Ring shout

Ring shout is a sacred ‘dance’ practiced commonly during slavery times, and arguably the most significant African musical retention in the United States of America. It is performed in call and response fashion between a song leader (customarily a man) and a group of ‘dancers’ (often called ‘shouters’).  The leader--often referred to as a ‘songster’—intones the opening phrase(s) and then alternates with the chorus (of singers and ‘dancers’) in a call and response manner.  The leader sets the song; providing the correct pitch of the ring shout song, sung without a tuning fork or external pitch reference. The shouters--primarily women--move in shuffling motion (often with one foot leading...

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