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Downhome Gospel: African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country by Jerrilynn McGregory (review)

Downhome Gospel: African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country by Jerrilynn McGregory... Book Reviews 523 in assembling the extensive network of self-borrowing that Schuman relied on throughout his career—a retrospective practice if there ever was one. Swayne’s stripes as an academic musicologist surface most conspicuously when he assesses Schuman’s attitudes on the subjects of race, sexuality, and gen- der. Was Schuman racist? Homophobic? Sexist? No, no, and not by the standards of the time, although he once disingenuously wrote to the violinist Louise Rood to explain that she was not invited to join the Juilliard String Quartet on account of her advanced age, even though she was only thirty-five years old—the same age as Schuman (5, 199, 189). Since these analyses seem most coherently situated as a reflection of current interest in identity politics within the field of American music studies, one might quibble that they are at cross purposes with Swayne’s stated goal to “gauge [Schuman’s cultural impact] at the time it was first felt” (6). But they constitute important and appropriate discussions to include in a work that is not only a thoroughgoing biography but also a work shaped by current issues in musicology. In all, Swayne’s biography seems poised to provide the definitive scholarly account of Schuman for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Downhome Gospel: African American Spiritual Activism in Wiregrass Country by Jerrilynn McGregory (review)

American Music , Volume 30 (4) – Aug 4, 2013

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

Book Reviews 523 in assembling the extensive network of self-borrowing that Schuman relied on throughout his career—a retrospective practice if there ever was one. Swayne’s stripes as an academic musicologist surface most conspicuously when he assesses Schuman’s attitudes on the subjects of race, sexuality, and gen- der. Was Schuman racist? Homophobic? Sexist? No, no, and not by the standards of the time, although he once disingenuously wrote to the violinist Louise Rood to explain that she was not invited to join the Juilliard String Quartet on account of her advanced age, even though she was only thirty-five years old—the same age as Schuman (5, 199, 189). Since these analyses seem most coherently situated as a reflection of current interest in identity politics within the field of American music studies, one might quibble that they are at cross purposes with Swayne’s stated goal to “gauge [Schuman’s cultural impact] at the time it was first felt” (6). But they constitute important and appropriate discussions to include in a work that is not only a thoroughgoing biography but also a work shaped by current issues in musicology. In all, Swayne’s biography seems poised to provide the definitive scholarly account of Schuman for

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 4, 2013

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