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Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar

Desert Dancer 15 Oct 13 - 05:44 PM
blind will 22 Jul 09 - 10:14 PM
blind will 21 Jul 09 - 11:13 PM
blind will 21 Jul 09 - 09:44 PM
blind will 21 Jul 09 - 09:30 PM
TinDor 10 Jan 09 - 09:36 PM
Janie 10 Jan 09 - 09:06 PM
Goose Gander 10 Jan 09 - 08:29 PM
Goose Gander 10 Jan 09 - 08:12 PM
TinDor 10 Jan 09 - 07:40 PM
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Azizi 10 Jan 09 - 05:13 PM
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TinDor 10 Jan 09 - 04:55 PM
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Azizi 09 Jan 09 - 04:16 PM
Goose Gander 09 Jan 09 - 03:31 PM
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blind will 30 Jul 06 - 03:31 AM
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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 15 Oct 13 - 05:44 PM

NPR, as part of a continuing series on sacred music, had a report this morning on the living (though fading) tradition of "lining out" among Old Regular Baptists in the American South: Before Churches Had Songbooks, There Was 'Lined-Out' Gospel.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: blind will
Date: 22 Jul 09 - 10:14 PM

Continuing my response to TinDor,

"Some AfroAmerican Blues/Gospel Stylings"

Blind Willie Johnson Dark Was The Night

You might be interested to know that "Dark Was The Night-Cold Was The Ground" comes right out of the Dr.Watts/hymn lining tradition.This is an example of a blues recording that directly imitates the slow moaning style of Dr.Watts.

According to the cd liner notes of The Complete Blind Willie Johnson box set: "This old hymn was so widely known that there was no need to finish the title on the record label, but the whole shattering mood of the performance comes from its full title, " Dark Was The Night And Cold Was The Ground On Which Our Lord Was Laid." Angeline Johnson also sang it for me, and as it was sung in that part of Texas it was a slow, solemn responsive psalm, in which the preacher intoned the first phrase, very slowly, and the congregation responded with the same meassured solemnity.What Willie did in the studio was to create this mood, this haunted response to Christ's crucifixion.The melody came achingly through in the slide on the guitar strings, and he followed its phrases with a wordless, half hummed meditation on the meaning of the song."

To get an idea of what "Dark Was The Night" sounds like in it's earlier lined out hymn form, listen closely to the 7th track of the following link.It is a duet rendition of this Dr.Watts hymn and shares a similar melody to the Blind Willie Johnson track:

Dark Was The Night Track 7

Here's some more Dr.Watts hymn singing for you...6 full length examples.I have included both multi-voiced/congregational versions (the way it is most typically sung) and solo versions.But the 3rd one isn't pure Dr.Watts.It's a direct combination of bluesy Dr.Watts with modern gospel style, giving a rendition of "A Charge To Keep I Have" (a very common song in Dr.Watts repertoire).The first and second are also renditions of the same song in the pure traditional way:

A Charge To Keep I Have Solo Version

A Charge To Keep I Have By Congregation

A Charge To Keep I Have By Gospel Group

Elder Robert Moore Sings A Dr Watts Hymn

The Old One Hundreds

A Article On Dr Watts Singing With Full Song Sample

That might be alot of Afro-American Lined Out Hymns To hear and see at once, but I think it will help to give you a fuller picture of the genre (though it is by no means the complete picture).The first solo Dr.Watts video is comparable to field hollers.

I saw one video on You Tube that had a traditional Dr.Watts with clapping.If I can re-locate that video, I'll try to post that in the future.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: blind will
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 11:13 PM

TinDor,

Responding to more of your comments...

"Based on that, I would say Black Gospel is musically "African"

Like Michael Morris said it's not African or European, but rooted in a blend of those two traditions.Just take the music of Afro-American gospel pioneer Charles A. Tindley (who was a big influence on the so called father of gospel Thomas Dorsey).Where did he get his brand of gospel from? He got his style by combining the black spiritual form with the white gospel hymn (which is a musical descendant of both camp meeting songs, the parlor songs of Stephen Foster, Italian operatic melodies, British ballads and Afro-American forms).Another perfect example is the black gospel quartet.It again has ties to the black spiritual (and thus to African roots) but it also has roots that stretch back to the close harmony singing of German speaking Europeans.(The German/Austrian roots of the close harmony quartet tradition is well documented in Gage Averill's most excellent book "Four Parts, No Waiting).A third example is Mahalia Jackson's rendition of "Joy To the World".It has some very distictive Afro-American traits while also having a very notisable classical flavour, the tune itself taken directly from the classical hymn canon (partialy based on Handel's Messiah).Alot of this is repeating what I've said earlier, so I risk being to monotonous.

"IMO, the African-American guy Ruff, is doing little with his claims of origin."

I'd have to agree with you 100 % on this point! The lined out hymn tradition is a very important root to Afro-American gospel, but Willie Ruff should consider the liner notes of my Gaelic Psalms cd: "Precenting, or the practice of putting out the line and responding, is not exclusive to Gaelic language, or Gaelic Presbyterian church tradition; it was first used in English with most of the original tunes coming from Europe, England and the scottish Lowlands" (Quotation taken from the cd "Salm: Volume 1 Gaelic Psalms from the Hebrides of Scotland).

"A comparison of Gaelic/Watts "Lining Out vs AfroAmerican doing the same style of "Lining Out"

Both the Gaelic and Afro-American examples are of the lined out tradition and so they share some things in common.But they are hardly doing the same style of "Lining Out" having distinctively different styles.The Afro-American "Dr.Watts" genre owes about as much to African music as it does the British lined out tradition.One of the differences with Dr.Watts is it's heavy use of overlapping vocal parts (something common to West African music but not very prominent in Gaelic Psalm singing) and the use of African derived vocal effects such as moaning.

"Difference between Call & Response (African style) and Lining Out (gaelic-watts)"

First of all, there is no Gaelic or Dr Watts lining out in the video link you supplied with this comment.It compares white American lining out from Kentucky with an upbeat black spiritual from the Sea Islands.If it were to compare a Dr. watts hymn from the sea Islands to a black spiritual from the same region, there might be alot more similarity.But in any case, the video gives a false distinction between lining out and call and response.Both examples have a call and response pattern, just in a different way and in a very different style.If a person calls and people respond with the same exact line, it's still a call and respond pattern.and even if a song lacks a call and response pattern, it may still have other traits commen to African music and have African roots.

"On the Blues style, it's almost pseudo Arabised Islamic in sound.Not to similar to the Gaelic sound at all."

It's interesting that you say that.When I first heard the Gaelic Psalm singing it reminded me of a Moslem mosque (the way the leader sings).Some people have compared it to the Christian Coptic Chant (which sounds very similar to Islamic music).

As far as the blues tradition having ties to Arab/Islamic music, I think there is an actual connection (atleast some blues stylings).I've notised that alot of different black African singers have some of that Arabic/Islamic vocal quality to their singing style.Considering the history of Islam in Africa, I don't think this is a coincidence.I can also hear some very obvious Arab/Islamic similarities in some Spanish music, which clearly owes to the Arab roots in Spanish culture.I think it's pretty safe to say that Spanish styles such as "flamenco" have Arab roots, which in return spilled over into the blues genre (Early bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson had elements of flamenco in his guitar style, from Spanish-Mexican guitar players he heard).

It should be kept in mind that not all blues vocal stylings have an obvious Islamic similarity in vocal style.And not all field holler renditions of "Levee Camp Holler" are sung in that exact manner in the video you shared.Furthermore some of the same qualitys in Islamic singing can also be found in the lined out hymn tradition.For instance the use of melisma (ornamental phrasing of several notes in one syllable) is common throught the different lined out styles--from the Gaelic Psalm singing, Afro-American Dr.watts, to the lined out singing of Native Americans and Amish Americans.Also the use of "bent notes" in the Muslim call to prayer is certainly common in the Dr.Watts tradition, a style that has been documented from the 1750's.

Personally I believe the American field holler is a hybrid musical style, having roots in both Dr.Watts hymn singing and the West African work song tradition.There also appears to be a measure of Islamic flavoured African in the field holler/blues tradition (as far as my ears are concerned), but this should be kept in balance and not over emphasised to the point of ignoring other influences.

I will continue another day with one more response to your comments, plus some videos of Dr.Watts singing! I have a two week vacation coming up on the weekend, so hopefully I will get to it before that.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: blind will
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 09:44 PM

I'll try to make that link again and see if it works this time:

William H Tallmage Article

If the link still doesn't work (I guess I'm unable to make links on mudcat), you can find it at this url...http://www.jstor.org/pss/924323


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: blind will
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 09:30 PM

Tindor,

I just saw the things you wrote last week during a google search.(To bad I didn't see this earlier).Are you still lurking around?

Back in January this year you quoted from my tedious awful post, in which I questioned my own belief in a blues/lining out connection.At that time I had only heard one brief sample of black American lining out, which seemed pretty unbluesy.But that was four years ago.Since that time I have heard a good number of other Afro-American lining out or "Dr.Watts" (all of which have had a bluesy quality).I have also discovered new information by different authors who discuss the blues/Dr.Watts connection.So I'm more convinced than ever that there is a link between these two genres.Furthermore I have a much fuller picture of the Dr.Watts/lined out hymn tradition and can now hear it's connection to black gospel, the sorrow songs and the sacred moans (the genre I earlier refered to as "blues chant").

According to Jeff Todd Titon in his book "Downhome Blues Lyrics: An Anthology From the Post-World War 2 Era:

"The blues became that new music, although many of it's elements were borrowed from older types of black folk song.The blues scale for instance, was used in work songs and religious music, especialy the chanted prayers, sermons, and long-meter hymns" (Long meter refers to a very common type of Dr.Watts hymn singing).

