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Lining Out the Word – Dr. Watts Hymn Singing in the Music of Black Americans - California Scholarship Online
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Lining Out the Word: Dr. Watts Hymn Singing in the Music of Black Americans

William Dargan


This book takes a close look at an important and little-studied component of African American music, one that has roots in Europe, but was adapted by African American congregations and went on to have a profound influence on music of all kinds—from gospel to soul to jazz. “Lining out,” also called Dr. Watts hymn singing, refers to hymns sung to a limited selection of familiar tunes, intoned a line at a time by a leader and taken up in turn by the congregation. From its origins in seventeenth-century England to the current practice of lining out among some Baptist congregations in the American ... More

Keywords: Baptist congregations, Isaac Watts, Aretha Franklin, Ornette Coleman, slavery, work songs, European singing, African singing, oral sources, lining out

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780520234482
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520234482.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Dargan, author