Jazz - Then and Now (Chapter 2, page 2 of 15)


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Chapter 2

Baptist minister John Leland wrote in 1799: "Come and taste along with me Consolation running free From my Father's wealthy Throne Sweeter than the honeycomb."

Additional folk hymns and folk songs can be found in Jeremiah Ingalls' "The Christian Harmony" (Exeter, New Hampshire, 1805.) Related to the folk songs are the religious ballads composed as "White spirituals."

The camp meetings were attended by thousands of poor indigent people from all denominations who came to listen to an open-air religious service lasting at times for several days and as long as a week. Among the attendees, both slaves and free blacks mingled with whites. Each group however, conducted their meeting separately.

Some preachers used the folk hymns and applied the call-and-answer pattern, while others would compose songs extemporaneously according to the spirit of the meeting. Although it was white men who pioneered the Great Awakening, blacks also played an active part.

In his publication, "White and Negro Spirituals," George Pullen Jackson, a professor at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, states; "....The Negro found himself among real friends---among those who, by reason of their ethnic, social and economic background, harbored a minimum of racial prejudice; among those whose religious practices came nearest to what he--- by nature a religious person---could understand and participate in. He found himself a churchless pioneer among those white people who built meeting houses and invited him not only to attend their services and sing their songs but also to join with them in full membership; white people who were concern not only with his soul's welfare but also even with his release from slavery."

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