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Dialect and Messages of Negro Spirituals. Presented by Clarence Jones. NEGRO SPIRITUALS EMANATED. From the hearts of the Ante-Bellum Slaves The House/Field Negros Religious Passion Overflowing Faith in God Oral Tradition – One Generation to Another The “Invisible Church”.

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negro spirituals emanated
NEGRO SPIRITUALS EMANATED
  • From the hearts of the Ante-Bellum Slaves
    • The House/Field Negros
  • Religious Passion Overflowing
    • Faith in God
  • Oral Tradition – One Generation to Another
  • The “Invisible Church”
the pre literate era of slavery
THE PRE-LITERATE ERA OF SLAVERY
  • Preaching Inspired These Songs
  • Singing Sacred Songs
    • Jubilees – “Great Day the Righteous Marching”
    • Folk Songs – “Study War No More”
    • Shout Songs – “Every Time I Feel the Spirit”
    • Sorrow Songs – “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child”
    • Slave Songs – “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”
    • Minstrel Songs – “Cotton Pickin’ Songs”
    • Religious Songs – “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”
    • Negro Spirituals – “Steal Away”
conditions that influence negro spirituals
CONDITIONS THAT INFLUENCE NEGRO SPIRITUALS
  • Negative
    • “The Blind Man Stood on the Road and Cried”
  • Degrading
    • “Master Going to Sell Us Tomorrow”
  • Dyer Conditions
    • 6,000 Independent Spirituals Exist Today
handed down spirituals speak of
HANDED DOWN SPIRITUALS SPEAK OF…
  • Life – “Scandalize My Name”
  • Death – “I Want to Die Easy, When I Die”
  • Suffering – “I’ve Been ‘Buked”
  • Sorrow – “A City Called Heaven”
  • Love – “God is God! God Don’t Never Change!”
  • Judgment – “In That Great Getting Up Morning”
  • Grace – “Fix Me, Jesus”
  • Hope – “Heaven, Heaven”
  • Justice – “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel”
  • Mercy – “Standing in the Need of Prayer”
spirituals were
SPIRITUALS WERE…
  • Songs of A PEOPLE WEARY AT HEART
  • Songs of UNHAPPY PEOPLE
  • BEAUTIFUL EXPRESSION of Human Experience
african s lives celebrated though music
AFRICAN’S LIVES CELEBRATED THOUGH MUSIC
  • Marriage – “ Marry a Woman Uglier Than”
  • Birth – “Mary Had A Baby”
  • Death – “I’m So Glad There’s No Dying Over There”
  • Work – “Children, Don’t Get Weary ‘Til Your Work Is Done”
  • Play – “All I Do the Church Keep A’ Grumbling”
  • Public Humor – “Jerry, The Arkansas Mule”
rhythm
RHYTHM
  • Important to Music
  • Words Primary
    • Derived From Particular Event
  • Content & Mood Dictated Instrumentation Use
    • Ex. Hand clapping
negro spirituals tell of
NEGRO SPIRITUALS TELL OF…
  • Exile – “Let My People Go”
  • Trouble – “I Been in the Storm So Long”
  • Strife – “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody turn Me ‘Round”
  • Hiding – “No Hiding Place Down There”
  • Groping (toward some unseen power) – “Over My Head I Hear Music in the Air”
  • Sigh For Rest (at the end of life) –

“Soon I Will Be Done”

slide10
“But through all the sorrow of the sorrow songs there breathes a hope - a faith in the ultimate justice of things.”

