Folklore | Black Religious Music
F527 | 2425 | Burnim

Using both a socio-cultural and a historical perspective, this course
explores the major forms of African American religious music
indigenous to the United States, (Negro Spirituals and gospel music),
as well as those Euro-American musical expressions that have emerged
as integral parts of the African American worship experience.
Students are engaged in multi-layered experiences of history,
aesthetics and ethnography through the frequent utilization of audio
and video recordings, as well as participant observation in African
American churches. The course format is both diachronic and
syncronic, so designed to assist students in recognizing
relationships between different forms of African American musical
expression, despite their differing time frames and contexts of
Bernice Reagon. We'll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering
African American Gospel Composers. Washington & London: Smithsonian
Institution Press, 1992.
Southern Eileen, ed. Readings in Black American Music. New York:
Norton, 1997.
Collated xeroxed reading packet.
Wade in the Water. Smithsonian/Folkways & National Public Radio,
1994. (Four cassette tapes and an Educatorís Guide on African
American Religious Music/ OR two vol. cd set)
LISTENING EXAMS - Two equally-weighted listening examinations, one
covering Negro spirituals (folk and arranged), psalmody, hymnody, the
other gospel music, valued at 50 points each will be given at the end
of segments covering these two topics.
ASSIGNMENTS/PAPERS--A series of oral and written assignments of
varying point value will be given during the semester. Detailed
instructions will be given for executing these assignments, which
will include preparation of a book/record or film review, and
conducting field work at a Black religious music performance event.