New Book: A New Perspective for the Use of Dialect in African American Spirituals

History, Context, and Linguistics

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A new book by Felcia Raphael Marie Barber with a foreword by Andrea J. Thomasa. New Perspective for the Use of Dialect in African American Spirituals: History, Context, and Linguistics investigates the use of the African American English (AAE) dialect in the musical genre of the spiritual. Perfect for conductors and performers alike, this book traces the history of the dialect, its use in early performance practice, and the sociolinguistic impact of the AAE dialect in the United States. Read more and purchase!

Classification of the Vocal Works of Harry T. Burleigh

Allison, Roland Lewis. “maud_cuney_hare-harry_t_burleigh_328 (1866–1949) and Some Suggestions for Their Use in Teaching Diction in Singing.” PhD diss., Indiana University, 1966.

A historical study of Harry Thacker Burleigh and his works, including a graded analysis of his solo vocal works. Outlines vocal teaching concepts and how they might be used with these works. Includes an appendix of Burleigh’s vocal works from 1898 to 1949, listing title, source or author of text, and publisher. Contains an extensive bibliography and music examples.

E. Azalia Smith Hackley (1867–1922)

Azalia Smith Hackley an African American singer and Denver political activist born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1867.  Her parents, business owners Henry and Corilla Smith, moved to Detroit where she attended Washington Normal School, graduating in 1886.  Smith, a child prodigy learned to play the piano at three and later took private voice, violin and French lessons. Emma Smith worked as an elementary school teacher for eighteen years.  Despite her stellar training, Hackley did not pursue a professional career.  Instead she spent much of the rest of her life training a younger generation of singers including Marian Anderson, Roland Hayes and R. Nathaniel Dett.

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