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The Development of Negro Religious Music

The Development of Negro Religious Music R. Nathaniel Dett R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) came under serious scrutiny for '·developing'· into anthemic form an indigenous American music believed to be genuine only in its primitivity. On April 21, 1930 came a correspondence from George P. Phenix, Principal of Hampton institute (where Dett taught and directed the choir), saying, "As sung by the choir a week ago, our spirituals were in a sense de-spiritualized." And in a February 3, 1945 letter to Arna Bontemps W. C. Handy commented that "Dett did not come up in the (Fisk University). deep south as 1 did. and too, he had much of the education of a man who is trying to keep us in a certain category, as it relates to what we call Negro music.'' Dett was indeed educated-a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1908, a Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music in 1931, and intermittent training in Paris and Germany, and at several other American universities. On leave from his tenured professorship at Hamp­ ton ( 1913-1932) for a year's study at Harvard ( 1920-21 ), Dett' s defense of his compositional "development" of the spiritual was one piece in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

The Development of Negro Religious Music

Black Sacred Music , Volume 2 (1) – Mar 1, 1988

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Copyright
© Copyright 1988 JBSM/Jon Michael Spencer
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-2.1.65
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

R. Nathaniel Dett R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) came under serious scrutiny for '·developing'· into anthemic form an indigenous American music believed to be genuine only in its primitivity. On April 21, 1930 came a correspondence from George P. Phenix, Principal of Hampton institute (where Dett taught and directed the choir), saying, "As sung by the choir a week ago, our spirituals were in a sense de-spiritualized." And in a February 3, 1945 letter to Arna Bontemps W. C. Handy commented that "Dett did not come up in the (Fisk University). deep south as 1 did. and too, he had much of the education of a man who is trying to keep us in a certain category, as it relates to what we call Negro music.'' Dett was indeed educated-a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1908, a Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music in 1931, and intermittent training in Paris and Germany, and at several other American universities. On leave from his tenured professorship at Hamp­ ton ( 1913-1932) for a year's study at Harvard ( 1920-21 ), Dett' s defense of his compositional "development" of the spiritual was one piece in

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1988

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