The oldest and largest black Methodist denomination in the world, with approximately four million members in the United States and abroad. The first independent African American Christian denomination, it was founded by Richard Allen and other former members of St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Allen and Absalom Jones had formed the Free African Society in 1787 to protest the rise in discriminatory treatment faced by growing numbers of blacks in the white church. They and other African American ministers were being denied advancement to pastorate positions, and after white church officials tried to physically remove blacks from the gallery during prayer, Allen and other black members walked out of worship. Efforts toward gaining equal treatment and representation in Methodist congregations were ignored or denied, and in 1794 Allen and Jones organized a separate congregation under the Protestant Episcopal Church. Jones was appointed as its first bishop. Allen, however, wanted to remain in the Methodist tradition, so he and part of the group who had left St. George’s founded Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church during that same year....
Birgitta J. Johnson
Birgitta J. Johnson
The second-largest black Methodist denomination, with 1.4 million members in the United States and abroad. The first AMEZ congregation was organized in New York in 1796. Its members were African Americans who left the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church due to rising racial discrimination, especially in worship, from the predominantly white members of the congregation. Similar circumstances had previously led Richard Allen and the black Methodists in Philadelphia to found the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1794. In 1801 the AMEZ denominational charter was established, and in 1821 James Varick was appointed the first bishop. In order to distinguish themselves from the AME Church, the New York group officially added “Zion” to their name in 1848. The Zion Church became known as the “Freedom Church,” with abolitionist members such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass, and missionary efforts that emphasized social service and education.
Hymnody was very important in English Methodism and was the main music tradition in Methodist churches of the northern United States in the late 18th century. In ...
(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.
In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...
J. Richard Haefer
Conch horn of the Aztec or Nahua peoples of central Mexico, and other pre-Contact cultures. It was called puuaqua in Tarascan and paatáotocuècheni or paniçatàopáni in Zapotecan. The Aztecs called this the instrument of the ‘Wind God Quetzalcoatl; he who breathes life into a void’. It was usually played in pairs, and the shell was about 15 to 20 cm long.
The tecciztli [tecziztli, tezizcatli] was a similar instrument made from the Strombus gigas shell (about 12 to 18 cm long) though examples of clay or bone have been found. It was a priest’s instrument played ceremonially with the quiquiztli and teponaztli to please the ‘Sun God’. Traditionally it was played at midnight to awaken the priests to prayers.
The quiquiztli, made from the larger Fasciolaria gigantea shell (30 cm long or longer), was used for signalling in battle as well as for priestly functions including the sacrificial flaying of men and before the death of slaves....
Roxanne R. Reed
[Delois Barrett and the Barrett Sisters]
Gospel trio. Its members were Delores [Delois] (soprano), Billie (alto), and Rhodessa (high soprano) Barrett. Hailing from the Southside of Chicago, they grew up with seven other siblings and were members of the Morning Star Baptist Church where they sang in a choir directed by their aunt. As the Barrett–Hudson Singers, Delores and Billie had performed in a group with a cousin, whom Rhodessa later replaced to form the Barrett Sisters. Delores, the eldest and the group’s leader, started singing at the age of six. Her professional career began in earnest after graduating from Englewood High School, when she became the first female to join the Roberta Martin Singers (1944; see martin, Roberta ). Billie and Rhodessa received some formal training, but it was through the Roberta Martin Singers that Delores learned technique and honed her individual style, along with the unique ensemble quality known as the Roberta Martin sound. Delores continued to sing with Martin from time to time, even as the Barrett Sisters took shape. Getting their start as an African American gospel trio, the Barrett Sisters first recorded with the label Savoy (...
(b Ceres, CA, Apr 6, 1923). American Evangelical music director, media personality, and administrator. Barrows studied sacred music and Shakespearean drama at Bob Jones University (BA 1944) and was ordained a minister in the Baptist church. He became a full-time worker with Youth For Christ in the immediate postwar years, and in 1945 joined the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as music director. In 1950, Barrows became the host and crusade choir director for Graham’s Hour of Decision radio (and later television) program, a post which he still held in 2011. From 1965–70, Barrows was the president of World Wide Pictures, Graham’s film production company. He appeared in the film His Land (1970) alongside pop star Cliff Richard. Barrows has also edited many collections of gospel music for Graham’s Association. For his significant contributions to the field of music, he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in ...
