The Cambridge Companion to Blues and Gospel Music View larger

The Cambridge Companion to Blues and Gospel Music



An overview of blues and gospel music as an expression of twentieth-century black US experience.

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£ 20.99

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Edited by Allan Moore

From Robert Johnson to Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson to John Lee Hooker, blues and gospel artists figure heavily in the mythology of twentieth-century culture. The styles in which they sang have proved hugely influential to generations of popular singers, from the wholesale adoptions of singers like Robert Cray or James Brown, to the subtler vocal appropriations of Mariah Carey. Their own music, and how it operates, is not, however, always seen as valid in its own right. This book provides an overview of both these genres, which worked together to provide an expression of twentieth-century black US experience. Their histories are unfolded and questioned: representative songs and lyrical imagery are analysed: perspectives are offered from the standpoint of the voice, the guitar, the piano, and also that of the working musician. The book concludes with a discussion of the impact the genres have had on mainstream musical culture.

Bibliographic Details

9 b/w illus. 12 music examples


  • 1. Surveying the field: our knowledge of blues and gospel music Allan Moore
  • 2. Labels: identifying categories of blues and gospel Jeff Todd Titon
  • 3. The development of the blues David Evans
  • 4. The development of gospel music Don Cusic
  • 5. Twelve key recordings Graeme Boone
  • 6. Black twice: performance conditions for blues and gospel artists Steve Tracy
  • 7. Vocal expression in the blues and gospel Barb Jungr
  • 8. The guitar Matt Backer
  • 9. Keyboard techniques Adrian York
  • 10. Imagery in the lyrics Guido van Rijn
  • 11. Appropriations of blues and gospel in popular music Dave Headlam.

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