William T. Dargon in his book "Lining Out the Word" discusses the Dr.Watts hymn tradition in great detail, explaining both it's stylistic unity and stylistic diversity.There is infact different syles of Dr.Watts/African-American lining out.Probably the most common type of "Dr.Watts" is the slower kind that seems to lack an obvious regular rhythm, also known as "long meter hymns" or other names such as "moaning hymns" (not to be confused with the prayer/sermon "moans" which are extremly close in style).But there are other examples of Dr.Watts that have a definite rhythmic pulse with clapping, stomping and even shouting.The author cites the ring shout as being an influence on this second type of Dr.Watts, and points to the influence of shapenote singing on another variation of the form.

Dargon compares the slow moaning style of Dr.Watts to the slow African dirge singing found in West and Central Africa, noting the stylistic similarities between the two.He suggests that this form of Dr.Watts is a hybrid of the slow African dirges with the slow British lined out hymn.To quote William T. Dargon:

"Two dirge-singing traditions, one from Central Africa and other from West Africa, offer graphic precedents for this kind of slow speechlike intonation that predominates in African American lining out.A musical corollary in the Bantu language that Holloway and Vass have identified is suggested by style similarities between a recorded example of dirge singing among the Ngeende, a subgroup of the Kuba in northwestern Zaire, and the moaning style of black lining out common in the Mississippi delta and East Texas.Both offer plaints in slow-to-moderate tempos with intricate melodies that are sung in meticulous unison, and variant pitch and moaning sounds are prevalent.While few reliable conclusions can follow from one pair of examples, this similarity does suggest that African linguistic and musical influences have interacted with European ones to produce a striking patchwork of black lining-out styles.Although the Ghanaian dirges recorded and transcribed by Kofi Agawu sound much less "African American" than the Ngeende, both forms are identical to that of lining out: a leader speak-sings a call in free rhythms and the group responds in a more metrical rhythm upon definite pitches...Taken together, these examples from West and Central Africa suggest how widespread the practice of dirge singing may have been in the areas from which slaves were imported to North America."

Another interesting bit of information William T. Dargon gives in his book, is the influence of Dr.Watts hymn singing on field hollers.Based on a quote of Son House who refers to field hollers as "old long meter songs" he sais:

"Bluesman Son House pointed to field hollers as a source to blues, and noted that hollers came from the practice of long meter hymn singing (House 1965).This kind of approach to spoken song can also be heard, for example, in the work of early bluesman Charlie Patton.Such singing which stems from elaborate speech rhythms, is freely articulated through formulaic melismas, alternately pulling against and flowing with the regular pulse of the bluesman's guitar.

Concerning the "moans" or what I initially called "blues chant" (obviously related to Dr.Watts hymns) he sais:

"A structural point of transfer may also have figured in the process, whereby the three-line structure of the moans (eg.,Wade in the Water,Vol.2,no.16) became the three-line formula of blues lyrics.The a-a-a form occurs in moans as well as blues, and the movement from this to the more common a-a-b blues lyric might have occured as a signifying variation upon the older structure."

However another book author David Evans points to the black ballad tradition (with it's use of 12 bars and AAB form) as the basis for the blues pattern.In his overall excellent book "Big Road Blues" he gives a very convincing case for the black ballad's impact on the blues genre.But I strongly disagree when he dismisses any important African American religious roots to the blues.


PS. Well that's almost all I have to say on this long meter post (pun intended!), but I have a second post coming shortly that will respond to some of your other comments.For now I will share this article segment from William H. Tallmage, which discusses Dr.Watts hymn singing in relation to gospel, blues, and a slow style of work song (though I don't agree that lining out originated in Scotland):

DR Watts Article By William H Tallmage


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: TinDor
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 09:36 PM

Michael Morris wrote:

I'm not going to argue that there are no African influences in blues and gospel - clearly there are - but in branding these uniquely American forms as African, you are frankly missing the point. Culture is not static. You listen to gospel and believe it sounds African; Ruff listens to the same music and believes it sounds Gaelic - two sides of the same coin, and both represent a limited and incomplete analysis.

Michael Morris, Blues and Gospel are "American" but it's pretty clear and obvious that musically/vocally and the over "feel" are much close to the African examples I gave than anything I've heard so far from Europe.


Michael Morris wrote:

Call and response, pentatonic scales, flatted thirds and sevenths, sliding, melisma, etc. are not specifically African, certainly not specifically Afro-Islamic

Nope, but you won't find anything as close to American Blues with these traits such as Senegambian-Sahelian-Upper West African music. Even traditional North East African music from North Sudan-Ethiopia-Somalia has a similar feel. I havan't heard any Anglo-Celtic European music as close to the Blues as those I just mentioned. Im talking both vocally and musically speaking. For example

Nubian Oud Jam


Description about Nubian/North Sudanese music


What they say bout Ethiopian music..


"At Friday's event, Gershon lectured on Ethiopian music with demonstrations by Atanaw, Dagnew, Shenkute, and Lebron. Ethiopian music, Gershon explained, is based on four five-note scales (pentatonic). Tezeta is a scale associated with "nostalgia and longing, the equivalent of blues or soul." Anchihoy is employed mainly in wedding songs, and as a jazz musician Gershon said he finds this scale congenial because of its inherent dissonance.

The song the group played to illustrate the scale bati had a propulsive, danceable beat. Shenkute snapped her fingers to it before reaching for the mike and beginning her vocal, which seemed to dive porpoiselike in and out of the instrumental accompaniment, sinking at times almost to inaudibility, then surging upward to a full-throated wail. The fourth scale, ambassel, also fits comfortably with modern jazz harmonies, Gershon said.
"

Ethiojazz' sets feet to tapping

A more technical description of Ethion music and how it's similar to Blues


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Janie
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 09:06 PM

I'm always intrigued by the connectness of things, and the connectedness ( or matrix) between nature and nurture. Nurture includes culture.   

In the FWIW department, I have recently stumbled upon the science of biomusicology. It seems reasonable to me to understand the roots of all human experience of music (both production and effect), to be biologically enabled and culturally influenced.

If I understand you correctly, Michael, your position is that there are numerous cultural influences that can be found in American music, but that it is incorrect to ascribe the roots of American music as belonging to any particular culture or ethnic group, i.e. that it is apparent that there are Afrocentric and Eurocentric influences in American music, including gospel music, but it would be incorrect to say that either holds a claim to be being "the root" of American music forms.

Do I understand you correctly?


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 08:29 PM

Arguments such as yours and Ruff's remind me of the fable of the blind men and the elephant.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 08:12 PM

I'm not going to argue that there are no African influences in blues and gospel - clearly there are - but in branding these uniquely American forms as African, you are frankly missing the point. Culture is not static. You listen to gospel and believe it sounds African; Ruff listens to the same music and believes it sounds Gaelic - two sides of the same coin, and both represent a limited and incomplete analysis. Call and response, pentatonic scales, flatted thirds and sevenths, sliding, melisma, etc. are not specifically African, certainly not specifically Afro-Islamic.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: TinDor
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 07:40 PM

Michael Morris wrote
And if Brazil received more African Muslims than the American South (which one of your sources indicates), wouldn't one expect to find an even stronger Afro-Islamic influence in Brazilian music?

Micahel Morris, Brazil didn't have more African muslim slaves than America (upwards of 30% for the USA they say!) in proportion to their total amount of slaves. The reason the African Muslim element didn't show up in Brazilian music is because the dominant Bantu-Angolan-South West African drumming cultures drowned it out because they weren't supressed like in the United Sates.

Michael Morris wrote
Blues did not even coalesce as a musical form until around the turn of the century, at least, and plenty of 'white' musicians were playing bluesy material by the 1920s.

Michael Morris, Blues charactersitics and vocal form/techniques already existed before it was documented as a "form".


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 07:09 PM

For a discussion of American music that considers the possibly of common roots for 'white' and 'black' music on this continent, see Origin of the Popular Style by Peter van der Merwe (Oxford University Press, 1992).


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 06:59 PM

TinDor -

Your arguments are ahistorical and essentialist. Musically and lyrically, Black Gospel is a hybrid form. Just as is all North American vernacular music. Many of the features noted by Floyd (cited by you above) are not specific to African-American music, and they certainly are not specifically Afro-Islamic. And if Brazil received more African Muslims than the American South (which one of your sources indicates), wouldn't one expect to find an even stronger Afro-Islamic influence in Brazilian music?. Blues did not even coalesce as a musical form until around the turn of the century, at least, and plenty of 'white' musicians were playing bluesy material by the 1920s. Like gospel, it's an American form, with Old World antecedents from Africa and Europe.

Arguments such as yours place nearly all the emphasis upon origin and practically nothing upon evolution. Just as some have claimed a 'Celtic' or 'Anglo-Saxon' origin for Appalachian folk music, you claim a purely African origin for blues and gospel without studying or even considering the varied influences that worked upon these forms for centuries in North America. Folk, blues, country, gospel, jazz, ragtime, etc. developed in specific places where Old World populations mixed in the New World, primarily the American South.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:13 PM

Here's a link to a video of Ali Farka Toure with Corey Harris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5Nem-PNHLY

This video has text which translates Ali Farka's comments about the relationship between African and African American [blues] music.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 05:07 PM

Here's an excerpt of the Wikipedia article on Ali Farka Toure:

Ali Ibrahim "Farka" Touré (October 31, 1939 – March 7, 2006) was a Malian singer and guitarist, and one of the African continent's most internationally renowned musicians. His music is widely regarded as representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American cousin, the blues. The belief that the latter is historically derived from the former is reflected in Martin Scorsese's often quoted characterization of Touré's tradition as constituting "the DNA of the blues". Touré was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time"...