Set of three Afro-Cuban double-headed hourglass drums of Yoruba origin. Batá are the sacred instruments of the religious system of Ocha/Ifá (Santería). The largest and lowest-pitched drum, which carries the main oratorical role, is called iyá (‘mother’) because other drums are born from the sacred presence within it. The smallest and highest-pitched batá is known as okónkolo, a term denoting its size, among other names. The term itótele for the medium-size drum refers to the order in which it enters the rhythmic locution of patterns and strokes (toque), following the iyá. The batá ensemble retains the West African disposition of timbric functions that assigns virtuosic locutions to the lowest-pitched drum, while the higher-pitched instruments perform more stable and reiterative patterns.
Batá are the drums of Changó, the spirit-god of fire, lightning, thunder, war, dance, and music, but they are played for all the orichas (saints). The ceremonies in which ...
Paul C. Echols
Family of clergymen, authors, and reformers active in the 19th century. Lyman Beecher (1775–1863), a Presbyterian minister and renowned evangelical leader, was a strong advocate of reform in church music and congregational singing. He was pastor of the Hanover Street Church, Boston, where he helped Lowell Mason in his career as a musical reformer; Mason served as Beecher’s music director from 1827 to 1832. Beecher then moved to Cincinnati, where his music director was Mason’s brother Timothy. Three of Beecher’s 13 children were of importance in the development of American hymnody. Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87), who was pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, from 1847, edited the Plymouth Collection (New York, 1851, 2/1855), an influential hymnal which included two hymns by his brother Charles Beecher (1815–1900), also a minister and one of the music editors for the hymnal (see Hymnody). Their sister Harriet Beecher Stowe (...
David P. McAllester
Rattle consisting of small pieces of flint of ritually prescribed shapes and colours used by the Navajo people of the southwestern USA to accompany songs in the Flintway ceremony. The flints are cupped in both hands and shaken to produce a jingling sound. They symbolize the restoration of fractured or dislocated bones as well as the renewal of vitality in general....
Scott A. Mitchell
Buddhist music has traditionally been studied through the lens of ethnomusicology, thus highlighting the close association between the religion and the Asian cultures in which Buddhism has developed over the last 2500 years. After more than a century of Asian immigration coupled with native-born practitioners and converts, there is at present a great diversity of American Buddhist musical traditions. Rather than attempting to tease out a sharp distinction between “cultural” and “religious” musical forms, this article explores specific styles and genres of music that have origins in or are inspired by Buddhist religious practices. Three styles are particularly important in the American context: Buddhist chants, devotional or liturgical music, and popular musical expressions.
For several centuries following the death of the historical Buddha, his religious descendants passed on his teachings (dhamma) orally. This was done by means of the repetitive chanting of scriptures (sutta), monastic codes (...
Ernest H. Siva
revised by Kay Edwards
Native American tribe also known as Paui (people of the hot springs) that spoke a Uto-Aztecan language and lived in south-central California, south of the San Bernardino Mountains. They live in California, in Riverside and San Diego counties; many live on the Cahuilla or neighboring tribes’ reservations established in the 1870s. Cahuilla native music was typical of Indian musical style in southern California. Almost entirely vocal and highly functional, it consisted of songs sung to accompany the various rituals in Cahuilla life. Song was the basis of the oral tradition, providing a vehicle for the transfer of knowledge and traditional practice from one generation to another. Thus there were songs for rites of passage, such as birth and puberty, and for entrance into certain societies. There were songs for work, play, and gambling, shamanistic songs for healing and to invoke power (for love, competition, and rso on), and priestly songs for commemoration, prayer, and dedication, which were cosmological in nature....
(b Paducah, KY, Nov 21, 1962). American singer-songwriter, record producer, and social activist. His father was a guitar teacher, and Steven played and sang at an early age. A respected figure in contemporary Christian music (CCM), Chapman is known for his unique mixture of country music, bluegrass, and pop-rock. The recipient of multiple Grammy Awards and Dove Awards, Chapman (along with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith) set the standard for the burgeoning Nashville-based CCM music scene. His eclectic approach is, in part, a result of multiple collaborations throughout his career. Before becoming a CCM icon, Chapman penned songs for the Imperials, Sandi Patty, Charlie Daniels, and Glen Campbell.
