The Evolution of Jazz; 3; Southern African-American Influence, Part Two
Yeah let me. Eat home. Oh no. Oh it. Has this big subject to Afro-American
elements. During the years eventually when it reached New Orleans at the turn of the turn of the century it would sound something like this. As for the relative amount of African influence retained in the spirituals as contrasted with say the work songs made by Bornemann seems to me valid uses
some spirituals are closer to the African tradition than some works on it but most spirituals are more sophisticated than most work songs simply because they were developed at a later date and on a more self-conscious level. Perhaps the earliest type before the spiritual of Afro-American religious music was the Ring Shout Alan Lomax recorded one in 1934 in Jennings Louisiana and he wrote in certain isolated parts of the south there can be found survivals of the Ring Shout true to an age old West African pattern the dancers shuffle round and round single file moving in a counterclockwise direction clapping out the beat and complex kind of rhythms. And this religious dance was universal in the days of slavery. And it was a serious part of religious observance for the negroes there were various strict rules for instance the participants were not supposed to cross their legs as they danced. Such a step would have meant that they were dancing and not shouting dancing according to their newly acquired Protestantism was sinful and taboo for a church member. The ring shot on this record was made in rural Louisiana where
the community had recently reintroduced the Ring Shout as a means of attracting and holding in the church the young people who wanted to dance there on Saturday nights it was permissible for the community to gather in the church and prominent together couples round and round the outside. Since instruments went to the singing orchestra provided the music three young men a leader and two in the chorus joined together using their hands and feet as an orchestra of drums. The floor of the church furnished the drum head. The lines of the song oppressed the religious and partly satirical using as material. The groaning material of the minister and the screams of those in religious hysteria. The the the the the the the the the the
the. The. The. The the the. Was. Was. Was. Was. Was. Was. Was. Was. Was was was. Was. To. In connection with that recording of the Ring Shout Paris described a similar
ceremony on an island off Georgia. And the baser system she depicts was common to all rain showers in the early south and is another variation of the African colony response pattern she writes the slaves like their African and sisters sang on every possible occasion. Religious ceremonies as well as work and play were all conducted to music. Those who sing in the traditional manner never appear to take breath when leading a religious song a fact which makes it advisable in writing down the words to use as few punctuation marks as possible. The effect of an inexhaustible supply of breath was achieved through the simple expedient of the baser is as members of the chorus are called spelling the leader who gets his breath at the end of the narrative line while the chorus sings the response over the next line. In the old days here as in Africa the virtue also did not exist and the baser is played as important a part in group singing as one of sang the leading lines. And as you remember on the recording three men use their hands and feet as a drum orchestra and the floor as a drum had in years past there were times when this was an especially necessary musical stratagem because for example in 1740 following a
slave uprising in the south one section prohibited the beating of drums or the blowing of horns so as usual the slaves improvise not only the music but the musical instruments. The Ring Shout incidentally used to take place after church and in some areas was regarded as a questionable form of religious worship in the New York nation of eighteen sixty seven there is this description of the Ring Shout the true shout takes place on Sundays. Or on praise nights throughout the week and either in the praise house or in some cabin in which every regular religious meeting has been held at. The benches are pushed back to the wall when the formal meeting is over and old and young men and women all stand up in the middle of the floor. When the spiritual is struck up begin first walking and by and by shuffling round one after the other in a ring a foot is hardly taken from the floor and the progression is mainly due to a jerking pitching motion which agitates the
entire shoulder and soon brings out streams of perspiration sometimes that and silently sometimes as they shuffle they sing the chorus of the spiritual and sometimes the song itself is also sung by the dancers. The more frequently a band composed of some of the best singers and of tired shouters stand at the side of the room to base the audience saying the body of the song and clapping their hands together or on their knees. Have. A song and dance alike are extremely energetic and often on the shout last in the middle of the night the monotonous thud of the fever than sleep itself within half a mile of the praise house. I was given a more recent description of the Ring Shout points out at the place of the song in the religious service and as a company meant by hand clapping tapping the feet and instruments of percussion such as the tambourine did not partake of European cultural behavior out of spirit possession by the Holy Ghost manifested through dances shouts was clearly African. He says among the shouting sex the communion service partakes largely involved psychological implication
an outward ritual are very different elements than I found America corresponding right in the white church its. The place of the spirituals and the rituals of the negro judges. Is or otherwise markedly non-European. It's fair to point out that Professor Frankel Fraser would disagree with this interpretation and the statement of the opposite peers will be given somewhat later in the chorus. After. It was. After. It was. Was. Was. Was. Was was was. Ooh.
Ooh. Ooh. Ooh ooh ooh ooh. Ooh ooh. Another aspect of American afro american religious concern they re separate all relationship musically between the minister and the congregation not only did he stir the worshippers to improvise a religious song but their excitement combined with Hiers caused him to work himself into a state of frenzy so that by the end of a sermon he was chanting rather than preaching and the chanting and the rhythmic accent and the intonation sharply resemble what later became a jazz solo. Small wonder that.
You never noticed. Here. We. Go.
Meet people in the. Band. They walk the three week at the end you think you know. Here to document a previous point is a great example of the overly
refined spiritual frequently found on concert programs. Life will end here. New or old and all open to the world. Now contrast that with this which I'm sure is much closer to what the original must have sounded like. And there are some things you know all the continents the same thing and the end of that.
Do you agree to say hello to our 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 and the Out to you you are and you are and. I am I am. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah I am. Yeah. Yeah OK.