As the first African bluesman to achieve widespread popularity on his home continent, Touré was often known as "the African John Lee Hooker". Musically, the many superpositions of guitars and rhythms in his music were similar to John Lee Hooker's hypnotic blues style. He usually sang in one of several African languages, mostly Songhay, Fulfulde, Tamasheq or Bambara as on his breakthrough album, Ali Farka Touré, which established his reputation in the world music community...

In 2002 he appeared with Black American blues and reggae performer Corey Harris, on an album called Mississippi to Mali (Rounder Records). Toure and Harris also appeared together in Martin Scorcese's 2003 documentary film Feel Like Going Home, which traced the roots of blues back to its genesis in West Africa. The film was narrated by Harris and features Ali's performances on guitar and njarka."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Farka_Tour%C3%A9


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: TinDor
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 04:55 PM

Another interesting video...

A comparison between the talking drum culture(s) of South West Africa and the more string/wind instrus of Upper West Africa and how it realtes to the Blues


African Origins of the Blues


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: TinDor
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 04:36 PM

Michael Morris wrote:

"Black Gospel music is neither European nor African, it's American, with antecedents from both African and European music. No one in Ghana ever sang 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"

Michael Morris, my point is that it's musical qualities are African derived. Basically, if you were to remove or ignore it's religious subject matter, musically/rhytmically/vocally/tonally, it would be no different from the African music Im talking about.

Micahel Morris wrote:

"Coincidence or not, this traditional AfroAmerican folk music possesses features that are found in Islamic African music and hardly at all in other styles."

Which features?

Michael Morris, I gave some of these features above...

However, the music of these different tribes does share some common components. Samuel A. Floyd, Jr. describes these components

as the characterizing and foundational elements of African-American music: calls, cries and hollers; call-and-response devices; additive rhythms and polyrhythms; heterophony, pendular thirds, blue notes, bent notes and elisions; hums, moans, grunts, vocables and other rhythmic-oral declamations, interjections and punctuations; off-beat melodic phrasings and parallel intervals and chords; constant repetition of rhythmic and melodic figures and phrases (from which riffs and vamps would be derived); timbral distortions of various kinds; musical individuality within collectivity; game rivalry; hand-clapping, foot-patting and approximations thereof; apart playing; and the metronomic pulse that underlies all African-American music

"Slave Songs of the United States" By William Francis Allen, 1830-1889

description of the vocal technique(s)the slaves used when singing these spirituals...

As stated in Slaves Songs In The United States,

"The best that we can do, however, with paper and types, or even with voices, will convey but a faint shadow of the original. The voices of the colored people have a peculiar quality that nothing can imitate; and the intonation and delicate variations of even one singer cannot be reproduced on paper. And I despair of conveying any notion of the effect of a number singing together."

"And what makes it all the harder to unravel a thread of melody out of this strange network is that, like birds, they seem not infrequently to strike sounds that cannot be precisely represented by the gamut, and abound in "slides" from one note to another, and turns and cadences not in articulated notes." "It is difficult to express the entire character of these Negro ballads by mere musical notes and signs. The odd turns made in the throat, and the curious rhythmic effect produced by single voices chiming in at different irregular intervals, seem almost as impossible to place on the score as the singing of birds or the tones of an Aeolian Harp."

Michael Morris wrote:

"If the blues contains features specific to Arabic-Islamic music, why wouldn't these same elements manifest themselves in Caribbean or South American music? Were there no African Muslims in these regions?

Michael Morris, itis said that the United States had more Muslim/Senegambian-Sahelian slaves than anyone outside of Brazil. The other factor is that hand drumming culture was banned in the United Sates whereas in Brazil, it was the main AFrican music.

Some interesting info:

"Senegambian peoples, many of whom were Muslims, were some of the first enslaved Africans brought to America. Many of these Senegambians were familiar with rice cultivation and as European settlers experimented with rice in the 17th century, these Senegambians passed on their knowledge, thus shaping the development of rice cultivation in America. Thereafter, planters in South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana preferred enslaved Africans from Senegambia because of their experience in rice cultivation. This would explain in part why Americans imported a relatively large proportion of Senegambians. In French Louisiana, a captain was instructed "to try to purchase several blacks who know how to cultivate rice."

Distinct characteristics of AfromericanA Blues music that are found in Senegambian/Sahel music that aren't found in Carribean/West Indian or Afro-Latino music. "The absence of polyrhythm and asymmetric time-lines and the presence of emphasis instead of off-beats in blues and early jazz are also characteristic of Sahel music. On the other hand, the music of the rain forest and the Congo with its heavy emphasis on drumming is characterized by polyrhythms and asymmetric time-lines and its influence is reflected in the black music of the Caribbean and South America.[52] Arguments that the drum was prohibited in the U.S. and that enslaved Africans lived in closer proximity to whites are not persuasive because drums are not the only means to express polyrhythms and the cultural impulse for polyrhythm would not have been totally stifled by the influence of white culture. A more plausible answer is the influence of Sahel culture in the development of African American music"

"Like the blues, Sahel music typically uses pentatonic scales that allows inflections and shadings of notes (the blues notes) as well as the use of a central tone reference, often a drone stroke which renders it "out of turn" around which the melody revolves.[54] The blues tonality is not found in rain forest and Congo music or in Latin American music"

"In 1968 he [the Mali musician Ali Farka Toure] heard a recording of John Lee Hooker and was entranced. Initially he thought Hooker was playing music derived from Mali. Several Malian song forms—including musical traditions of the Bambara, Songhay and Fulani ethnic groups—rely on minor pentatonics (five note) scales which are similar to the blues scales"

"The blues and jazz style of bending notes, melisma (ornamental phrasing of several notes in one syllable which is typical of the Muslim call to prayer), slurs, and raspy voices are all characteristics of music in the Sahel zone. These aspects of Sahel music are undoubtedly a direct influence of Arab/Islamic music. Billy Holiday was master of this style"

As sung by her [Billy Holiday] a note may (in the words of Glen Coutler) begin 'slightly under pitch, absolutely without vibrato, and gradually be forced up to dead center from where the vibrato shakes free, or it may trail off mournfully; or at final cadences, the note is a whole step above the written one and must be pressed slowly down to where it belongs.' Coincidence or not, all these features are found in Islamic African music and hardly at all in other styles

Contributions of Enslaved African Muslims

Another interesting link...

Africans in America

The largest number of Africans in the lowlands (34 percent) came from Bantu-speaking regions of west-central Africa. Twenty percent were transported from Senegambia, while the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone each accounted for about 15 percent of the total number. Others came from the Bight of Biafra and the Windward Coast.

The enslaved population of Virginia/Maryland was composed mostly of Africans from the Bight of Biafra, some 39 percent. Senegambia accounted for 21 percent of the Africans in this region. Another 17 percent were of Bantu origin, and 10 percent were originally from the Gold Coast.

Therefore, nearly 90 percent of the Africans in these two major regions came from only four zones in Africa. Most came from the west-central area of Angola and Congo where languages - Kikongo, Kimbundu and culture (often referred to as Bantu) were closely related. Many more ended up in the tidewater than in the lowlands, but they comprised nearly a third of all migrants in both sectors.

Origins of Enslaved Africans Shipped to North AmericaThe Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-Rom Origins of Enslaved Africans Shipped to North America from The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-Rom by David Eltis, Stephen Behrendt, David Richardson and Herbert Klein

"The Senegambians were much more prominent in North America than in South America and the Caribbean. Senegambia was strongly influenced by Islam, to a greater degree than any other coastal region where enslaved Africans originated. More Muslims were enslaved in North America - except for Brazil - than anywhere else in the New World. Their presence was especially pronounced in Louisiana, to which many Manding people - almost all males - had been transported. This state also had a large presence of non-Muslim Bambara from Mali."

The Muslim Community , Chapter 3 from Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas by Sylviane A. Diouf

"I did a talk a few years ago at Harvard where I played those two things, and the room absolutely exploded in clapping, because [the connection] was obvious," says Diouf, an author and scholar who is also a researcher at New York's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. "People were saying, 'Wow. That's really audible. It's really there.'" It's really there thanks to all the Muslim slaves from West Africa who were taken by force to the United States for three centuries, from the 1600's to the mid-1800's. Upward of 30 percent of the African slaves in the United States were Muslim, and an untold number of them spoke and wrote Arabic, historians say now. Despite being pressured by slave owners to adopt Christianity and give up their old ways, many of these slaves continued to practice their religion and customs, or otherwise melded traditions from Africa into their new environment in the antebellum South. Forced to do menial, backbreaking work on plantations, for example, they still managed, throughout their days, to voice a belief in God and the revelation of the Qur'an. These slaves' practices eventually evolved—decades and decades later, parallel with different singing traditions from Africa—into the shouts and hollers that begat blues music, Diouf and other historians believe."

"Another way that Muslim slaves had an indirect influence on blues music is the instruments they played. Drumming, which was common among slaves from the Congo and other non-Muslim regions of Africa, was banned by white slave owners, who felt threatened by its ability to let slaves communicate with each other and by the way it inspired large gatherings of slaves.

Stringed instruments, however—favored by slaves from Muslim regions of Africa, where there's a long tradition of musical storytelling—were generally allowed because slave owners considered them akin to European instruments such as the violin. So slaves who managed to cobble togethera banjo or other instrument—the American banjo originated with African slaves—could play more widely in public. This solo-oriented slave music featured elements of an Arabic–Muslim song style that had been imprinted by centuries of Islam's presence in West Africa, says Gerhard Kubik, a professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Mainz in Germany. Kubik has written the most comprehensive book on Africa's connection to blues music, Africa and the Blues (1999, University Press of Mississippi)."

