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  • Jw827q70p?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Loughridge, R. M. (Robert McGill), 1809-1900 and Winslett, David, -1862
    Date: 1851
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Prepared by Muskogee convert David Winslett (?–1862) and Anglo-American missionary R. M. Loughridge (1809–1900), Nakcokv Esyvhiketv was the first full-length hymnal published in the Muskogee (Creek) language. In addition to translations of well-known English hymns, this words-only volume includes selections composed in Muskogee. Many of the original hymns were contributed by the Perrymans, a prominent Muskogee family who converted to Presbyterianism after moving to Tulsa in the early 1820s during the first wave of migration to the Indian Territory. Missionization of the Muskogee people escalated following the nation’s forcible removal from its homelands in territories claimed by the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Exiled in Indian Territory since removal, Muskogees have been singing hymns as a cultural and religious practice since the 1830s. A version of Nakcokv Esyvhiketv remains in print and songs from the volume have become part of Muskogee oral repertoire, including "Aeha! Kut! Cvhesayēcv," Lewis Perryman's translation of Isaac Watts's 1707 "Alas! and did my Savior bleed?"
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  • Hq37w1440?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Persons, Simmons and Kennedy, R. Emmet (Robert Emmet), 1877-1941
    Date: 1925
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Writer and collector Robert Emmett Kennedy (1877–1941) built a career reproducing the black music and storytelling traditions he encountered in his hometown of Gretna, Louisiana, for white audiences. A first-generation Irish American pianist and vocalist, Kennedy’s 1924 Black Cameos was his first compilation of African American material. Published the following year, Mellows contains both spirituals and secular pieces that Kennedy collected at black community events across the New Orleans area. Kennedy later performed “Negro recitals” in both Louisiana and New York. These salon performances interspersed repertoire from Mellows with dialect monologues and art music. When performing in Louisiana, Kennedy often conscripted African American residents of communities near his hometown for performances that drew on the racist tropes of amateur ethnography and minstrelsy to dramatize the power dynamics of the South’s slaveholding legacies.
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  • Hh63t8125?file=thumbnail
    Date: 1875
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: With the 1873 installation of Bishop John C. Keener in Mexico City, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South was eager to expand its influence. Intended for use by a growing lay Methodist community, Himnos para uso de la Iglesia Metodista del sur combined newly written hymns with Spanish-language selections circulating in missionary tracts and US-produced hymnals since the late 1840s. Deviating from A Collection of Hymns for Public, Social, and Domestic Worship—the denomination’s flagship hymnal from 1857 to 1887, featuring the standard fare of English-language Methodist hymnodists—Himnos drew from more varied sources. These include William Harris Rule’s 1848 Himnos para el uso de las congregaciones españolas de la iglesia cristiana and the ca. 1870 American Tract Society publication Himnos y cánticos con la música. The resulting ecumenical repertoire served Mexico’s growing Methodist community.
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  • Rj430h46d?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Hall, J. H. (Jacob Henry), 1855-1941
    Date: 1890~/1899~
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Editor Jacob Henry Hall (1855–1941) used Songs of Home to advertise his skills as teacher and composer of sacred music. Published at the outset of his career, this small and inexpensive pamphlet features primarily Hall’s own compositions, ranging from musically conservative Sunday school choruses to a short anthem. Hall also included standard selections from more established composers, including his teacher and gospel music luminary B. C. Unseld (1843–1923). Based in Rockingham County, Virginia, Hall would soon find work as a regular contributor to Ruebush-Kieffer publications. The extended Funk-Ruebush-Kieffer family built a sacred music publishing empire in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley that employed several generations of professionals like Hall. Hall later served as assistant editor of the company’s influential periodical The Musical Million (1870–1914).
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  • S1785038g?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Evridge, W. D. (William D.), 1873–1932 and Acuff, J. W. (James W.), 1864–1937
    Date: 1909
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: The Waco-based Trio Music Company was a vital training ground for Texas gospel teachers and composers from 1895 to 1925, although it began losing contributors to Austin-based competitor Firm Foundations in the 1910s. Both publishing companies catered to the region’s Restorationist movement and its many Church of Christ congregations. Gospel Songs co-compilers William Daniel Evridge (1873–1932) and James Warren Acuff (1864–1937) were students of Trio founder Frank L. Eiland (1860–1909) through his Southern Development Normal. Evridge and Acuff would eventually collaborate on New Ideal Gospel Hymn Book (1930), the first full-size hymnal issued by a Church of Christ affiliate in Texas. This early collaboration of these two successful songwriters includes Evridge’s best-known composition, “Just Over in the Gloryland.”
