HDS 2912

The American Spirit in Music

Harry Huff


This course is a survey of the rich body of sacred music that is unique to the Americas. Areas of exploration will include 16th-century music in New Spain (Mexico); the Calvinist psalms of the Puritans; William Billings and the colonial tunesmiths; the rise of Sacred Harp and other shaped-note music (with practice in singing from shapes); African-American spirituals and work songs; the rise of blues and gospel, both black and white; the sacred jazz of Ellington and Coltrane; 19th, 20th and 21st-century American classical composers; modern trends incorporating electronics and nature sounds. Through listening, discussion and writing, students will gain an appreciation for six centuries of contributions to the canon of sacred music on this side of the Atlantic.

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 10 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes


0.50 credits
Spring 2013
Mon 2pm-5pm
FAS Memorial Church Pusey Room

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • African and African American Religious Studies
  • History of Christianity
  • Religions of the Americas
  • Religion, Literature, and Culture
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • Christianity
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry
  • Preaching and Worship
Language Course Designation(s) None