Music 516: American Hymnody and Sacred Song
A survey of psalmody, hymnody and sacred song styles
in the United States: their development from 1600 to the present and their
influence on U.S. and world music. (3 credits)
The origin and development of American religious song will be
examined from its roots in native and immigrant societies from 1600
the present. Live performances, films and recorded music will be studied
as well as written sources. Our study will not be limited to Christian
hymnody, but will include songs from Native American, Jewish, Hindu,
Islamic and pagan/new age traditions, while focusing on Catholic and
Protestant music from colonial times and their development, in relation
to folk and popular religious cultures.
- Attendance and participation in class discussion.
- Reading assignments, from required books and from reserve.
- Listening assignments from tapes on reserve.
- Short project (book review), due Feb. 27
- Final project, due Apr. 30
- Midterm exam, Mar. 7
- Final exam.
- Stephen A. Marini. Sacred Song in America: Religion, Music,
and Public Culture. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press,
Other reference works
- Crawford, Richard. An Introduction to America's Music. New York: Norton,
- Hitchcock, H. Wiley, with Kyle Gann. Music in the United States: A
Historical Introduction. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2000.
- Mitchell, Frank. Navajo Blessingway Singer: The Autobiography of Frank
Mitchell, 1881-1967. Ed. Charlotte J. Frisbie and David P. McAllester.
Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1978.
- Britton, Allen Perdue, Irving Lowens and Richard Crawford.
American Sacred Music Imprints, 1698-1810: A Bibliography. Worcester,
Mass.: American Antiquarian Society, 1990.
- Gould, Nathaniel D. Church Music in America . Reprint, New York:
AMS Press, 1972.
- Stevenson, Robert. Protestant Church Music in America. New York: Norton, 1966.
- Douglas, Winfred. Church Music in History and Practice. rev. by Leonard
Ellinwood. New York: Scribners, 1962.
- Epstein, Dena J. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the
Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.
- Cobb, Buell E. The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music. Athens:
University of Georgia Press, 1978.
- Jackson, George Pullen. White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands
. Reprint, New York: Dover, 1965.
- Steel, David Warren, with Richard H. Hulan. The Makers of the Sacred
Harp. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
- Browner, Tara C. "Making and Singing Pow-wow Songs: Text, Form, and the
Significance of Culture-based Analysis." Ethnomusicology 44 (2000): 214-33.
- Allen, William Francis. Slave Songs of the United States .
Reprint, New York: Peter Smith, 1951.
- Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of
Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925. New York: Oxford University
- Patterson, Daniel W. The Shaker Spiritual. Princeton
University Press, 1979.
- Floyd, Samuel A. The Power of Black Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
- Bernice Reagon, ed. We'll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering
African American Gospel Composers. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian
Institution Press, 1992.
- Harris, Michael W. The Rise of Gospel Blues: The Music of Thomas
Andrew Dorsey in the Urban Church. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
- Heilbut, Anthony. The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times. Rev. ed.
New York: Limelight 1985.
- Caponi, Gena Dagel, ed. Signifyin(g), Sanctifyin', and Slam Dunking:
A Reader in African American Expressive Culture. Amherst: University of
Massachusetts Press, 1999.
- Spencer, Jon Michael. Black Hymnody. Knoxville: University
of Tennessee Press, 1992.
- Irene V. Jackson, Afro-American Religious Music
- J. Godrich and R. M. W. Dixon, Blues and Gospel Records
Tentative list of topics
- Native American traditions and their tranformation
- Hispanic devotional music of the Southwest
- Early American psalmody and hymnody to 1810.
- The camp-meeting spiritual
- The Sacred Harp and Southern sacred song
- Shouts, spirituals and jubilees
- Jewish song in the United States
- Bhajans and Hindu devotional song
- Anasheed and qawwali, Islamic and sufi song
- The Jewish music revival
- Gospel music in the 20th century
- Popular and new-age movements in religious song
A few basic starting points