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  • Zk51vw18x?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Root, George F. (George Frederick), 1820-1895
    Date: 1870
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Publisher Root & Cady issued The Prize in response to a call for Sunday school materials to complement the weekly lesson topics announced in the interdenominational periodical National Sunday School Teacher. Root biographer P. H. Carder attributes the call to a young Dwight L. Moody, who later rose to international renown as evangelist and urban revivalist. The volume’s inclusion of rhythmically engaging tunes, like the popular JEWELS, demonstrates editor George F. Root’s (1820–1895) engagement with secular repertoire that influenced sacred music intended for both juvenile and adult audiences. Although both Root & Cady and National Sunday School Teacher were based in Chicago, Illinois, The Prize was simultaneously published by John Church & Company, a prominent music publisher and instrument manufacturer from the Ohio Valley with outlets in Chicago, New York City, London, and Leipzig. Following the near-annihilation of Root & Cady’s business during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the publishing company sold their entire catalog of sacred music titles, copyrights, and plates, including those made for The Prize, to John Church & Company for $130,000.
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  • 5h73q800m?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Morris, W. J., Eagle, H. M., Mosely, T. B., Beall, B. B. (Benjamin Burk), Patton, J. D. (John Daniel), 1868-, Robinson, K. C., and Showalter, A. J. (Anthony Johnson), 1858-1924
    Date: 1915
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Gospel Glory is the 1915 joint offering of A. J. Showalter & Company of Dalton, Georgia, and its affiliates Showalter-Patton Company in Dallas, Texas, and Perry Brothers Music Company in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The volume’s composition is representative of the convention book publishing practices then spreading across gospel publishing. In order to market a new flagship collection every year, editors featured almost exclusively newly composed music, with relatively few “standard” selections of earlier hymn tunes and Sabbath School music included. Beyond the regional reach of its publishers, Gospel Glory’s large editorial board, anchored by Showalter (1858–1924), and list of far flung associate authors and special contributors point to gospel music’s ascent to a nationwide style of church music in the early 1900s.
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  • 8623jb10c?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Lloyd, Benjamin, 1804-1860
    Date: 1857
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: First published in 1841, Primitive Hymns was the earliest hymnal created specifically for Primitive Baptist use. Still popular among white and black Primitive Baptist communities, this volume is an enduring testament to a singing practice associated with words-only hymnals but spanning both print and oral circulation. Two thirds of the book is comprised of canonical eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century hymns. The remaining texts were collected by compiler Benjamin Lloyd (1804–1860), a businessman, public official, and church elder who edited the book’s earliest editions in Wetumpka, Alabama. Subsequent printings overseen by Lloyd’s widow, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters would preserve the corrected and enlarged edition first issued in 1845. Primitive Hymns has not been substantially revised since the appearance of this 1857 printing. The hymn texts included in this volume remain the core of twenty-first-century Primitive Baptist repertoire.
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  • Dj52wj32c?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Work, John W., 1873-1925 and Work, Frederick J., 1879-1942
    Date: 1907
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: At the turn of the twentieth century, a new dynasty of leadership was emerging over Fisk University's Jubilee Singers and its practice, dating to the 1870s, of publishing spirituals. In just over a decade (1902–1915), brothers Frederick J. Work (1879–1942) and John W. Work II (1873–1925) collected and published three sets of spirituals and one narrative book. In spite of being labeled "Number Two," this edition of Folk Songs of the American Negro shares the same preface as its precursor, also published in 1907, and nearly all of its songs appear in the Work brothers’ previous collections. The volume even repurposed many of the music plates from their first collection, the 1902 New Jubilee Songs. Some of the versions of spirituals collected in these three volumes would go on to become the standard settings in other songbooks.
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  • 2j62sh51m?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Hauser, William, 1812-1880
    Date: 1848
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: The Hesperian Harp is one of two tunebooks compiled by William Hauser (1812–1880). One of eleven children born into an east Georgia yeoman farming family, Hauser attended local singing schools, was ordained as a Methodist preacher, and ascended into the professional class where he worked as physician and professor of medicine at a local college. Hauser defied family tradition to become a slaveholder in the 1850s before fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Hauser’s Hesperian Harp combines late eighteenth-century plain and fuging tunes with newer revival choruses, folk hymns, and modern reformed tunes and includes many of Hauser’s own arrangements, especially revival choruses he encountered at Methodist camp meetings. At 556 pages, Hesperian Harp was the largest, most ambitious in its class of tunebooks and was one of the final oblong tunebooks printed in four-note notation. The tunebook’s size likely undermined its utility, as it was little used in singing schools and conventions. Hauser’s second tunebook, The Olive Leaf (1878) was a transitional text that embraced a more modern format and included contemporary Sunday school music, as well as credits to the black and white individuals who were tune sources for both texts.
