Populist Sacred Music
of the Nineteenth Century
Sacred Music
• Evangelical revival movement
• Continued use of music composed by the First New
England School
• Shape-note...
Shape-Note Singing
• What is it?
•
•
•
•
•

Fa: 1st, 4th (Triangle)
Sol: 2nd, 5th (Oval)
La: 3rd, 6th ( Square)
Mi: 7th (D...
Written Shape-Note Notation
Musical Reformists
• Educated vs. uneducated
• European vs. American

• Shape-note and First New England School
considered...
Populist Hymns
• Educated composers using European ideals
• Thomas Hastings (1784-1872)
• Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me

• Wi...
Lowell Mason
• 1792-1872
• Leader of the musical reform
movement
• European ideals, but realistic
• Music Education in pub...
Revival Movements
• Second (Great) Awakening
• What was it?
• c. 1790 – 1840; enormous
increase around 1820
• Methodists, ...
Folk Hymns
• Aka: White Spirituals
• “The Sacred Harp” (1844)
• Shape-note tradition
• Southern US, Appalachia
• Rural are...
The Sacred Harp (1844)
Black Spirituals
• Aka Spirituals, Negro Spirituals
• (Yes, they’re still published under this category.)

• Traced back t...
Fisk Jubilee Singers c. 1872
Populist Sacred Music of the 19th Cen
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Populist Sacred Music of the 19th Cen

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Populist Sacred Music of the 19th Cen

  1. 1. Populist Sacred Music of the Nineteenth Century
  2. 2. Sacred Music • Evangelical revival movement • Continued use of music composed by the First New England School • Shape-note vs. Traditional European Notation • Uneducated vs. educated
  3. 3. Shape-Note Singing • What is it? • • • • • Fa: 1st, 4th (Triangle) Sol: 2nd, 5th (Oval) La: 3rd, 6th ( Square) Mi: 7th (Diamond) Standard Solfege • European origins (Italy, early Renaissance) • Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti (Si) • Easy to learn (?) • http://fasola.org/
  4. 4. Written Shape-Note Notation
  5. 5. Musical Reformists • Educated vs. uneducated • European vs. American • Shape-note and First New England School considered to be inferior • Billings doing his own thing = bad? • Inferiority complex? • European ideals • German masters: Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann
  6. 6. Populist Hymns • Educated composers using European ideals • Thomas Hastings (1784-1872) • Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me • William Bradbury (1816-1868) • Tune: Woodworth • Lowell Mason
  7. 7. Lowell Mason • 1792-1872 • Leader of the musical reform movement • European ideals, but realistic • Music Education in public schools • Thanks for the job! • Boston, 1838 • Banker turned musician • Publishing ($$$) • Ex: Nearer, My God, to Thee • Hymns  Strophic • Homophonic (Chordal) • Syllabic vs. melismatic
  8. 8. Revival Movements • Second (Great) Awakening • What was it? • c. 1790 – 1840; enormous increase around 1820 • Methodists, Baptists • First Great Awakening (1730s and 40s) • Third Great Awakening (1850s to 1900) • Uh…How many times can we be greatly awoken? • Hybrid: religious, social, recreational, multicultural, cross-generational
  9. 9. Folk Hymns • Aka: White Spirituals • “The Sacred Harp” (1844) • Shape-note tradition • Southern US, Appalachia • Rural areas; Camp meetings • Repetitive • No literacy, no problem! • Ex: Amazing Grace • Ex: I’m Going Home
  10. 10. The Sacred Harp (1844)
  11. 11. Black Spirituals • Aka Spirituals, Negro Spirituals • (Yes, they’re still published under this category.) • Traced back to work songs and field hollers • Often call and response • Hidden messages disguised in Bible stories and imagery • Hebrews in Egypt • “Promised Land” “Let My People Go” • Fisk Jubilee Singers (1871) • Former slaves • University Treasurer/Music Director: George L. White • Performances across country; fascination; novelty • Ex Swing Low Sweet Chariot (1909) • Youtube: Fisk Jubilee Singers
  12. 12. Fisk Jubilee Singers c. 1872

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