William E. B. Dubois

musical form of the negro spiritual
MUSICAL FORM OF THE NEGRO SPIRITUAL
  • Rhythm
  • Intricacy (of Rhythm)
  • Written in Quadruple & Duple Meter
  • Syncopation
3 classifications of negro spirituals
3 CLASSIFICATIONS OF NEGRO SPIRITUALS
  • Call & Response
    • Chant & Response By Choir
  • Syncopated
    • Fast Tempos
    • Body Movements
    • Rhythm That Swings
  • Slow & Sustained
    • Long-phrased Melodies
    • Slow Tempos
    • Long & Sustained Phrases, Nostalgic, Dignified
spirituals are
SPIRITUALS ARE…
  • Vocally Diatonic
  • Highly Ornamental
  • Plaintive
  • Nostalgic
  • Dignified
  • Beautiful
  • Appealing
types of scales used in spirituals
TYPES OF SCALES USED IN SPIRITUALS
  • Conventional Major & Minor Scales
  • Pentatonic Scale
  • Mixed & Modal Scales
slide15
Flatted Thirds
  • Flatted Sevenths
  • Flatted Sixths
  • I, IV, and V7 Chords
musical textutes
MUSICAL TEXTUTES
  • Horizontal – Melodic
  • Vertical – Harmonic
  • Monophonic
    • Single melodic line without accompaniment
  • Polyphonic
    • 2 or more simultaneous melodies
  • Homophonic
    • Single melody with accompaniment
vocalist soloist
VOCALIST/SOLOIST
  • Most vital factor
  • Techniques – Had No Bounds or Rules
    • Chants
    • Hums
    • Wailings
    • Shouts
    • Glides
    • Turns
    • Groans & Moans
    • Word Interjections
improvisation
IMPROVISATION
  • Main Stylistic Feature/Tool of Folk Songs
  • Permitted in Lyrics
  • Words of the Negro Spiritual…
    • Generally represent the feeling of the songs
howard thurman suggests majority of text came from
HOWARD THURMAN SUGGESTS Majority of Text Came From…
  • Old Testament of the Bible
    • “Go Down Moses”
    • “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel”
  • New Testament of the Bible
    • “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”
    • “He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word”
    • “Go Tell It On the Mountain”
    • “De Glory Manger”
slide20
The World of Nature
    • “Deep River”
    • “Roll, Jordan Roll”
    • “The Promised Land”
    • “Heaven”
    • “Over Jordan”
slide21
Freedom from slavery and

freedom from life

were often synonymous.

“Oh Freedom”

“Bound for Canaan Land”

“Deep River”

“Swing Low Sweet Chariot”

“Steal Away to Jesus”

slide22
Release in death sometimes

became the ultimate hope and goal.

“Steal Away”

“Swing Low Sweet Chariot”

“I Want to Die Easy, When I Die”

slide23
HILDRED ROACH informs us that despite the overabundance of biblical words used in the majority of spirituals, their functions were not purely religious.
functions of biblical words used in spirituals according to hildred roach
FUNCTIONS OF BIBLICAL WORDS USED IN SPIRITUALS (According to Hildred Roach)
  • Search of Freedom
  • In Religious Services
  • To Teach - To Gossip
  • To Scold - To Signal
  • To Delight in the Telling of Tales
  • Relief in the Minds & Bodies of the Enslaved
  • Inform Slaves of Their Own Affairs
  • Social Politics - Deliverance - Escape - Satire
specialization in message of spirituals
SPECIALIZATION IN MESSAGE OF SPIRITUALS

“God is a God”

“God don’t never change!”

“God is a God”

“An’ He always will be God!”

spirituals with dual or decoded meaings
SPIRITUALS WITH DUAL OR DECODED MEAINGS
  • “There’s a Great Camp Meeting”
  • “Walk Together Children”
  • “Children Don’t Get Weary”
  • “Steal Away”
  • “O Mary, Don’t You Weep, Don’t You Mourn”
spirituals with amazing meanings or word paintings
SPIRITUALS WITH AMAZING MEANINGS OR “WORD PAINTINGS”
  • “Hush, Hush, Somebody’s Calling My Name”
  • “Keep A-Inchin’ Along”
  • “Somebody’s Knocking at Your Door”
religious songs with spiritual significance
RELIGIOUS SONGS WITH SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE
  • “De Gospel Train”
    • “Get on Board Little Children”
  • “Steal Away”
  • “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel”
  • “Deep River”
early spirituals
EARLY SPIRITUALS…
  • Not Just Songs
  • Unceasing Variations on a Theme
  • Religious (& Social) Songs
    • Sung by group of people
  • Expressions of Feelings
    • Miniscule regard for sound effect, vocal beauty, or proper harmonic progression
spirituals beyond the act of emancipation
SPIRITUALS BEYOND THE ACT OF EMANCIPATION
  • The Fisk Jubilee Singers
    • Artistic metamorphosis in 1870’s
    • Became permanent American art form
  • George L. White
    • Caucasian music instructor at Fisk
    • Organized, trained, and named original

“Fisk Jubilee Singers”

  • “The Invisible Church”
    • Praise house songs artistic & “concertized” in choral form in U.S. and beyond
slide31
“The Hampton Institute Singers”
    • Guidance of R. Nathaniel Dett
    • Became extremely popular
  • Black Colleges & Churches
    • Sacred music of the painful past
  • Anthemizes Spiritual
    • Developed by black composers & musicians who studied in conservatories
slide32
R. Nathaniel Dett
    • “Listen to the Lambs” – 1914

