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Indexing Digitrad songs

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Dicho (Frank Staplin) 15 Sep 01 - 05:33 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 01 - 05:48 PM
wysiwyg 15 Sep 01 - 10:27 PM
masato sakurai 15 Sep 01 - 11:57 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Sep 01 - 01:13 AM
Joe Offer 16 Sep 01 - 01:41 AM
wysiwyg 16 Sep 01 - 11:46 AM
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Subject: Index Digitrad-spirituals
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 05:33 PM

Looking for Negro Spirituals, I entered spirituals and got a long list of songs that were not Negro spirituals, many without the word spiritual. One I noticed is a humorous song about Mormons, not Mormon, "Tittery Irie Aye," a good old folk song but certainly not spiritual. Also "The Old Gray Horse."! I entered Negro spiritual and got ten entries for five (count them) five only. Hitting the threads, I found that political correctness had reared its ugly head. Do I have to look up Negro spirituals one by one and by title? Or do I have to sort through the monster list obtained by entering spiritual? Or sort through the threads for the posting with the spiritual? At the moment, other sites are better than Mudcat for these old songs.


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Subject: RE: Indexing Digitrad songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 05:48 PM

Good point, Dicho. The Digital Tradition category for spirituals is @spiritual. If I put @spiritual in the blue search box, I come up with just this (click) a list of songs that have that @spiritual designation. If I put @spiritual into the Digitrad and Forum Search (SuperSearch), I come up with a list of every song and message that has the word "spiritual" in it. I'll pass the information on to Max and Pene and see if they can come up with a solution when the next edition of Mudcat comes out.

Note: the @spiritual category designation isn't perfect. You may also want to try @gospel, @religion, and @religious. Even that won't bring up 100 percent of our spirituals - we're human, and somethimes we miss a few.

Thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Indexing Digitrad songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 10:27 PM

Hello? New African-American Spirituals Permathread? Thread titled "Spirituals Posted at Mudcat (click)"? Volunteers wanted... join the effort... look around... send me a PM... hello, come in Dicho....

Other sites are NOT better-- we have a thread full of links, and what we have that all the other sites lack is people willing to post more of these AND a place to discuss them and gather various people's scraps of historical detail.... also see History of Spirituals, specifically on your point about PC... just dive into that permathread and the links that flow out of it, and let me know what you want to help out with! (Please)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Indexing Digitrad songs
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 Sep 01 - 11:57 PM

Not all the songs I looked for came up when I put in "Negro spiritual" in the search box at the Library of Congress American Memory site. I had to use other keywords: jubilee song, slave song, darkey song, etc. On the other hand, most of the "plantation songs" and "negro songs" are not African-American in origin; they are minstrel-type songs. Though Erskine Peters' Lyrics of the Afro-American Spiritual is a good guide, it includes "Amazing Grace" (by John Newton) and "Stand By Me" (by Tindley). The Treasury of Negro Spirituals by H.A.C. Chambers also contains modern spiritual-like compositions. I know some "spiritual" CDs with "Oh Dem Golden Slippers" or "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" included in them. Moreover, in the gospel world, many spirituals or spiritual-derived songs are sung without being called spirituals, perhaps because spirituals are usually defined by their origins and gospels are often defined by their performances. Indexing can be difficult. At the outset, we have to decide which ones (or which versions) are spirituals and which are not, no matter what they may have been called.

Masato


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Subject: RE: Indexing Digitrad songs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 01:13 AM

I was trying to make a point about indexing. If I put in @spiritual as suggested by Joe I get 31. Some of these are adaptions or pseudo-folk, I noted two Pete Seegar versions. I have been slowly going through the Hampton Institute material at the Univ. North Carolina site, where there are 50 cabin and plantation songs as sung in the 1870s when the Hampton singers toured- they were the first. Rather than Negro Spirituals, to which some take offence, perhaps this original heading, Cabin and Plantation Songs, would be better. Wsywsyg, I will go through your material on the thread, which is a great contribution, but not yet on Lyrics Search. I am sure you have the Hampton songs- This is the first great authentic collection and is reached at p. 171 of the site: http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/armstrong/armstrong.html#ham171. Many interesting points. Does Jacob's Ladder derive from Oh, den my Little Soul's Gwine to Shine? The dialect is authentic, so these are the versions which should be reproduced. Of course, there will be many more, but sorting out the genuine from the gospel and white-adapted versions is a job requiring trained researchers. At least the Hampton site, and the one with the Atlantic Monthly article, are good places to start.


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Subject: RE: Indexing Digitrad songs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 01:41 AM

Well, you have a point, Dicho. The scholarship in the Digital Tradition depends on the efforts of the contributors, harvesters, and particularly editors Dick and Susan. I think we're pretty good, but I wouldn't say the DT is a scholarly work. We've been working on quality, but managing something like the DT is a daunting task.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Indexing Digitrad songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 11:46 AM

What I am suggesting is that the info in the past threads (and the new info coming into them now with the Spirituals permathread project) will inform any attempt to index what we already have. I am suggesting that the effort to discuss this matter and to do any indexing should come under the umbrella of the permathread so that we are not duplicating efforts or making info harder to find and sort out, later.

Dicho, will you give some thought to how we can work together on this project? I am not a scholar on spirituals, but a student trying to gather as much as we know or can wonder about. There is room for much scholarship in the effort.

~Susan


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