Negro Folk Rhymes Wise & Otherwise - online book

A detailed study of Negro folk music, includes lyrics & sheet music samples.

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and rhythm. In a tune like "Old Hundred" com­monly used in churches as a Doxology, there are four divisions in the music corresponding with the four lines of the stanza. Each division is called, in music, a Phrase. Two of these Phrases make a Phrase Group and two Phrase Groups make a Period. Nowt when one moves musically through a Phrase Group his sense of rhythm is partially satis­fied and when he has moved through a Period the sense of Rhythm is entirely satisfied.
When one reads the three line stanzas of Negro Folk Rhymes he passes through a music Period and thus the stanza satisfies in its rhythm. Example:
"Bridle up er rat, Saddle up er cat, An' han' me down my big straw hat."
Here the first twTo lines are a Phrase each and constitute together a Phrase Group. The third line is made up of two Phrases, or a Phrase Group in itself. Thus this third line along with the first two makes a Music Period and the whole satisfies our rhythmic sense though the lines are apparently odd. In all Negro Rhymes, however odd in number and however ragged may seem the lines, the music