Harry T. Burleigh

    • One of the first to arrange & perform spirituals
    • Style of the European Art Song
    • “Deep River” - 1916
    • Became model for others
blacks who sing followed tradition helped develop the form
BLACKS WHO SING, FOLLOWED TRADITION & HELPED DEVELOP THE FORM

Marian Anderson Camilla Williams

slide34

Dorothy Maynor

Mattiwilda Dobbs

slide35

Paul Robeson

Leontyne Price

George Shirley

Roland Hayes

slide36

Todd Duncan

Shirley Verrett

Simon Estes

Robert McFerrin

black composers of vocal instrumental spiritual arrangements
BLACK COMPOSERS OF VOCAL & INSTRUMENTAL SPIRITUAL ARRANGEMENTS
  • Edward Boatner
    • Native of New Orleans, LA
    • Music Director, National Baptist Convention
  • Harry T. Burleigh
    • Erie, PA
    • Singer, Composer, Arranger
  • Clarence Cameron White
    • Clarksville, TN
    • Taught at West Virginia State & Hampton Institute
slide38
Willis Laurence James
    • Montgomery, AL
    • Music Educator, Violinist, Musicologist
    • Alabama State, Fort Valley State, Spellman, Leland College
  • Hall Johnson
    • Athens, AL
    • Composer, Arranger
    • Conductor of Famous “Hall Johnson Choir”
    • Wrote Music for “Green Pastures” & “Run, Little Chillun”
slide39
William Dawson
    • Annestomn, AL
    • Composer, Arranger
    • Conductor of Famous Tuskegee Choir
  • John W. Work
    • Tullahoma, TN
    • Fisk Jubilee Singers Director
  • Frederick Hall
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Director of Music at Clark, Morris Brown, Alabama State, and Dillard Universities
slide40
R. Nathaniel Dett
    • Drummondville, Ontario
    • Taught at Lane College, Lincoln, and Hampton Institute
  • Eva Jessye
    • Coffeyville, KS
    • Composer, Conductor
  • James Weldon &

Rosamond Johnson

  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
slide41
William Grant Still
    • Woodville, MS
    • Conducted Major Symphony Orchestras
  • Florence Price
    • Little Rock, AK
    • Conductor, Arranger, and Composer for Instrumental & Vocal Ensembles
  • Margaret Bonds
    • Chicago, IL
    • Pianist & Choral Arrangements
slide42
Undine Smith Moore
    • Jarrat, VA
    • Music Educator, Composer, Arranger
    • Taught at Virginia State an VA Union
  • Lena McLin
    • Chicago, IL
    • Composer, Arranger, Music Educator
white symphonic composers
WHITE SYMPHONIC COMPOSERS
  • Anton Dvorak
    • Czechoslovakian composer
    • Greatly influenced by student -

Harry T. Burleigh

  • George Gershwin
    • American Composer
    • “Porgy & Bess”
      • First successful American Opera
      • Written about the life of blacks
      • Written in style of the Spiritual
spirituals influence development
SPIRITUALS: INFLUENCE & DEVELOPMENT
  • Messages & Emotions
  • Penetrating in Popular & Classical Music

Minstrel Songs Jazz

Blues Country Music

Popular Songs Ring-Game Songs

Swing White Rock

Soul Music Gospel

R&B Rap

out of reservoir of negro spirituals came
OUT OF RESERVOIR OF NEGRO SPIRITUALS CAME…
  • Freedom Songs of

“The Nonviolent Movement”

  • Songs that Demonstrate Justice & Human Dignity
  • The Foundation for Black Music in U.S.
songs of the soul and of the soil enriched american music
SONGS of the SOUL AND OF THE SOIL ENRICHED AMERICAN MUSIC
  • Syncopated rhythm
  • The Art of Jazz Music
  • A Wealth of Materials used by Great Composers
  • They Articulate the Message of an Oppressed People
  • An Artful Expression that Enhanced Christianity
  • Patience
  • Love, Freedom
  • Faith
  • Hope
in conclusion
IN CONCLUSION…

The slaves were NOT simply

singing a song;

they were

expressing a point of view:

“Go Down, Moses; Way Down in Egypt Land. Tell Ol’ Pharaoh to Let My People Go.”