Some of the religious songs in the Colonial American had undertones of African culture as a result of slaves. The slaves carried with them religious songs from their communities for example the call and response music style.

Early American Religious Music
Surya Vikramadithya Mallu
University of Massachusetts Boston

Study Questions Music, 117
American Religious Music
Lecture A
1. Some of the religious songs in the Colonial American had undertones of African culture as a result of slaves. The slaves carried with them religious songs from their communities for example the call and response music style.
2. The puritans, were protestants from England who came to America, with the aim of finding a place where they could openly protest against the practices of the Church of England, which they deemed as evil.
3. The practice of psalm singing was an important aspect of the puritans and was often incorporated in worship.
4. Psalter in colonial American was a religious book meant for children an example is the Litany of Saints.
5. Old One Hundred
a) The hymn has a 12 -bar blues form
b) The hymn has a conjunct melody because of the simplicity in flow which makes it easy and sweet to sing
c) The hymn is fairly simple owing to the fact that it was meant to depict religious principles.
6. The singing schools were fellowship sessions and were also used to help worshipers in memorizing important verses and biblical principles.
7. The fasola system was essentially used to teach singing through the connection of a note with a particular syllable. I was commonly used in colonial America with the concentration of the fa, so, la, and mi syllable. These facts make it shape note system different from other forms of music.
8. The Sacred Harp in 1901 and The Southern Harmony in 1835
9. The phrase “Gospel Music” referred to the kind of music that preached to message of salvation in the Biblical Gospel stories about Jesus. In the 19th Century the music was often done in secrecy. However, in 20th Century after the abolition of slavery African Americans became more open and bolder.
10. Th First Great Awakening was a religious movement in Britain and her colonies that was characterized by migration away from Protestanism towards evangelical worship. The Second Great Awakening was a revival of protestant principles in the 19th Century America.
11. Amazing Grace
a) The song has an organic rhythm
b) The song has the traditional African American melody characterized by solemn worship
12. Contrasting
a) “Amazing Grace” has a triple meter while “I’m Headed for the Promised Land” has a duple meter.
b) The vocal timber of “Amazing Grace” has an ascending pitch which the one in “I’m Headed for the Promised Land has a flat pitch
c) The rhythm of “Amazing Grace” is soft and flows progressively while the one for “I’m Headed for the Promised Land” is average with a characteristic western style.
Lecturer B
1. Cultural stereotypes depicted in the film is the playing of the banjo and the depiction of average males during the period as notoriously macho and daring
2. Appalachian region are mountain ranges in North America that stretch from Newfoundland Canada to Alabama in the US. The inhabitants migrated from Canada.
3. The song has a 12-measure form and it is about love that grows beyond the grave.
4. Folk music often has the aim of transferring historical knowledge to the latter generations. Many folk music usually talks about day to day experiences.
5. Folk Music
a) Folk music is seldom written and it is transmitted orally
b) Training is by hearing and singing
c) The audience are mostly members of a given society or community who can related to the issues being addressed in the music
6. Cecil Sharp and Olive Dame Campbell were collectors of folk songs in the colonial America. Their primary method of collection was listening and recording.
7. Different genres of folk music
a) Celtic
b) Central and Eastern Europe
c) Balkan Nordic
d) American
e) African
8. “Old Time Music” according to Seeger (n.d) is the traditional mountain-type folk music.
9. Guitar, mandolin, and banjo
10. The tune of the song is ancient and it is telling a story
11. Old time music was often sang while working or playing
12. Spoons and gourd bodies

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Seeger, M. (n.d). Mike Seeger Old Time Country Music. Retrieved from Mike Seeger:

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