|Share page||Visit Us On FB|
songs of the plantations known until Miss McKim wrote a letter about them to Dwight's "Journal of Music," which was printed under the date of November 8, 1862.
In August, 1863, H. G. Spaulding contributed some songs to "The Continental Monthly," together with an interesting account of how they were sung and the influence which they exerted upon the singers. In "The Atlantic Monthly" for June, 1867, Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson printed the texts of a large number of songs and accompanied them with so sympathetic and yet keen an analysis of their psychology and structure that he left practically nothing for his successors to say on the subject- Booker T. Washington and W. E. Burghardt DuBois have only been able to echo him in strains of higher rhapsody. Much use was made of these articles by William Francis Allen in the preface of the first collection of the songs, entitled "Slave Songs of the United States," published by A. Simpson & Co. in New York in 1867. The observations of these writers and a few others make up practically the entire sum of what it is essential to know about the social, literary and psychological side of the folksongs of the American negroes. None of these early collectors had more than a smattering of musical knowledge, and none of them attempted to subject the melodies of the songs to analytical study.
Outside of the cursory and fragmentary notices of "The Tribune's" music reviewer called out by a few performances of the songs and the appearance of the collections which followed a popularization of the songs by the singing of the Jubilee Singers of the Fisk University and other choirs from the schools established for the higher education of the emancipated blacks, nothing of even a quasi-scientific character touching the melodies appeared during the last generation until M. Julien Tiersot, the distinguished librarian of the Paris Conservatory, published a monograph1 (first in the Journal of the International Music Society, afterward separately) giving the results of his investigations into the folk-music of Canada and the United States made during a
1 "La Musique chez les Peupfes indigfcaes de l'AmSriqae du Nord—£tat$-Unis et Canada." Paris, Librairie Fischbacher; Leipsic and New York, Brcit-kopf & Hartel.
[ vm ]