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Chapter 5. Imagery and Nature of the Work Song

Chapter 5. Imagery and Nature of the Work Song Chapter 5 Imagery and Nature of the Work Song The work song has been the surveyor of the most famous and signif­ icant Negro legends. Here the great imaginative power of the black man is brought forth in all its untutored glory. Perhaps a truer kin­ ship with real, classic racial creativeness is apparent in the work song than in the other products of Negro folk genius. Throughout the ages, races that have produced great artistic geniuses have also produced great legends. Most likely these races have produced great legends because they had great artistic potency. The ideals that were not attained in practice were attained through the creation of characters and situations that served to satisfy to some extent the longing for greater power, knowledge, and moral virtue. When one considers the legends of Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Russia, Scandinavia, China, and Africa, and the rich artistic contributions of these countries in various art forms, the result is significant if not conclusive. For instance, Richard Wagner, who wrote the greatest operas in the German language, relied upon the richness of German legend for much of his inspiration, as indeed does Strauss. The great significance of African legend has http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Chapter 5. Imagery and Nature of the Work Song

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
10.1215/10439455-9.1-2.75
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Chapter 5 Imagery and Nature of the Work Song The work song has been the surveyor of the most famous and signif­ icant Negro legends. Here the great imaginative power of the black man is brought forth in all its untutored glory. Perhaps a truer kin­ ship with real, classic racial creativeness is apparent in the work song than in the other products of Negro folk genius. Throughout the ages, races that have produced great artistic geniuses have also produced great legends. Most likely these races have produced great legends because they had great artistic potency. The ideals that were not attained in practice were attained through the creation of characters and situations that served to satisfy to some extent the longing for greater power, knowledge, and moral virtue. When one considers the legends of Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Russia, Scandinavia, China, and Africa, and the rich artistic contributions of these countries in various art forms, the result is significant if not conclusive. For instance, Richard Wagner, who wrote the greatest operas in the German language, relied upon the richness of German legend for much of his inspiration, as indeed does Strauss. The great significance of African legend has

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1995

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