Singing in the Spirit: African-American Sacred Quartets in New York City (Publications of the American Folklore Society)

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9780812213317: Singing in the Spirit: African-American Sacred Quartets in New York City (Publications of the American Folklore Society)

Draws on field recordings and interviews with dozens of local New York singers to reveal an intriguing world where religion and art merge.

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From Library Journal:

Allen (African American studies, Univ. of California) fills a need for information on this segment of the black "spiritual entertainment" tradition in music with a balanced presentation of the New York history, repertoire, aesthetics, performance style, and future of sacred quartet singing. Telling quotations express performers' experiences, giving his book a welcome "inside story" perspective. Selected examples of lyrics present images of both tradition and spontaneity (improvisation is part of the tradition). This serious ethnomusicological study with few photos and no musical examples will appeal more to students than to general readers. Recommended for African American studies and large music collections. It might also be considered for special collections in religion and urban studies.
- Bonnie Jo Dopp, District of Columbia P.L.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

"Allen . . . fills a need for information on this segment of the black 'spiritual entertainment' tradition in music with a balanced presentation of the New York history, repertoire, aesthetics, performance style, and future of sacred quartet singing. Telling quotations express performers' experiences, giving his book a welcome 'inside story' perspective. Selected examples of lyrics present images of both tradition and spontaneity (improvisation is part of the tradition). This serious ethnomusicological study . . . will appeal more to students than to general readers."—Library Journal

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