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Camp meeting hymns and songs, USA

Since the publication of George Pullen Jackson*’s groundbreaking and provocative White Spirituals from the Southern Uplands (Chapel Hill, 1933), a considerable body of hymnological and musicological literature has accumulated on the folk hymnody of early America. In much of that secondary literature it is presupposed that a key component of this hymnic corpus is the camp-meeting ‘chorus’. This sub-genre is typically constructed from wandering rhyme pairs or the dissected remains of some familiar evangelical hymn, interspersed with variations on the ‘hallelujah’ theme and performed in a call-and-response pattern. Certainly a repertoire of that sort was widely shared, grew over time, and...

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