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  • W3763k362?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Work, Frederick J., 1879-1942
    Date: 1907
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: At the turn of the twentieth century, a new dynasty of leadership was emerging over Fisk University's Jubilee Singers and its practice, dating to the 1870s, of publishing spirituals. In just over a decade (1902–1915), brothers Frederick J. Work (1879–1942) and John W. Work II (1873–1925) collected and published three sets of spirituals and one narrative book. Folk Songs of the American Negro, with a preface dated May 15, 1907, was the second of these. This volume was an expansion of their 1902 collection New Jubilee Songs, sharing many of the same songs, but newly typeset. It also featured the curious heading "New Jubilee Songs" on every page; absent from the 1902 collection, the heading perhaps indicated a last-minute attempt at rebranding this title. A second volume was also published in 1907. Some of the versions of spirituals collected in these three volumes would go on to become the standard settings in other songbooks.
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  • W9505c55r?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Faculty of the Eureka Normal School of Music
    Date: 1903
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: The Eureka Publishing Company provided gospel music to the Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas region where the seven-shape notation system was widely adopted by the mid-1880s. This volume is an early version of the gospel annual. It retains rudiments from its oblong predecessors, rendering it suitable for both class instruction and convention singing, while also featuring a slate of new compositions published annually and promoted in singing schools and conventions. Like many publishers active in the western territories, Eureka Publishing Company had strong institutional ties to white gospel’s historical geography. President Stephen Jesse Oslin (1858–1928) was an Alabama native before moving to Oklahoma where he died in 1928. The westward movement of composers and publishers like Oslin helped spread the seven-shape system and its teaching and publishing models from the eastern United States to Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and beyond. Oslin’s Eureka Harmony Method (1910) remains in use in some contemporary singing schools.
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  • Rf55zm38b?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Beall, B. B. (Benjamin Burk)
    Date: 1907
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Editor Benjamin Burke Beall (1874–1945) began publishing gospel songbooks like the successful Joyful Lays series in 1900. When this compilation emerged in 1907, Beall likely envisioned it as the anchor for another series. However, no further issues were printed after Beall dissolved his Douglassville, Georgia publishing company. A graduate of the Texas Musical Institute, Beall then gained employment with influential regional publisher A. J. Showalter while also teaching at that company’s Southern Normal Institute. Beall’s Gospel Songs combines popular turn-of-the-century gospel songs with new compositions by Beall and other members of his circle. These compositions’ complex rhythms, independent parts, and layered textures prefigure the style of professional quartet music that transformed the practice and performance of gospel music across the US South. Beall began performing as a member of Showalter and Company’s house quartet in the 1910s.
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  • Zk51vw17n?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Doane, W. Howard (William Howard), 1832-1915
    Date: 1883
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Editor William Howard Doane (1832–1915) enjoyed collaborations with prominent hymnodists and composers like Fanny Crosby and Robert Lowry, navigating a distinguished publishing career with Baptist denominational outlets and major houses in New York City and Philadelphia before settling in the Ohio River Valley for the final chapter of his career. Like several of Doane’s early twentieth-century collections, Song Evangel was published in Louisville, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from the Mount Auburn neighborhood in Cincinnati where Doane worked as a church musician. Printed in 1883 by first-time music publisher W. P. Harvey, the gospel collection included hymns already widely adopted for congregational singing as well as new compositions by Doane.
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  • Hd76sb74q?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Willis, George W., 1864–1934
    Date: 1892
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: This gospel volume includes late nineteenth-century selections that accompanied the invitations issued by George W. Willis (1864–1934), a Quaker evangelist who preached at revivals alongside his wife, sought-after temperance lecturer Genevieve Kinsel Willis (1864–1940). Kinsel Willis later earned her Doctor of Music before joining the faculty of the West Side Musical College in Cleveland, Ohio, where the Willis family made its home. Wide Awake Songs features primarily older gospel songs that would have been familiar to Willis’s revival audiences. The volume was issued by the Evangelical Association of North America, a predominantly German-speaking body of Arminian Christians. This partnership with a non-Quaker publisher prefigured Willis’s official defection from the Society of Friends to the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1907.
