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Researching the Negro Spiritual
October 22, 2020 @ 1:15 pm - 2:00 pm CDT
Presentation with Kathleen Abromeit (Oberlin Conservatory)
Abstract: With the expanding interest in African American music, Negro spirituals have grown in importance for both the performer and researcher. There are numerous resources available to support the exploration of spirituals. Still, the question often comes down to discovering what those resources are and how to make them available to patrons. This session presents two online research tools. The Spirituals Database by Randye Jones is currently under contract for publication. Her database offers searchable access to recorded track information for concert Negro Spiritual settings performed by solo classical vocalists. The Spirituals Database contains over 5,700 entries. Kathleen Abromeit’s database, An Index to African-American Spirituals for the Solo Voice, contains over 6,000 entries and indexes anthologies that contain spirituals. Abromeit’s index was published in 1999, and she is currently working on the 2nd edition of the work. The presentation will include a demonstration of both databases and reflect on the significance of this research.