This issue features essays on Alabama’s traditional sacred music including shape-note singing, gospel quartet, convention singing, and schools including modern day camps.
Sacred Music traditions featured are Sacred Harp including seven-shape, four-shape, singing schools, and singing buildings; African American gospel and spiritual music with traditions in Sacred Harp, harmony singing, and choral music are discussed. As demonstrated, families, social institutions, and community events contribute to the perseverance of these art forms. Sacred music traditions serve to build social networks and establish a sense of place across time. Tributaries #12 examines how shared experiences in sacred music provide Alabamians a medium and venue to preserve their beliefs and values from one generation to the next. Today, teachers, musicians, singers, scholars, authors, and other professionals contribute to these traditions. Articles include: Roots of Birmingham's Gospel Quartet Training Culture: Spiritual Singing at Industrial High School by Lynn Abbot and Doug Seroff; Camp Fasola: Teaching "Tradition" by Jonathon M. Smith; Singing Buildings in Wiregrass Alabama by Jerrilyn McGregory; Japheth Jackson and the Jackson Memorial Singing by Joey Brackner; “A Joyful Sound”: The Church Music of Covington County, Alabama by Randall Bradley; Singers, Singing-school Teachers, Songwriters, Editors, and Publishers of Shape-note Gospel Music in Alabama by Steve Grauberger.