I am the OS Yeah I am the owner or A.A. you are and yeah I am at a and yeah I am were out yeah. Yeah
wow yeah I am. So much more sophisticated than that. There's a spiritual song and recorded during a performance by the St. Paul church choir of Los Angeles conducted by J. Earl Hines with Ruth black as soloist. It is a personal favorite among recorded spirituals. I like to preceded However with a section of the prayer meeting that begins the church service in the Shiloh Baptist Church. I had to vote she told Alabama. The. Were as the the
word the arrow were the in him the. The. Lead. Us. To eat lightly. Treat. You as. I am I am. I
must. Wow. Luke. Oh oh. Wow. Wow. I am Louis. Vuitton. You mean. At. Least it. Mean when you get. It. It. Doesn't. Mean. You. Mean.
It. Wow. And. You. Know. It. Yeah. Was. Oh. Wow. Wow. Wow. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Wow. OK. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh oh. Oh. And as a example of the admixture of
jazz with the spiritual. In a recent recording Sister Rosetta Tharpe and her two little fishes and five loaves of bread. And. Meat. In the. Bed I. Began to get. The meat. Let's play. The thing. Cause I eat.
That hand. That's. Right. The.
Car. With the. Win all. Here was. With. You. They're. Going. To get. Our next major steps will concern the blues minstrelsy and ragtime. Before that both his way of some nation of what has already been covered and to prepare for the new material this week and next I'm going to make use of two long
quotations from Ernest Portman's the anthropologist looks at jazz and some of his subsidiary writings in this pre-New Orleans Area jazz historiography I know of no research writer with both the necessary background and compactness of style that Bourne possesses. And so I see no point in trying to paraphrase this part of his work. Not all of his works do I agree with. So I will introduce a few emendations as I have before and will and will also use a musical illustrations of this points. He begins. When the first slave ships disembarked their cargo on the American mainland they found an even more motley assortment of trades and nationalities than they had met on their Caribbean way stations as the slaves had come from all over Africa all mostly from West Africa. So the settlers of the new Continental come from all over Europe and from all classes of European society. They are music like that of the Africans contained a random selection from the tragical and patriotic music
to dance tunes drinking songs ballads and in addition to Italian opera the roots of the new symphonic movement developing just then out of the suite and the sonata. Musical contact between slaves and masters was therefore as varied model for and unpredictable as their social relationship and their working conditions. All these different within and between the settlements of the Dutch Danish British Spanish French and Portuguese empires in the New World as they did between the individual settlers. Furthermore within each of these settlements of the new world where slavery obtained the contact of the negroes with the cultures of their European Masters varied in intensity. As house servants and mistresses of the plantation masters those slaves that had those positions had a fair chance of hearing and acquiring their masters music through alibis and nursery rhymes. They in their turn taught their own children as well as those of the white man through animal stories like the Braille rabbit we played earlier. They modeled the childhood imagination
of 10 generations of upper class Southerners. Even the white man's religious ceremonial is a motto and a gradual change during these years from Wesley and Whitefield 1738 mission to Georgia through the Red River Camp Meeting of 1799 and the first liturgies of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of 1860 and to the holy rollers and holiness faith healers of southwest Virginia. There runs a cultural thread of African origin which left its mark on the whole behavior pattern of the white south from snake worship through trance to the song and dance patterns of white spirituals and rings. There runs a give and take relationship which leaves the negro by no means as the white man's dead. The extent to which new world wide populations have derived aspects of their present cultural behavior from Negroes is not generally recognized. The English dialect spoken in the south of the United States though unquestionably based on the speech of Old England of the 18th century is vastly
different from the English dialect spoken in New England where the speech is also based on British pronunciation of the same words of the same period. The difference may well be at least partially the element of African phonetics which was transmitted to the Southern whites by the negro nurses. The distinctive dishes which marked the cuisine of the Southern States and of the West Indies derived to an unrecognized extent from the African cooking traditions introduced by the slaves into the kitchens of their master's cooking and deep fat for instance is one of the most important African methods of preparing food and fried dishes are standard there. The very word gumbo. The name of one of the best known southern stews comes from Africa of similar derivation as the high seasoning that is characteristic of many Southern dishes. I might add here that further instances of African survivals can be found in the chapter African survivals on the coast of Georgia from Lydia perishes book slave songs of the Georgia Sea Islands. That's the influence was mutual in
all spheres of social and cultural life. And it is that's that music like all other social and cultural phenomena must be considered as a product of mutually active influences. We'll examine more of those influences last next week rather more of the cross currents of musical influences between the negroes in pre-war pre-Civil War South and the heterogeneous culture around them. You have been listening to the evolution of jazz. I recorded series prepared and produced by Nat Hentoff under the auspices of Northeastern University and presented by the Lao Institute cooperative broadcasting Council. The evolution of jazz was recorded in the Boston studios of WGBH Af-Am. This is the national educational radio network.
- The Evolution of Jazz
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program, the second of two parts, explores the impact of Southern African-American folk music from the 19th and early 20th century upon jazz music.
- Series Description
- Jazz historian Nat Hentoff presents a series that traces the history of jazz, from its musical and cultural roots to its contemporary forms. "The Evolution of Jazz" was originally broadcast from WGBH in 1953-1954, and was re-broadcast by the National Educational Radio Network in 1964.
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- African Americans--Music--20th century--History and criticism.
- Media type
Host: Hentoff, Nat
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 3; Southern African-American Influence, Part Two,” 1953-11-20, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 2, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8p5vbs42.
- MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 3; Southern African-American Influence, Part Two.” 1953-11-20. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 2, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8p5vbs42>.
- APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 3; Southern African-American Influence, Part Two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8p5vbs42