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Chapter 11. The Wheel in a Wheel

Chapter 11. The Wheel in a Wheel Chapter II The Wheel in a Wheel Religious folk music of the American Negro is proving to be a con­ stantly widening enigma for those who, by right of birth and associ­ ation with its fundamental idioms, should not find themselves so puzzled. Recently we have had a rather copious, determined effort on the part of some men in America, Europe, and even Africa to reduce Negro music in general to its simplest terms, and perhaps they have done the best that their knowledge has permitted. On the one hand, we are happy that our music has attracted such scholarly attention. But on the other hand, we are forced to feel unhappy about the fact that some of the damage done to our sublime songs is in a sense irreparable. Certainly every man has the right to react in a very personal way to his life experiences, but it has to be admitted that these reactions often overstep the bounds of good judgment, leading to most unfor­ tunate practices and then, inevitably, to unhappy ends. Much of the white man's work in Negro music has been legitimate and service­ able. But when it comes to the point where our http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Chapter 11. The Wheel in a Wheel

Black Sacred Music , Volume 9 (1-2) – Sep 1, 1995

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Copyright
Copyright © 1995 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-9.1-2.195
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Chapter II The Wheel in a Wheel Religious folk music of the American Negro is proving to be a con­ stantly widening enigma for those who, by right of birth and associ­ ation with its fundamental idioms, should not find themselves so puzzled. Recently we have had a rather copious, determined effort on the part of some men in America, Europe, and even Africa to reduce Negro music in general to its simplest terms, and perhaps they have done the best that their knowledge has permitted. On the one hand, we are happy that our music has attracted such scholarly attention. But on the other hand, we are forced to feel unhappy about the fact that some of the damage done to our sublime songs is in a sense irreparable. Certainly every man has the right to react in a very personal way to his life experiences, but it has to be admitted that these reactions often overstep the bounds of good judgment, leading to most unfor­ tunate practices and then, inevitably, to unhappy ends. Much of the white man's work in Negro music has been legitimate and service­ able. But when it comes to the point where our

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1995

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