Saudi Aramco World : Muslim Roots, U.S. Blues

Kubik believes that many of today's blues singers unconsciously echo these Arabic–Muslim patterns in their music. Using academic language to describe this habit, Kubik writes in Africa and the Blues that "the vocal style of many blues singers using melisma, wavy intonation, and so forth is a heritage of that large region of West Africa that had been in contact with the Arabic–Islamic world of the Maghreb since the seventh and eighth centuries." (Melisma is the use of many notes in one syllable; wavy intonation refers to a series of notes that veer from major to minor scale and back again, something that's common in both blues music and in the Muslim call to prayer as well as recitation of the Qur'an. The Maghreb is the Arab–Muslim region of North Africa."

Some African examples

ETRAN FINATAWA live @ Sines, july 07, pt 3

mauritanie-music

vs

Some AfroAmerican Blues/Gospel stylings

Blind Willie Johnson - Dark was the night...

Otis Rush: I`Cant Quit You Baby ---> a modern modern approach to this vocal technique


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 04:16 PM

TinDor,

I hope that you accept my apology for typing your name wrong.

That was accidental, but you'll find that we Mudcatters love play on words. As it is, I'm restraining myself from making any reference to any other kind of door.

:o}

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 03:31 PM

" . . . I wouldn't call "Black Gospel" music Gaelic/European. When people bring up "Gospel" music they're usually talking about or refering to a certain type of vocal/musical style and rhythmic feeling. Based on that, I would say Black Gospel music is musically "African" . . . ."

Black Gospel music is neither European nor African, it's American, with antecedents from both African and European music. No one in Ghana ever sang 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'.
"Coincidence or not, this traditional AfroAmerican folk music possesses features that are found in Islamic African music and hardly at all in other styles."

Which features?

'Grehart Kubik, a musicologist who specializes in African rain-forest music, concludes: "Many traits that have been considered unusual, strange and difficult to interpret by earlier blues researchers can now be better understood as a thoroughly processed and transformed Arabic-Islamic stylistic component. What makes the blues different from African American music in the Caribbean and in South America is, after all, its Arabic-Islamic stylistic ingredients."'

If the blues contains features specific to Arabic-Islamic music, why wouldn't these same elements manifest themselves in Caribbean or South American music? Were there no African Muslims in these regions?


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: TinDor
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 12:10 PM

Thanks Azizi!

More on African dervived qualities that can be found in Black Gospel/Negro spirtuals

Africans in the New World certainly brought their own traditions with them, although they were often prevented from overtly practicing those traditions. But far from being lost, these traditions surfaced nevertheless, often blended with elements acceptable to whites, such as religious ceremonies or seemingly patriotic fife and drum ensembles. Most of those enslaved came originally from West Africa, and there were a number of different tribes in this region. (8) However, the music of these different tribes does share some common components. Samuel A. Floyd, Jr. describes these components

          as the characterizing and foundational elements of African-American music: calls, cries and hollers; call-and-response devices; additive rhythms and polyrhythms; heterophony, pendular thirds, blue notes, bent notes and elisions; hums, moans, grunts, vocables and other rhythmic-oral declamations, interjections and punctuations; off-beat melodic phrasings and parallel intervals and chords; constant repetition of rhythmic and melodic figures and phrases (from which riffs and vamps would be derived); timbral distortions of various kinds; musical individuality within collectivity; game rivalry; hand-clapping, foot-patting and approximations thereof; apart playing; and the metronomic pulse that underlies all African-American music


"Slave Songs of the United States" By William Francis Allen, 1830-1889

description of the vocal technique(s)the slaves used when singing these spirituals...

       As stated in Slaves Songs In The United States,

"The best that we can do, however, with paper and types, or even with voices, will convey but a faint shadow of the original. The voices of the colored people have a peculiar quality that nothing can imitate; and the intonation and delicate variations of even one singer cannot be reproduced on paper. And I despair of conveying any notion of the effect of a number singing together."

"And what makes it all the harder to unravel a thread of melody out of this strange network is that, like birds, they seem not infrequently to strike sounds that cannot be precisely represented by the gamut, and abound in "slides" from one note to another, and turns and cadences not in articulated notes." "It is difficult to express the entire character of these Negro ballads by mere musical notes and signs. The odd turns made in the throat, and the curious rhythmic effect produced by single voices chiming in at different irregular intervals, seem almost as impossible to place on the score as the singing of birds or the tones of an Aeolian Harp."


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:56 AM

TimDor, welcome to Mudcat!

Thanks for your interesting and informative comments, and for including links to YouTube videos.

I look forward to reading more of your posts.

See ya around the 'Cat.

Share! Learn! Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: TinDor
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:40 AM

Gospel - The Early Beginnings

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DklnNHLoORk&feature=related

^^ Various clips from a docu on Black Gospel music above. Listen to/from 3:53-5:10 to see the difference between European "Lining Out" and what is described as "African raising the hymn".

Blind Will posted:

"The ultimate test to my musical theory would be hearing the black American version of lining out and in all my internet search for soundclips I have only found one single sample.And that sample sounded very little like the blues, though it did share some of the same strucure as other types of lining out.This put doubts in my mind about my idea of a blues/lining out connection, though there might be other examples of black lining out that come closer to the bluesy style"

Here goes a great comparison..

Scottish roots in AfroAmerican music?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQJeM1X8lDw&

^^A comparsion of Gaelic/Watts "Lining Out" vs AfroAmerican doing the same style of "Lining Out"

as you can see in the nest example, that Watts lining out style doesn't sound anything like the West/Central AFrican derived call and response style in AfroAmerican spirutauls below..

Difference between Call & Response (African style) and Lining Out (gaelic-watts)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si9H1D1xhNI&feature=related

On the Blues style, it's almost pseudo Arabised Islamic in sound. Not too similar to the Gaelic sound at all

Muslim roots in AfroAmerican music?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8ZsAFWiVk&feature=related

""Levee Camp Holler" is no ordinary song. It's the product of ex-slaves who worked moving earth all day in post-Civil War America. It has lyrics that, like the call to prayer, speak about a glorious God. But it's the song's melody and note changes that closely resemble one of Islam's best-known refrains. Like the call to prayer, "Levee Camp Holler" emphasizes words that seem to quiver and shake in the reciter's vocal chords. Dramatic changes in musical scales punctuate both "Levee Camp Holler" and the adhan. A nasal intonation is evident in both.

Upward of 30 percent of the African slaves in the United States were Muslim, and an untold number of them spoke and wrote Arabic, historians say now.

Coincidence or not, this traditional AfroAmerican folk music possesses features that are found in Islamic African music and hardly at all in other styles.

Grehart Kubik, a musicologist who specializes in African rain-forest music, concludes: "Many traits that have been considered unusual, strange and difficult to interpret by earlier blues researchers can now be better understood as a thoroughly processed and transformed Arabic-Islamic stylistic component. What makes the blues different from African American music in the Caribbean and in South America is, after all, its Arabic-Islamic stylistic ingredients."


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: TinDor
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 09:56 AM

Hi, everbody, I just found this great site and wanted to respond to this post.

Just to answer the question, I wouldn't call "Black Gosepl" music Gaelic/European. When people bring up "Gospel" music they're usually talking about or refering to a certain type of vocal/musical style and rhythmic feeling. Based on that, I would say Black Gospel music is musically "African". What would call European would just be hese early hymns the slaves learned and of the course the religion the slaves were introduced to. The musical style/qualities of "Black Gospel-Negro Spirtuals" can clearly be found in African music. IMO, the African-American guy Ruff, is doing a little with his claims of origin.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 03:31 AM

No one has responded yet, but I hope this folowing post will stir some more interest:

The idea that Black Gospel has roots in Gaelic Psalm singing (just one variation of the British lined out style), is similar to an idea I began to have several years ago.My idea was that blues music had some connection to the British lined out genre, though I assumed lining out originated in England and had no Celtic connections.My reason for this conclusion was in trying to find the European roots of the blues.I had read that blues was a blend of African and Northwestern European/British roots (eg. It's use of 3 or 4 stanzas set to simple meters).But I wanted specifics.I wanted to know what specific type of NW European/British music was a root to the blues.And I knew logically that if blues was actually a blend of African and NW European, then there should be both African And NW European white music that has similarities to it.

My clue to the NW European roots of the blues was the church, knowing that blues was closely related to the sacred black spiritual and hearing what I considered to be an early primitive stage of blues from the black church.It seemed as if the blues originated as one of the ways of singing black spirituals and chants in the black church.So I looked for some type of white church music to be a NW European root to the blues, something that could have effected black spirituals of the bluesy kind.When I read about a genre of white/British church music that had call and response patterns and singing preachers who had their congregation respond to them, I believed I found the answer: the British lined out song.This was strengthened by my knowledge that blacks had their own version of this white lined out music, sharing some common characteristics.With this belief that British lining out and blues were connected, I decided that the NW European origins of lining out had to be England and not the Celtic lands of Britian (since I heard no Celtic in the blues).

It wouldn't be till years later that I actualy heard lining out, by searching sound clips of it on the internet.My first exposure to it was that of the Appalachian Primitive Baptists and it excited my ears, because I finally got to hear a white Euro-style church music that sounded similar to both the blues and the bluesy type of black spirituals (not to mention a clear descendent to bluegrass singing and a notisable Celtic tinge).It helped to confirm my belief in the connection, though my belief in no Celtic roots were changed.Later I discovered Gaelic Psalm singing and was led to believe that lining out originated as a Celtic music and not non-Celtic English music like I originaly thought.What I heard with Gaelic Psalm singing also excited me.It had some common structures to that of the Appalachian Primitive Baptists and some blues like qualities.But it lacked the strong bluegrass like quality and seemed to have a much thicker Celtic sound, with a presenter who sounded like a Scottish man trying to imitate an Arab-Islamic chant of the mosque.Having read a controversial view on Arab/Islamic roots of blues, I wondered if any of the Arab like similarities in blues were actualy connected to Gaelic Psalm singing.Then finally in my internet travels I came across this thread and discovered lining out actualy did originate in England after all, changing me partialy back to my former position.

