A NEW PERSPECTIVE
FOR THE USE OF DIALECT
IN AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS
A New Perspective for the Use of Dialect in African American Spirituals: History, Context, and Linguistics investigates the use of the African American English (AAE) dialect in the musical genre of the spiritual. Perfect for conductors and performers alike, this book traces the history of the dialect, its use in early performance practice, and the sociolinguistic impact of the AAE dialect in the United States. Dr. Barber explores AAE’s development during the African Diaspora in the US and its correlations with Southern States White English (SSWE), and examines the dialect’s perception, and specifically how its weaponization has impacted the performance of the genre itself. She provides a synopsis of research on the use of dialect in spirituals from the past century through the analysis of written scores, recordings, and research. She identifies common elements of early performance practice and provides the phonological and grammatical features identified in early practice. This book contains practical guide for application of her findings on ten popular spiritual texts using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). It concludes with insights by leading arrangers on their use of AAE dialect as a part of the genre and practice.
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Barber, Felicia. "Fostering Diversity: what does it look like? " Massachusetts Music News, MMEA Quarterly, Vol. 63, No 4,
Barber, Felicia. "Incorporation Community Partnerships within the Choral Music Education Curriculum." Massachusetts
ACDA Journal, (October 2018).
Stone, Mollie, Lonnie Norwood, and Stephanie Gregoire. Contributors – Felicia Barber, Ahmed Anzaldua, Keshea Cisneros-Wason,
Felicia Colemena-Evans, Melanie DeMore, Derrick Fox, Marques Garrett, Lynnel Joy-Jenkins, Dawn Pemberton, Stan
Spottswood, Kela Wanyama, and Theresa Williams-Johnson. "If You Don’t Know, Don’t Assume: Cross-Cultural
Engagement in Choral Music for Social Justice." Choral Journal, Vol. 59, No 3, (October 2018).
Barber, Felicia. "Gaining A New Perspective: A Linguistic Approach to Dialect Found in African American Spirituals." Choral Journal,
Vol 85, No 7, (February 2018).
Cruz, Penelope, & Contributors – Felicia Barber, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle, Joe Gregorio, Stephen Sieckand, and Andre De
Quadros. "Is ALL music for EVERYONE?" Choral Journal, Vol. 58, No 4, (November 2017).