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  • 9880w414b?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Blackburn, Prof, Kirkland, A. M., 1860-1919, Kirkland, R. S., 1865-1933, and Kirkland, J. V., 1857-1918
    Date: 1896~/1898~
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Compiled by three siblings from Waverly, Tennessee—John Vinus Kirkland (1867–1918), Robert Samuel Kirkland (1865–1933), and Anderson Melville Kirkland (1860–1919)—Apostolic Hymns pairs mainline and old-school Baptist hymn texts with an eclectic range of music, including early urban gospel and church hymnody alongside fuging tunes and revival choruses associated with dispersed harmony. Primitive Baptist elders at the time of publication, the Kirkland brothers later joined the Missionary Baptist Church following a series of early twentieth-century controversies over church polity. One notable allegation charged J. V. Kirkland with using Methodist hymnals in a Palmersville, Tennessee, Sunday school. Prominent Primitive Baptist hymnal editors T. B. Ausmus, John Daily, and C. H. Cayce eventually became some of the Kirklands’ most vigorous detractors. In the virulent pamphlet wars of 1904–07, Ausmus, Daily, and Cayce printed pointed critiques of the Kirkland brothers, whose musically modern tendencies threatened more conservative approaches.
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  • Rf55zm372?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Kieffer, Aldine S., 1840-1904 and Unseld, B. C. (Benjamin Carl), 1843-1923
    Date: 1877
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: This late April 1877 volume features singing school songs and a variety of church tunes, including nineteenth-century standards and anthems. Temple Star is the first Ruebush, Kieffer and Company publication issued using the seven-shape notational system devised by Jesse B. Aikin. From the 1850s through the late 1870s, Aikin, William Walker, Joseph Funk, and others passionately championed competing seven-shape notation systems. Funk was the grandfather of the Shenandoah Valley firm’s editor Aldine S. Kieffer (1840–1904) and related by marriage to its bookbinder and manufacturer Ephraim Ruebush (1833–1924). These family ties explain the company’s longstanding allegiance to Funk’s shapes. According to an account from company typesetter Daniel F. Blake, Aikin tried to coerce the company to adopt both his notation style and preferred Philadelphia typographer, J. M. Armstrong & Company, for this publication and the entire Ruebush, Kieffer catalog. In the preface to Temple Star, Kieffer describes the decision to abandon Funk’s shapes in favor of Aikin’s notation system as a strategic choice to unite music publishers and teachers spreading both shape-note music and its Christian message across the South and West.
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  • Qb98mt218?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Rosecrans, J. H. (James Holmes), 1845-1926 and Shelton, T. J., 1849–1929
    Date: 1876
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: The preface of Polished Pearls identifies congregations unable to afford full-length hymnals as the volume’s primary audience. This target group likely included the Restorationist church pastored by compiler T. J. Shelton (1849–1929) in Arcola, Illinois. Collaborating with Ohio Valley church musician James Holmes Rosecrans (1843–1926), Shelton combined Sunday school music donated by copyright holders into this small, affordable paperbound volume suitable for social worship. The unusual inclusion of numeral notation was doubtless an influence of Cincinnati publisher Fillmore Brothers, a prominent mid–nineteenth century distributor of numeral-notated music that had fallen out of fashion elsewhere in the 1860s, well before the appearance of this 1876 publication.
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  • Sn00b9893?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Glenn, R. A.
    Date: 1881
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: Despite its Anabaptist roots, the Ruebush-Kieffer Company did not issue this volume, its first of temperance songs, until 1881. By that time, temperance was no longer the purview of charities and individual denominations, but rather a growing international movement. Editor R. A. Glenn had been a regular contributor to Ruebush-Kieffer publications since the late 1870s. Some of his works included here would later be absorbed into Trumpet Notes for the Temperance Battle-Field, an official National Temperance Society and Publication House songbook published in 1888. Only sixty-four pages long, this slender volume was sized and priced for mass distribution at social reform meetings where it retailed at $1.50 per dozen.
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  • 2n49tf42c?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Wells, Kenneth, Wallin, Henry B., Corlett, D. S., Messer, L. C., Reep, George D., Moore, John E., Reinbarger, C. C., Aycock, Jarrette E., Lillenas, Haldor, 1885-1959, and Petticord, E. W. (Emory W.), 1880-
    Date: 1925
    Contributing Institution: Sounding Spirit
    Description: New Songs of the Old Faith features new compositions, “favorite hymns,” and gospel songs popular at its date of publication. Edited by Norwegian American composer Haldor Lillenas (1885–1959), the volume has ties to the Church of the Nazarene, an offshoot of the nineteenth-century Holiness movement. Lillenas resigned his pastorate of a Nazarene church in Indianapolis, Indiana, to devote himself full time to his eponymous publishing company. By the time this volume appeared in 1925, Lillenas and president Emory W. Petticord had relocated the company to Kansas City, Missouri, to be closer to the publishing unit of the Church of the Nazarene. There, Lillenas would participate in the 1931 publication of the first official Nazarene hymnal. Many of his compositions remain popular in Nazarene circles.
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