The ultimate test to my musical theory would be hearing the black American version of lining out and in all my internet search for soundclips I have only found one single sample.And that sample sounded very little like the blues, though it did share some of the same strucure as other types of lining out.This put doubts in my mind about my idea of a blues/lining out connection, though there might be other examples of black lining out that come closer to the bluesy style.Nethertheless when I compare the white lining out I've heard (especially that of the white Primitive Baptists) to bluesy black spirituals and chants, there is still an interesting similarity.And this is of course relevent to this thread, since black spirituals are an important root to all all modern black gospel, and blues an influence on so much of it.

Hear are a couple of web pages (that I tried to make into links) where you can hear lining out of white Appalachian Primitive Baptists and compare it to black sprituals and bluesy black church songs (atleast one of the tracks by a black Primitive Baptist church):

http://www.folkways.si.edu/search/AlbumDetails.aspx?ID=2653
(for Appalachian lining out of white Primitive Baptists)

And:

http://www.folkways.si.edu/search/AlbumDetails.aspx?ID=831#
(for black spirituals and bluesy black church songs)

When comparing songs of both pages, especialy compare the bluesy white lining out song clalled "I Am a Pilgrim Of Sorrow" with the unison bluesy track of the Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church called "Prayer Meeting" (which is a black chanting music).Also take note of Dock Reed singing a black spiritual called "Jesus Goin'To Make Up My Dyin'Bed" which sounds like straight up a cappella blues (atleast to my ears).Some of the tracks though I would describe more as a half formed blues/pre-blues style.

Now if by chance my idea is wrong that white lining out is related to the blues/bluesy kind of black spiritual, then I believe there is only one more option: the revival/camp meeting song.Most of the musical exposure that the slaves had to the white religious world (prior to the trend toward black spirituals) was of two different genres: the slow solemn lining out with their irregular structure and the revival/camp meeting songs which blacks and whites sang together (and in their own gatherings).The revival/camp meeting style began initialy by taking hymn lyrics of people like John Wesley and Isaac Watts and setting it to popular melodies of the day:British/Anglo-American folk songs (quite often ballads).These melodies would be sung by racialy mixed crowds of blacks and whites, resulting in African sounds blending in and probably giving it's repeated texts and added choruses.Interestingly some people like Alan Lomax seem to believe that blues originated as a combination of British ballad and African, the same kind of combination that existed in so many revival/camp meeting songs.And in these same songs the "flated 7th scale" that is associated with blues was common.

So I conclude that the bluesy spiritual/chanting of the black church has it's white connections in either lining out (with Celtic/English overtones, possibly of Gaelic Psalm variety) or the camp meeting songs with their British folk/ballad elements (probably owing something to both English and Celtic).It's possible that it could have taken something from both church songs, and perhaps something of the earlier lined out style rubbed off on the revival/camp music.One way or another I believe these kind of English/Celtic white church sounds blended with a heavy dose of African to create the bluesy and "Swing Low Chariot" types of black spiritual song.From there these black spirituals would blend with types of music that are strongly impacted by mainland/central Europe (such as Austria and Germany) resulting in the first black religious quartet singing and the black American hymn style.The next stage in the stylistic development of black American gospel music is to add sounds from popular culture like "secular blues", ragtime and jazz (which both owe something to European marches and jigs), and sounds from the Pentecostal church--especialy the African styled ring shouts.This is a summary of the foundations of modern black gospel, in which even more spices keep being added to the mix: sounds from secular soul/r&b, reggae, rock, and even rap at times.So that's a quick summary of the 2Oth/21rst Century sounds we call black gospel today.

So is black gospel as we know it today Gaelic or Gaelic rooted?

Not exclusively, that's for shure.It may or may not have any connection to Gaelic psalm singing.It does however have roots in British music (the English and Celtic peoples I believe), but that is only one piece to the puzzle which must be put together with pieces from Africa and mainland/central Europe.


PS. there is an error I notised from another post of mine, but will correct it later.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 08:32 PM

Ps. On my 26 Jul O6-01:50 am post, 2nd last paragrah, I forgot to write that "These groups are known as "progressive quartets" and were popular from the 40's to 60's".By including this statement it will cause the last paragragh on that post to make more sense.I also messed up on my following post by putting two sentences together witout a period.(It was getting late).

I have some other comments (not as long) which will point even more directly to the Gaelic question of this thread, while tying it in to the history I shared.Plus some more music samples--comparing rural black spiritual singing to Lining Out of white Appalachian singers, and looking at how this might relate to black gospel today.But I'll do that another day and wait for others to give more of their 2 cents.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 02:35 AM

Continuing on black gospel quartets...

One of my favourites of black gospel is a very unique black gospel quartet known as The Staple Singers (though they would eventualy go secular and change their style).Beginning to record in the 1950's it was a family quartet that had shared lead vocals by "Pop" Roebuck Staples and his daughter Mavis.Their sound was led by Pop's electric guitar and often rocking on the drums, drawing on Mississipi blues guitar and country and westernPop's lead vocals have more of a country twang, while Mavis has a lively, often edgey soulful voice that is reminiscent of both the Pentecostal church and soul singers like Aretha Franklin (though I prefer Mavis).Meanwhile the vocal harmony parts echo both the barbershop roots of gospel quartet, and country and western harmony.At times I seem to detect a subtle tinge of bluegrass harmony.If I'm hearing right this would connect the early Staple Singers harmony to both Sacred Harp singing and the Appalachian style of Lining out that is sung by the Primitive Baptists (with it's Celtic tinge).Because this type of southern church singing had a huge impact on bluegrass singing.

Well that's basically my look at the roots of black gospel.From the three types of black gospel I mentioned, things have evolved to where they are today.The emphasis these days is the kind of gospel that evolved from the likes of Dorsey and others similar to his kind.Of course many today are taking inspiration from current sounds of the time and adding it to the gospel style.But this was no different then what Dorsy did in his day.

Hopefully what I have written helps to answer the question of this thread.Or atleast give some clues.


PS.I'll admit my last post got kind of bogged down in the details.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 26 Jul 06 - 01:50 AM

Continuing where I left off from my previous big post....

A third stream that came to be indentified with the black gospel label is what is known as the black gospel quartet.Though the term "black gospel quartet" was first used in 1851 (according to book author Alan young), today it refers to a type of black quartet singing that developed somewhere in the 20's and 30's and what followed in it's footsteps.

To trace it's roots we have to first go back to the genre of barbershop quartet harmony (which was it's strongest inspiration in the beginning).Some of this will be a bit of a repeat and some of it new--but my research so far sais it was an originaly black American style (despite it's strong European feel).It goes back to atleast the early 1840's and was commonly sung by black minstrel singing groups, both the whites who blackened their faces and the authentic black groups who would appear on the minstrel stage.Recently on mudcat I read about one of those minstrel groups traveling to South Africa in the 19th Century and having a strong influence on South African music in that time.Chances are these South Africans were exposed to barbershop harmonies and if so it might be linked to the barbershop quality that can be heard in Ladysmith Black Mambazo (probably the most popular black groups of that country).

But before I get to off topic hear, one of my sources suggest that barbershop harmonies are linked to a craze of 4-part Austrian harmony in the 1830's.Meanwhile some of my other sources say it comes from a blend of black spirituals and European church music (though they never really give any specifics on the last part).Interestingly enough, the only European type church music I have heard that bares strong similarities to barbershop is a part harmony music from Mennonites (who have some of there strong roots in Germany--right next door to Austria, though there founder is from Holland).So this gives some credibility to some kind of Austrian and European religious connection to barbershop and the black Gospel quartet that followed.And it's alleged roots in black spirituals are clearly supported by the long black tradition of singing spirituals in barbershop harmony (going back to the 1800's), and the black religious groups of the genre who became known as "jubilee quartets".The use of the term "jubilee quartet" is said to have began in or around 1905 with the Fisk University Jubilee Quartet of Nashville Tennesse, who focused on the singing of spirituals.

Around the beginning of the 1920's a new type of black religious quartet sound was beginning to emerge, which was still called "jubilee quartet" but was given a syncopated jazzy feel and sometimes a clear nod to the blues.This began with a Virginia group by the name of "The Norfolk Jubillee Quartet" who recorded from 1921 to 1940, though they also did secular music under the name "The Norfolk Jazz Quartet.(They initialy put the emphasis on secular material).They would become the most important and most influential of the pre-war black religious quartets.Soon other religious quartets in the 20's and 30's such as the Fairfield Four and Golden Gate Quartet began to perform and record under their influence (some of them also shaped by the Mill's Brother's, a mostly secular group that mixed up jazz and barbershop).And at some point these jazzed up quartets also began to flavor there music with the new gospel sounds of the black church, like that of Thomas Dorsey or the rhythmic feel of rural black preachers.Meanwhile you have an od ball group of the 30's called "the Heavenly Gospel Singers" who appear to have no jazz influence, mixing the older style of "jubilee quartet' with a slow type of hymn music from southern black churches (black gospel hymns I would assume).But on this last group I'm going purely by what I have read.Most did not escape the jazz influence.Quite often all of these newer kind of "jubilee quartets" of the 20's and 30's are considered "black gospel quartet", even though in some cases it may be just a combination of barbershop with jazz (with no connection to the first two types of black gospel I mentioned).Music labels can be funny or even confusing at times!

