Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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90
FOLK BONG OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO.
CHAPTER VII.
Agencies of Preservation and Development.
*7 verily think and am not ashamed to say that, newt to Divinity, no art is comparable to music."
N OTWITHSTANDING the facts that forty-five years have elapsed since the Negro Folk Music was first given to the world by the Original Fisk Jubilee Singers, and notwithstanding the first burst of consuming enthusiasm with which it was received has about all passed away, still there is to-day a more serious interest taken in it than ever before.
In the early days it was looked upon as a curiosity in the world of song, beautiful, entertaining but transient, for the world never considered it more than a commodity, through which one or two Negro schools maintained themselves. It was fully expected that when these schools drew in their companies of singers, this music would die. It is probable that it owes its life and much of its cur�rency largely to Hampton Institute, which has been very consistent in collecting and singing it.
Now, at Fisk, Hampton, Tuskegee, and Calhoun earnest and seri�ous efforts are being put forth to collect, sing, study, and develop it. This work on the part of the centers of learning insures a perman�ency which this music most certainly deserves.
As a result of the efforts of these institutions there are now known to be something over five hundred of these songs, the most beautiful of which are known to the most of us, while others are current only in certain localities.
Doubtless the same methods are used in all the schools engaged in collecting this music. At certain seasons a teacher or student will make excursions into the districts where "big rneetings," "camp meetings77 or revivals are being held, prepared to reduce to writing the songs he is almost sure to hear. At these special occasions there is a perfect carnival of "Folk Music,77 for people come from far dis�tant and separated places, bringing different songs, new songs, and








E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III