Messages of Freedom, Hope and Life

Messages of
Freedom, Hope
and Life
Where slaves came from in Africa:
 Cameroon
 Guinea
 Congo
 Ivory
 Nigeria
 Senegal
 Togo
Traditions slaves brought from Africa:
 Stories
and Storytelling
 Language
 Customs
 Dancing
 Music
 Group
 Deeply
emotional with lyrics
that often used code words
about freedom, and a desire
to escape slavery
 Sung
by enslaved African-American
people in the United States
 Originated
in the United States between
1740 and 1900
 Use oral tradition – Songs are passed by
word of mouth
Spirituals developed…
 As
people sang as they worked
 As
people celebrated events
 When
people made them up on the spot
or used a familiar tune with different lyrics
 As
people draw from African song and
 As
a way to communicate coded
 Explain
 Give
the hardship of
hope for a better
 Express
 Draw
religious faith
from religious and
biblical texts
Types of Spirituals
 Call
and response – a ‘leader’ begins a line,
which is then followed by a choral response;
often to a fast, rhythmic tempo
Examples: Good News, Swing Low, Sweet
Chariot, Go Down Moses
 Slow
and melodic - Songs with sustained,
expressive phrasing, generally slower tempo
Examples: Deep River, Balm in Gilead, Calvary
 Fast
and rhythmic – Songs that often tell a story in
a faster, syncopated rhythm
Examples: Witness, Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit, Elijah
Rock, Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
Performance Tips
Phrasing: breathing is allowed in the middle of
phrases when placing emphasis on important
key words
Lyrics: words often are shortened and
consonants soften or left out all together
Improvisation: permitted especially by soloists
Repetition: give more meaning to lines and
individual words and make all repetitions
sound different
Dynamics and Rhythm
 Use
the entire dynamic
range from very soft to
the to very loud
 Explore
shading and
degrees within soft and
loud and a balance
between parts
 Syncopated
rhythms can
be improvised
Movement and
 Rhythmic
clapping and stomping
add to the
 Interpretive
Movements: based on words in the
song such as bending, leaning, swaying to bring
animation to the song
 Facial
Expressions: important in order to convey
meaning to the listener
 Calls
and Shouts: welcomed in spirited fast tempo

similar documents