Gradually the older "jubilee quartet" style of the 20's and 30's (super heavy emphasis on barbershop) faded into popularity to a new breed of quartets.These quartets put less emphasis on the barbershop type harmonies, and drew more on the new black gospel sounds then they did before (especialy that of the Pentecostal kind).They also added musical instruments such as piano, bass, electric guitar and drums, and experimented with new appproaches.

Alot of these kind of black gospel quartets were also known as "hard gospel" for there use of edgy, harsh, sometimes brutaly rough singing that echos some of the more extreme singing of the black Pentecostal church.But this was blended and contrasted with smooth harmonies and often had gentler moments on the lead vocals.One of the most popular examples of "hard gospel" is the Soul Stirrers (when R.H. Harris led the group.

continued...This is taking me to long!


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 08:37 PM

Manitas at Work, Ok.It's good to hear that I didn't put you to sleep.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 06:20 AM

Will, The comment wasn't aimed at you but it's kicked off a couple of interesting posts so...


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 11:56 PM

Now to follow up and continue where I left off from my initial post.I will attempt to give a look at how 20th/21rst century black gospel developed:

From the 17th century to 19th century the vast majority of sacred music in the United States was a cappella--both among whites and blacks.While there was some diversity of style in this a cappella religious music, much of the singing shared a raw folk quality and often used the pentatonic five note scale (which was common to both the African and British heritage that came to the States).Sometimes the music was modal or in a minor key.

But one of the exceptions to the rule, came with the 19th Century arrival of the "gospel song" or "gospel hymn".The music began as a urban white hymn style in the nothern States, which had composed melodies, was typically played on musical instruments and was always diatonic and in a major key.This was the type of hymn music that the popular Fanny J. Crosby wrote with such songs as "Blessed Assurance" and "To God Be The Glory", and so often played on piano and organ.It took some of it's inspiration from the earlier camp meeting/revival song tradition (that a cappella mingling of African and British derived folk that originated in racialy mixed services).But it also drew heavily from 19th century secular music sources--especialy "parlour music" and sentimental songs, as well as marching tunes.These particular secular influences gave the music a more polished or "correct" European quality that suggest a link to the "central old European zone" (eg. southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, northern Italy, etc).European hymn melodies and church songs of a similar quality like those of Martin Luther (German) or "Silent Night" (melody written by an Austrian) would easily mix into the repertoire of churches who did gospel hymns.

Around the turn of the 2Oth century, black Americans began to take the white gospel hymn and blend it with sounds derived from the black spiritual (a typically a cappella music that often had a blues or bluesy quality built into it).This created what is known as the "black gospel hymn", which is said to have originated with Charles A. Tindley.(Tindley published his first song collection in 1901 and composed the popular "Stand By Me" in 1905).Tindley originated or helped to pioneer this first style of black gospel (in the more modern use of the term) and this was long before Thomas A. Dorsey was given the title of "father of gospel".

A second wave of black gospel came as the early black gospel hymn form began to mix with such popular sounds as ragtime, jazz, blues, and boogie woogie, or with the Pentecostal/Holiness survivals of "slave sounds"--the shouts and screams of the highly African ring shout, the rhythmic preaching or the old religious bluesy chanting.(These kind of sounds would also continue in some other black churches).

Thomas A. Dorsey was of course one of the very important and influential figures in this second wave of black gospel.He created the style he is know for by drawing on the black gospel hymn of Charles A. Tindley (whom he always acknowleged his dept to) and mixing it up with his background in blues/jazz and sounds from black spirituals (already an ingredient of Tindley's sound).By the time he wrote his first sacred song of the "blues gospel" variety it was 1928.Around this same period and before there were others who were coming up with a similar fushion as Doresy.One of those was Mahalia Jackson who is said to have come to her fully formed style by her mid teens (in the late 1920's), a style that mixed the black gospel she heard in church (both of her Baptist upbringing and that of the Sanctified church) with the blues/jazz of singers like Ma Rainee and Bessie Smith.Later in the 30's she would begin her recording career, a repertoire that would include both gospel songs of Dorsey, black spirituals and the Austrian born melody of Silent Night.Occassionaly the od song of hers would have some barbershop/quartet type harmoies in the background.

Another important and influential figure (though much less known) is a woman by the name of Arizona Dranes.She helped to shape the likes of future gospel singers like Clara Ward and Sister Rosetta Tharpe).Coming from a Pentecostal denomination called the Church Of God In Christ, she began performing her brand of gospel in the 20's and recorded from 1926 to 1928.As a singer and pianist her style drew very heavily on ragtime or a kind of boogie woogie/ragtime fushion, which was mixed up with a lively type of gospel.A kind of gospel sound that has echos of the old white gospel hymns--but done in a shouting voice and occassionaly screaming.Not only can boogie woogie be detected in atleast some of her tracks (a type of blues related music), but the blues can be heard in the singing at times.An example of a blusy singing track is "Bye and bye Were Going To See the King".She was recording bluesy gospel before Dorsey.And some of her songs were recorded with choir or other singers (including some quartet/barbershop type harmonies on atleast one track).

Continued tommorro with what I call "the third stream of black gospel": The black gospel quartet.It's getting to late.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 09:39 PM

**If there's no evidence of them being removed how can they be replaced?"

I think this question may have been directed at me.If I understand the question, I wouldn't say the that any Gaelic/Celtic roots have been removed from modern day black gospel.But I think alot of it is more distantly related or more watered down then some of the earlier black religious music that preceeded it

I'll explain it this way.Let's say you have a musical style that is a Gaelic/African hybrid, which is 50% Gaelic and 50 % African.And let's say you have another kind of hybrid song that is 50% Swedish and 50% Jewish.Now if you combine these two musical hybrids so there mixed evenly, you would end up with a third kind of music with 25% Gaelic content.If we were keep this game up we could bring the Gaelic content down to even more watered down porportions.Perhaps this isn't the best way of explaining it, but atleast I tried.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Jul 06 - 12:17 PM

I'm quite sure there is a valid distinction between hymns, spirituals and gospel--but I don't have the foggiest idea where they differ. Clearly, gospel as we know it today is a melding of older spirituals with blues scales and phrasing and a healthy infusion of barbershop singing.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jul 06 - 12:05 PM

sorry-let me correct that typo in my last sentence:

If you are particularly wanting me to know that you have posted comments-on any subject and in any thread, you could use the private message system to inform me about those postings.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: Azizi
Date: 18 Jul 06 - 12:03 PM

For the record, in the second part of my 15 Jul 06 - 05:04 AM post, I was responding to a post from Shambles that I recall requesting that this thread be closed.

****

blind will, you wrote: "I have prepared an answer to some of your more off topic comments.Where would the appropraiate spot be to answer them? Some of it isn't even directly on the subject of black gospel."

It's your choice where you want to post your comments. If you are particularly wanting me to know that you have posted comments-on any subject and in any threaduse the private message system to inform me about those postings.


Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 18 Jul 06 - 11:48 AM

If there's no evidence of them being removed how can they be replaced?


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: blind will
Date: 17 Jul 06 - 11:41 PM

Azizi,

I have prepared an answer to some of your more off topic comments.Where would the appropraiate spot be to answer them? Some of it isn't even directly on the subject of black gospel.

I'm also part way done in preparing my look at black gospel in the more 20/21rst century sense.Hopefully I can put that part hear, since it's meant to be follow up to my initial post hear.But I guess I'll have to check if it has enough Gaelic content, which is challenging because any of the Celtic/Gaelic roots of modern black gospel tends to be very indirect or drowned out by other European/African roots.It may take going through a musical microscope.I can think of one black gospel group whose early music was indirectly shaped by the white lining out style of the Appalachian/Primitive Baptists (which has a Celtic tinge), but I'm not shure it has any connection to the Gaelic Scottish variation of this style.For now I'll keep you and others guessing wich group I'm refering to.

Gaelic roots could have come into black gospel in different ways.For example alot of black gospel (not all of it) has been shaped by jazz music, and jazz music is indirectly influenced by jig music.Likely that would include jigs of the Irish or other Celtic people (perhaps even some Gaelic speaking people), but jig music was also a non Celtic/English type of music as well.So I'm not shure if there are Gaelic roots in this way, though the possibility is there.


Anyway, I must go now.

PS. I hope you don't mind if I'm a bit slow or take a bit to get back to you sometimes.It probably won't be a two month wait this time!


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 10:19 AM

FYI, I have started a thread on Black Gospel-roots, styles, examples

My reasons for starting that thread are noted in the thread's initial comment.

That thread will include links to and possibly reposting excerpts of some of the comments I made in this thread.

I have enjoyed all of the discussion that has occurred in this thread, and may continue to provide comments here-but if so, they will be on topic.

Thank you.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar 05
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 05:04 AM

LadyJean.

I appreciate your comments. I didn't know that you grew up in East Liberty-the section of Pittsburgh where I live now...

So you're Really my homie!

I found the story of your grandfather to be particularly interesting and emotionally compelling. Thanks for sharing it. Churches are still spliting up because of serious and not so serious reasons.

Re: those "where or where song" In my head when I read them, I sung the words to the tune "Paw Paw Patch".

I couldn't get the Mudcat Search engine to work [or I got impatient waiting for it to work] so I checked out google and found that song and the tune here:

http://www.songsforteaching.com/folk/pawpawpatch.htm

I had never known there was a religious version of this song. And given the way secular songs work-its probably that the religious version came first...but its likely we will never know.


****

I'm sorry, Shambles for going off topic so much in this thread.

