Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SSI1-121: American Songs: Spirituals Websites

Useful Websites

Other sources of background information might be websites devoted to the topic of spirituals. Three such websites are listed below:

 

  • Spirituals Database  The Spirituals Database offers searchable access to recorded track information for concert Negro Spiritual settings performed by solo Classical vocalists. The resource contains a selection from a century of historic and contemporary concert spiritual recordings produced on compact discs, long-playing (33 1/3 rpm) albums, 78 rpm records, 45 rpm discs, audio cassettes and streamed audio files, as well as demonstration recordings from musical score collections. The site also features an essay, "The Negro Spiritual: From Cotton Field to Concert Hall" which is an excerpt from The Gospel Truth about the Negro Spiritual, a lecture by Randye Jones. Also useful is the page of Related Resources containing citations for reference resources, journals, score collections, online resources, and other sources of information.

 

  • WPA Federal Writers' Project Materials on African American Life, South Carolina: Spirituals: One of the resources listed on the Spirituals Database Related Resources page is the WPA Federal Writers' Project Materials on African American Life, South Carolina:  Spirituals, which are digitized materials collected by the WPA's Federal Writer's Project in South Carolina. One of the first interesting pieces in the collection is a report by C.S. Murray, the District Supervisor, on what constituted real Negro spirituals. He recounts the efforts of Mrs. Maxfield Parrish to collect real Negro spirituals and not just gospel songs translated into dialect. 

 

  • Spirituals Project:  The Sprituals Project was founded by DU faculty member Arthur C. Jones to preserve and revitalize the music and teachings of the sacred folk songs called “spirituals,” created and first sung by African Americans in slavery. Of particular interest is the archived version of the project called Sweet Chariot:  the story of the spirituals which features historical information on spirituals and presents arguments on both sides of the issue of authenticity in spirituals.