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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Black gospel music with an emphasis on choral music, and explores this form of American sacred music through sociological theory, contact theory, and multicultural lenses. Such perspectives will provide insights into ways to listen to, prepare, and perform Black gospel music more fully in a variety of settings; from church to secular classrooms. This multifaceted discussion examines the impact of nonmusical experiences on our engagement with unfamiliar music. It also explores how thoughts, individual agency, identity, American history, racial dynamics, religion, governmental policies, and our interpretation of the separation of church and state impact our agency to teach and program Black gospel music. Choral conductors, individual singers, and vocal ensemble participants will be able to understand how their nonmusical experiences impact their decisions regarding the choral music they explore.

Keywords: Black gospel choral music, sociological theory, contact theory, multicultural, identity, racial dynamics

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