The topic of Black Gospel music is very important to me, and I admit to getting swept away in the history of that topic more than in your specific question of the Gaelic roots of that music form.

I very much recognize that this general discussion is far afield from the specific topic of gospel music in gaelic. If this thread remains open, I'll henceforth limit any comments I make to that specific topic.

Perhaps there is another thread on Black Gospel Music. If no such thread exist yet-and if someone wants to start one, I'll probably join in the discussion. I think I've started enough threads for a while...

Again, sorry. I meant no harm.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: LadyJean
Date: 15 Jul 06 - 12:52 AM

When I was a very small child, living in East Liberty, Azzizi, an African American woman who worked for my mother used to sing, "Where oh where is dear old Joseph. where oh where is dear old Joseph. Where oh where is dear old Joseph, way down yonder in the promised land." There were also verses about Moses and Elijah. The tune was in a major key, soft enough to put a small girl to sleep.
I have lately encountered a shape note hymn that begins "Where are the Hebrew Children? Where are the Hebrew Children? Where are the Hebrew Children? Safe in the promised land". The openning verse refers to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Two more verses are about the 12 apostles and the "holy Christians". The tune is in a minor key, with a sharper rhythym. But it's a pretty safe bet the songs are related.

Everybody in the word tells a variant of the story of Cinderella. They don't always tell it the same way. But always a low status girl is given nice clothes, and attracts a high status male who recognizes her by her shoe. The collective unconscious is a wonderful thing.

My 8 generations back grandfather was a Presbyterian minister in South Carolina. In 1810 he preached that slavery was wrong. Which led to a split in his congregation. He and the anti slavery faction moved to fairhaven Ohio. I have seen the church they built and his grave. Shortly afterwards the congregation split again. This time there was a faction who thought the church should have a pump organ. So we were lining hymns in 1810 and after.   (The church in Fairhave now has a small electric organ.)


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 09:11 AM

Correction:

But generally, I've read that the majority of Africans who were enslaved in the USA came from West Africa {by 'came from' I mean were indigenous to-not got there by forced travel from Central Africa].

****

Also, here's an online quote about Congo drums:

"We have observed a marked morphological similarity between the oldest forms of the conga drum and the ngoma drum. Likewise there are resemblances to various versions of the makuta drums. Most important perhaps is the barrel shape of the drum; moreover the fact that both the ngoma and makuta drums have heads of tacked-on cowhide makes them likely ancestors of the Cuban conga drum. The first tumbadoras had their skins or heads tacked directly to the upper opening of the shell in a manner similar to drums brought by people of Congo or Bantu origin to Cuba...

The ngoma drums, also known as palo ("stick") drums, were the instruments used in ceremonies and celebrations of the Palo Order. This religion was brought to Cuba by various ethnic groups of the Bantu peoples. The ngoma ensemble may have two, three or four drums of different sizes which together produce complicated cross-rhythms. In general these drums are barrel-shaped, although sometimes they may also be of a tubular cylindrical shape. They have a single head stretched over the upper opening while the lower end is open. The head is tacked to the wooden body of the instrument and its tone is brightened by placing it near a fire."

Source: A History of the Congas [A Cuban Perspective]


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Jul 06 - 08:13 AM

Hopefully, this conversation is far from over, though admittedly-at least for a time-it has branched off from a strict discussion of the thread's title.

For instance, I've been thinking of blind will's statement that "the fact that most of the black slaves that came to the United states came from the northern savanna's, and in this area of Africa drums were not as common"

Here's one of the online references that I found to the Cental African Savanna

-snip-

I'm not sure that I would agree that the majority of enslaved Africans came from Central Africa. The sense I got from my reading was that different ethnic groups were more heavily populated at different times. But generally, I've read that the majority of Africans who were enslaved came from West Africa {by 'came from' I mean were indigenous to-not got there by forced travel from Central Africa].

If you are saying that drums aren't a part of the music tradition of some Central African ethnic groups, that may indeed be true. I don't know enough about it to say yeah or nay. But what about the Conga drum that is so heavily used in Afro-Caribbean music? That drum gets its name from the Congo {Central Africa}.

And I found this quote about musical instruments and African cultures:

"Similar musical instruments are found throughout most of black Africa. However, the flora and culture found in any particular region influences the dominance of certain categories of instruments. Drums are for instance more popular in the forest regions of West Africa than in the tree-less savanna areas of southern Africa. Musical instruments often show a close link between sculpture and music."

A History of African Music

-snip-

But that quote refers to 'the tree-less savanna areas of southern Africa".

Also here's an excerpt from a Wikipedia article:

"The wide array of drums used in African traditional music include tama talking drums, bougarabou and djembe in West Africa, bendir in North Africa, water drums in Central and West Africa, and different types of drums often called engoma or ngoma in Central and Southern Africa."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Africa

And for what's its worth, since the late 1980s, West African djembe drums appears to have become The Drum of choice by Afrocentric African Americans. Prior that time {at least in the Eastern part of the USA}, African American people [almost always men] who played drums at African festivals and other ethnic cultural or spiritual events were playing Conga drums and bongo drums. I'm not sure where 'bongo' drums came from-but I think they're of Central African origin.


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 12:17 AM

Blind Will, re-reading your comments I note that you said that "drums were rare amongst black Americans prior to the 20th Century, and quite often banned."

I concur with that statement. "Rare" doesn't mean it never happened. My difficulty is with the rest of your statement-"the fact that most of the black slaves that came to the United states came from the northern savanna's, and in this area of Africa drums were not as common."

****

Perhaps it doesn't need to be said, but let me say it anyway, I look forward to you continuing this discussion [and others joining in] not as a means of cherry picking what you write, but because this discussion is an opportunity to think, and share, and learn.

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Jul 06 - 12:07 AM

Blind Will, thanks for your comments.

I look forward this exchange of information. You wrote that you have discussed call & response " elsewhere in musical discussion (on another site)". Would you please post that site name and URL?

Btw, here is that link that you gave at the end of your last post:
NPR: Barbershop Quartets

****

Appreciating what you said, if I understood you correctly, I have some responses to specific comments you made in your last post.

You wrote:
"Different sources suggest that drums were rare amongst black Americans prior to the 20th Century, and quite often banned.Plus the fact that most of the black slaves that came to the United states came from the northern savanna's, and in this area of Africa drums were not as common."

-snip-
I'm not sure what you mean by the "northern savanna". Furthermore, my reading indicates that most of the African ancestors of Black Americans came from cultural areas that had rich drumming traditions.

See this excerpt from this article: MELT Press: Drums & The Origin Of Jazz

"Most of the slaves were taken from three main cultural regions: (1) the coastal rain forests of West Africa w ich includes the Yoruba, Ewe, Shanti, Fon, lbo and other Nigerian, Dahomeyan and Ghanaian tribes; (2) the savanna belt, which covers the coast of Guinea to the north of the Sudanese rainforest and includes largely Muslim groups such as the Wolof of what used to be called Senegambia, the Malinke of Guinea, the Haus and the Fulani of North Nigeria and surrounding areas, and the Mandigo, who cover as wide an area including Senegambia and what is now Sierra Leone; and (3) the Congo-Angolan area, populated largely by people of other language and culture groups, such as the Bantu. These group were into the Americas at different times, partly reflecting upheavals in Africa itself, much in the same manner that we are witnessing today with the influx of these same group into South Africa as a result of political and economic upheaval in the continent."
-snip-

Among other documentation of drum playing by enslaved African Americans, there is documentation of drumming in Congo Square in New Orleans.

See also this excerpt from that MELT Press article:

Besides the drums, other musical instruments and elements (marimbas, rhythm bells, maraccas and the role of the performer) made the Trans-Atlantic crossing. In 1775, in Georgia, US, slave-owners forbade drumming. lt was decreed by law that 'whatsoever master or overseer shall permit his slaves, at anytime hereafter, to beat drums, blow horns or other loud instruments, shall forfeit 30 shillings sterling for every such offence".

This edict was difficult to enforce and in 1811 legislators were still saying: "It is absolutely necessary to the safety of the province to retrain Negroes from using or keeping drums."

-snip-

See this website that shows photos of some West African drums:
West African Drums

Also see this excerpt about the Ngoma [drum] from Central Africa:
"Ngoma-General name for drum in Bantu language, this common term varies from central to southern Africa. In the Great Lakes area, for instance, "ingoma" means both "drum" and "kingdom".

When associated with festivities this drum becomes a dance instrument, but in ceremonies it is linked to royal or magical powers. Its form is generally conical or cylindrical, and can be played as an individual instrument or in an ensemble - sometimes with more than 25 players."
BBC Music..Echoes from Africa: Ngoma


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: blind will
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 10:39 PM

Azizi,

**I know that you only gave us a teaser, but I'm wondering why you didn't mention call and response vocal (not to mention instrumental).**

Sometimes when I fail to mention something it's because I forget to.But I didn't even think to mention the call and response pattern or think it was necessary (soft voice, not argumentive).I have discussed this elsewhere in musical discussion (on another site) but I didn't see the need this particular time (especialkly since it was mentioned earlier).From my perspective "call and response" is not really a style of music but a musical pattern that is found in alot of African music, varied black American styles (eg.blues,jazz,soul,rap,etc), and also some European forms such as the lining out of psalms and sea chantys.(Some black American work songs were black versions of British sea chantys).But you do make valid points on this musical pattern.

