This collection of Negro folk songs represents a faithful effort to place on paper a precise record of old traditional plantation songs, exactly as they were sung by black students at Virginia's Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Dedicated to the education of former slaves, this nineteenth-century establishment was home to some 900 students from all parts of the United States. The songs were compiled by musicologist Natalie Curtis-Burlin, whose brilliant and careful notation presents a vivid transcription of actual performance.Included here are precise scores of nineteen spirituals, work-songs, and play-songs in four sections, each notated for male quartet, with a piano reduction of the vocal parts. From such spirituals as "Go down, Moses," "Couldn't hear nobody pray," "O ev-ry time I feel de spirit," and "Good news, chariot's comin'!" to more secular melodies such as "Cott'n-pickin' Song," "Hammerin' Song," "Liza-Jane," and "Lullaby," each piece is preceded by a detailed analysis of the music. In addition, all four sections feature thorough, engaging introductions that discuss the social context of the times, the people, and their music.Students, musicians, and musicologists interested in the priceless contributions of African Americans to the folk music of the United States will treasure this unique volume.
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