages : illustrations, music ; 24 cm.
Contents: Prologue. The African heritage and the Middle Passage --
Early reports of African music in British and French America. La calinda and the banza ; Other African dancing --
More Black instruments and early white reaction. Drums and other African instruments ; The balafo ; Legal restrictions on instruments --
The role of music in daily life. Funerals ; Pinkster and other African clelebrations in the North ; Worksongs and other kinds of African singing --
The acculturation of African music in the new world. The arrival of Africans and their music ; Acculturation in New Orleans --
Conversion to Christianity --
Acculturated Black music in the thirteen colonies. The African jig, a Black-to-white exchange --
African survivals. Persisting musical and cultural patterns ; Black music in New Orleans, 1820-67 --
Acculturated dancing and associated instruments. Patting juba ; Drums, quills, banjo, bones, triangle, tambourine ; Fiddlers ; Instrumental combinations --
Worksongs. Field work and domestic chores ; Industrial and steamboat workers ; Boat songs ; Corn, cane, and other harvest songs ; Singing on the march ; Street cries and field hollers --
Distinctive characteristics of secular Black folk music. Whistling ; Improvisation ; Satire ; Style of singing ; Other secular music --The religious background of sacred Black folk music, 1801-67. Opposition to religious instruction of slaves ; Camp meetings ; Missions to the slaves ; Black religious groups ; Oppostion to secular music and dancing --
Distinctive Black religious music. Spirituals ; Attempts to suppress Black religious singing ; The shout ; Funerals --
Early wartime reports and the first publication of a spiritual and its music --
The Port Royal experiment. Historical background ; Earliest published reports ; Wartime publication of song texts and music --
Reports of Black folk music, 1863-67. Criticism of "this barbaric music" ; Recognition of a distinctive folk music ; The shout ; Worksongs ; Performance style ; Introduction of "new songs" by the teachers --
Slave songs of the United States : its editors. William Francis Allen ; Charles Pickard Ware ; Lucy McKim Garrison --
Slave songs of the United States : its publication. The contirbutors ; Problems of notation ; Assembling the collection ; Publication and reception --
Conclusion --
Appendix I. Musical excerpts from the manuscript diaries of William Francis Allen --
Appendix II. Table of sources for the banjo, chronologically arranged --
Appendix III. Earliest published versions of "Go down, Moses."
Series Title: Music in American life.
Responsibility: Dena J. Epstein.

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