As far as instrumental patterns go, much of the black religious styles I have mentioned so far is pre-20th century sounds, and most of this religious music was a ccepela with no musical instruments.Though I did make a reference to the ringshout genre as having "stomped out rhythmns (often sounding like a drum)".Different sources suggest that drums were rare amongst black Americans prior to the 20th Century, and quite often banned.Plus the fact that most of the black slaves that came to the United states came from the northern savanna's, and in this area of Africa drums were not as common.Rather stringed instruments (especially the banya or what would later be called the banjo) was predominate.This would be a view supported by Tony Palmer's book "All You Need is Love:The story of Popular Music).I could also add that alot of the black African music that came to the States from the savanna's was shaped by Arabic influence.

In the 20th century drums would gradually become very common in black American music, and some of this drum playing (or drum machine rhythmns) shows clear inspiration from tribal African percussion.This is especially obvious in modern dance music forms such as house or Detroit techno (which began with blacks).But let me get back to black gospel, before things get to off topic....

Now as far as black gospel in the more recent 20th century/21rst century use of the term, I havn't even given much of my view on this yet.(I have deliberatly started with the earlier styles first and will try to get to the rest later.Speaking of rest it's past my bedtime, so I'll also get to your Carribean comments later!

PS. The following link gives a very staticy 1896 recording of a black spiritual that is done in barbershop harmony (by a black group), plus some interesting info on barbershop:

www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/barbershop


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jul 06 - 10:42 PM

Furthermore, blind will, since nothing complicated is ever simple, I'm hoping that you also would 'talk' about the influence of Caribbean music on African American religious music.

For those interested, here's a background quote:

"The Bongo Nation is a distinct group of Jamaicans descended from indentured servants. They are known for Kumina, which refers to both a religion and a form of music. Kumina's distinctive drumming style became one of the roots of Rastafarian drumming, itself the source of the distinctive Jamaican rhythm heard in ska, rocksteady and reggae.

The modern intertwining of Jamaican religion and music can be traced back to the 1860s, when the Pocomania and Revival Zion churches drew on African and Christian traditions and incorporated music into almost every facet of worship. Later, this trend spread into Hindu communities, made up of the many coolies (ethnic Indians on the island), resulting in baccra music. The spread of Rastafarianism into urban Jamaica in the 1960s transformed the Jamaican music scene, which incorporated nyabhingi drumming, played at grounation ceremonies into popular music."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Jamaica

-snip-


And here's an excerpt from another online article:

There are two compelling reasons why the study of Caribbean music should be more integrated into the larger field of American music. First, as scholars of world music have argued for some time, the Caribbean, the southern United States, and parts of coastal South America form a unified musical region where the fusion of European, African, and (occasionally) Amerindian traditions has shaped vernacular musical practice for centuries. Creolized Caribbean forms like the Cuban son, the Puerto Rican plena, the Trinidadian calypso, and Haitian Vodou music have much in common with American hybrid genres such as spirituals, blues, early jazz, and gospel music. Second, the diaspora of Caribbean music to the United States in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries has indelibly shaped the vernacular music cultures of urban centers like New Orleans, New York, and Miami. Moreover, transnational interchange among Caribbean, Latin, and North American urban centers promises to foster some of the new century's most imaginative popular styles."

ISAM Newsletter: Caribbean Roundup


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jul 06 - 10:35 PM

Btw, Blind Will,

I know that you only gave us a teaser, but I'm wondering why you didn't mention call & response vocal [not to mention instrumental] patterns in your initial comments.

Just as background for some who may not be aware of this pattern, see this quote:

"One predominant style of music that is still retained and was brought to America during the slavery period of the early 1600s to 1865, is the call and response pattern in which a leader sings a line and the entire group answers. Typical styles also included drums and other percussion instruments played a complex rhythmic accompaniment. (Sound familiar? A good example of this call and response style with syncopated rhythms can be heard by Ray Charles who used this to great advantage on his hit "What'd I Say")."

Source: Crosscurrents: History of Gospel Music

That website begins the discussion of this subject with this quote:

"There can be little doubt that shouting is a survival of the African "possession" by the gods... it is a sign of special favor from the spirit that it chooses to drive out the individual consciousness temporarily and use the body for its express..."
-Zora Neal Hurston,
The Sanctified Church


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Jul 06 - 10:03 PM

Blind Will, sorry, I can't help it. In response to your last statement, I have ta say:

After while, crocodile!

:o}

****

I look forward to more comments from you, blind will!!!

Best wishes,

Azizi


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: blind will
Date: 11 Jul 06 - 09:56 PM

Azizi,

I just saw your reply to me tonight!

No problem with using my comments on the African thread you mentioned.I'll have to check it out some time.

**I hope that you are still part of the Mudcat community.**

Thanks.Hopefully I'll show my head a little more around hear in the future.And I'll probably do atleast one more post hear sometime.

Anyway, see you later!


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Azizi
Date: 17 May 06 - 07:53 PM

Wow!

blind will, thank you so very much for that post. Somehow I missed reading it when it was first posted.

I hope that you don't mind that I'm including your comment on the "African Music Threads & Posts" thread. Though it's not 'souly' ;0) about African music, I feel your comments fit in that listing of threads about African music.

I hope that you are still part of the Mudcat community.

In case you miss this post, I'll pm you this message.

Best wishes, Azizi


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: blind will
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 01:31 AM

Hope nobody minds a late comer!

This has been a very interesting thread and has inspired me to write my first post on mudcat cafe.I've already learned things I didn't know before from others hear and some of my thinking has been corrected in the process.

The lined out genre that came from Britian (including Gaelic Psalm singing) was an important contribution to the early development of black religious music in the States.It also had impact on atleast some of what we call black gospel today (however watered down).But other European roots should not be overlooked.Nor should African factors not be considered.

One thing that would be good to remember is that black church/black religious music has come in a diversity of musical styles.Black American sacred song didn't all begin with one specific style or hybrid, with everything else following it's foot steps.This is a lengthy sample of it's diversity:

________________ Black Lining Out ________________

This black religious style (often called surge singing) was probably the first African/European hybrid to be common in black churches.It has African vocal qualities and other African traits, but shares the undanceable irregular rhythmn of white/British styles of Lining out.So far I've only heard one example of this type of singing (among black Americans) and it had the same slow focus as the whites I've heard, just extra slow.It sounded like a bunch of black men trying to sing at a funeral, not shure of what musical direction they were going to take.(Not a racist comment, just my way of describing it).The lyrics they were singing were from the popular Amazing Grace hymn, but to a totally different tune (and almost no tune).

__________ Ring Shout __________

In much contrast to the black lined out songs is the ring shout.This style is essentially an African type of music with little or no influence from European music, different sources suggesting that it's origin is in Africa.But it's emotional tendacys may often owe something to white religious fervor such as the "Irish Shouters" of 18th Century Ireland.It is characterised by a very repetitive sound, shouting, circle dancing, stomped out rhythmns (often sounding like a drum) and sometimes even yodelling or screaming.Put in the black spiritual category, it was not only found in black churches but also in the racially mixed revivals, Methodist meetings and camp services of the 18th and 19th centuries.While many whites questioned the ring shouts or thought they were pagan, other whites joined in and did it in their own white churches.In the 20th Century the ring shout was preserved in black Pentecostal/Holiness churches and echos of it's sound can be heard in the more dramatic and rocking types of black gospel today.

_____________________________ The Revival/Camp Meeting Song _____________________________

This style is more associated with the "white folk hymn" tradition, being more upbeat or regular than the lined out genre.But it initially began as the result of black slaves and whites freely singing together in the early American revival/Methodist/camp scene--causing a sound that mixed British based folk melodies (often drawing on ballads) with African music elements.It is characterised by simple and repeated texts, often using clapping, minor keys and a "flatted 7th scale".One song from this tradition is the popular "Give Me That Old Time Religion" sung for years in both black and white churches.It had a indirect influence on all the music we commonly call black gospel.

__________________________ Black Spiritual folk music __________________________

In it's original folk form, black spirituals came in atleast three styles: the very African ring shout (mentioned earlier), the partially formed blues or primitive blues style that often spoke of sorrow or death (sometimes sung in a ethereal unison blues chant) and the more upbeat/hopefull sounds of songs like Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.The common European musical elements that did crop up in the spritual folk song came from the white religious world that the slaves were exposed to.And most of that exposure came from two styles--the irregular lined out songs (including Gaelic Psalm tunes) and the more regular revival/camp meeting song.I have notised interesting similarities between Gaelic Psalm singing and the unison-blues chant I've heard from the black church.

_____________________ Barbershop Spirituals _____________________

A trend that began in the 19th century was singing black spirituals in close barbershop quartet harmony style.Barbershop itself was an originally black American style, despite it's strong European feel (atleast compelling evidence supports such a claim).It goes back to atleast the early 184O's and was popular in "black minstrel shows" where whites made fun of blacks.My own research suggests that it took much of it's smooth European sound from a type of 4 part harmony music that came to the States from Austria.(Mennonites of German origin also have a 4 part harmony music that bares strong similarities to barbershop).Mixed with elements of black spiritual song the smooth Austrian harmonies became barbershop, forming the foundation of all black American quartet harmony.By the early decades of the 20th Century, singing black spirituals in barbershop style became even more predominate, popularised by black university singers that were known as "jubilee quartets".Eventually the barbershop spirituals would spread from the universities to the black churches.By expanding this religious barbershop sound with new musical influences (eg. the gospel of Thomas Dorsey) the black gospel quartet sound began.

------------------------

The examples above already give an idea of the diverse roots of black gospel and black American religious music in general.Other styles such as a black tradition of sacred harp singing could also be cited.Eventually I will try to give a more direct look at black gospel as a whole, but first I'll wait for some possible feedback!


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Subject: RE: Gospel music is Gaelic? UK TV 21 Mar
From: Goose Gander
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 07:45 PM

Here's something related if anyone is interested . . . .

John Wyeth and the Development of Southern Folk Hymnody


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