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The Musicality of Black Preaching: A Phenomenology

The Musicality of Black Preaching: A Phenomenology The Musicality of Black Preaching: A Phenomenology William C. Turner, Jr. The Pervasiveness of the Idiom One who observes the Black Church from within the context of its life as a worshiping community is soon struck by the degree to which the preaching is musical. The spectrum of musical expression ranges from the sonorous delivery, which has a pleasant melodiousness, meter, and cadence, to the full­ blown chant or song. To those who are a part of the tradition in which musical delivery is normative, such a form often emerges as the criterion for preaching. This valuation categorizes other styles of delivery as mere speech, address, or lecture; but hardly as preaching. Consequently, the preacher uninitiated in the customs of this segment of the Black Church may be thanked for his or her "talk" as courteous intimation that .. preaching" per se had not occurred. Although few credible preachers and even fewer homileticians would make musical delivery a measure for preaching, it remains a highly treasured aspect of the culture. The manner in which black preaching speaks to the black experience in America with a divinely inspired word is doubtless its most distinctive feature. To a situation characterized by http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

The Musicality of Black Preaching: A Phenomenology

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
10.1215/10439455-2.1.21
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Musicality of Black Preaching: A Phenomenology William C. Turner, Jr. The Pervasiveness of the Idiom One who observes the Black Church from within the context of its life as a worshiping community is soon struck by the degree to which the preaching is musical. The spectrum of musical expression ranges from the sonorous delivery, which has a pleasant melodiousness, meter, and cadence, to the full­ blown chant or song. To those who are a part of the tradition in which musical delivery is normative, such a form often emerges as the criterion for preaching. This valuation categorizes other styles of delivery as mere speech, address, or lecture; but hardly as preaching. Consequently, the preacher uninitiated in the customs of this segment of the Black Church may be thanked for his or her "talk" as courteous intimation that .. preaching" per se had not occurred. Although few credible preachers and even fewer homileticians would make musical delivery a measure for preaching, it remains a highly treasured aspect of the culture. The manner in which black preaching speaks to the black experience in America with a divinely inspired word is doubtless its most distinctive feature. To a situation characterized by

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1988

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