Chapman’s country roots never dulled his ability to effectively emulate chart-topping artists of the mainstream. Influenced by Kenny Loggins and Huey Lewis, his first albums offered CCM fans the pop sensibilities of Top-40 music of the 1980s and 90s. A reflection on tragedy and commitment, “I Will Be Here” (Sparrow, ...
Bert F. Polman
revised by John D. Witvliet
[Christian Reformed Church in North America; CRC; CRCNA]
One of several small denominations in North America with origins in the Dutch Reformed (Calvinist) tradition, each of which initially inherited Genevan psalmody as their only form of music in worship. The denomination was formed in 1857 by immigrants from the Netherlands who had seceded from the Reformed Church of the Netherlands over various theological issues. Initially isolating themselves from American culture, these settlers sang exclusively Dutch psalms using a 1773 Dutch Psalter which featured tonal, isorhythmic versions of the Genevan tunes. Later in the 19th century, some German-speaking Reformed congregations in Iowa and some English-speaking Reformed congregations in New Jersey merged with the CRC. These unions brought some marginal use of hymns into the denomination, though the CRC largely remained committed to Dutch metrical psalmody until just before World War I. In 1914 it adopted the Presbyterian Psalter (1912) as its first English-language worship book. This collection had 413 settings of British and American psalm and hymn tunes for the 150 psalms and included an appendix with the texts for catechism hymns from the Reformed Church in America, but all of these could be sung only by the English-speaking CRC congregations in New Jersey. Only four (altered) Genevan tunes appear in the book. This psalter thus signaled a significant break for the CRC from its Dutch roots....
John R. Near
Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) discovered Christian Science in 1866, and she published Science and Health, which became the Christian Science textbook, in 1875. A member of the Congregational Church from her youth, Eddy did not expect to found a church after her discovery of Christian Science, which she hoped would be widely accepted. By 1879, however, resistance to her teachings brought her and a small band of followers, still members of evangelical churches, to organize the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The first members brought the music of their former denominations with them. Eddy loved music and declared it a source of spiritual comfort. By 1896 music in the Order of Church Service had evolved gradually from two hymns to an organ voluntary, choral anthem, three hymns, and vocal solo. Among others hymnals, the American Unitarian Association’s Social Hymn and Tune Book was used initially. As the fledgling church spread beyond Boston, the need for uniformity in hymnals became a concern. Published in ...
Harold E. Raser
The Church of the Nazarene considers its official founding to have occurred in 1908 in a merger of two small groups of churches with roots in the American Holiness Movement of the 19th century: the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene and the Holiness Church of Christ. Subsequent accessions and vigorous evangelistic efforts around the globe have resulted in an international denomination that in 2010 had over 2 million members in 156 different “world areas.”
Because The American Holiness Movement was an effort to preserve the original spirit, teachings, and practices of Wesleyan Methodism through revivals, holiness camp meetings, and small group gatherings for promoting Christian piety, the Church of the Nazarene has emphasized the importance of church music and congregational singing, fundamental elements of the Wesleyan heritage. Its camp meeting and revivalist roots have also led it to emphasize the role of gospel songs and other popular music forms in its church music....
Firm of music and book publishers. Concordia Publishing House was founded in St. Louis in 1869 by immigrant German Lutherans for the purpose of printing their hymnals and other church literature, and takes its name from the Lutheran Book of Concord (1580). Its catalog, which has included music since ...
Laurie J. Sampsel
(b Cheshire, CT, Aug 29, 1772; d Argyle, NY, April 1850). American psalmodist and singing master, brother to the engraver Amos Doolittle. Eliakim moved to Hampton, New York, around 1800. There he married Hasadiah Fuller in 1811, and the couple had six children. He also lived in Poultney and Pawlet, Vermont, where he taught singing schools. A Congregationalist, Doolittle is remembered primarily for his 45 sacred vocal works. He composed in every genre common during the period, with the exception of the set piece. His most frequently reprinted pieces were his fuging tunes, and his “Exhortation” appeared in print over 40 times by 1820. Doolittle was talented at musically depicting the meaning and mood of the texts he set. Most of his music was published in his own tunebook, The Psalm Singer’s Companion (New Haven, CT, 1806). He also composed a secular tune, “The Hornet Stung the Peacock,” about a naval battle during the War of ...