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Lining Out the WordDr. Watts Hymn Singing in the Music of Black Americans$
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William Dargan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234482

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234482.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

“I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cries”

“I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cries”

The Role of Dr. Watts Hymns in the Musical Acculturation of African Americans

(p.120) Chapter 5 “I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cries”
Lining Out the Word

William T. Dargan

University of California Press

Not only in Dr. Watts hymns, but also in spirituals, blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, and jazz, African–European encounters have shaped a persisting core of relationships between language and music. From about 1800 to 1970, this sequence of genres emerged out of the cauldron of wars and disenfranchisement that marked the African American trek from autonomous existence to crossover with or assimilation into the American cultural mainstream. These observable continuities include a field of non-semantic, psycho-emotional expression in African American music that is analogous to language surrogates (or drum languages), speech-like song, and other synergies between speech and song in African ritual expression. This chapter examines the interrelationship between speech and song in the sound of Dr. Watts, while positing a conceptual model that places musical performances on a continuum of rhythmic styles, and looks at the book African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective (1995) by Kofi Agawu.

Keywords:   Dr. Watts, hymns, language, African American music, speech, song, Kofi Agawu, assimilation

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