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Music in American Religious Experience$
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Philip V. Bohlman, Edith Blumhofer, and Maria Chow

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173048.001.0001

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 Hymnody and History

 Hymnody and History

Early American Evangelical Hymns as Sacred Music

Chapter:
(p.123) 5 Hymnody and History
Source:
Music in American Religious Experience
Author(s):

Stephen A. Marini

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173048.003.0008

This chapter examines the ways in which early American hymns provided texts and discourse for American history by employing computer-assisted statistical analysis. Evangelical hymns formed as repertories and canons as they passed from English Protestant traditions to the social and sacred practices that accompanied the settlement of the United States from the late 18th through the 19th century, particularly at moments such as the Great Awakening. At the beginning of the 21st century, many hymns from historically evangelical practices have become the favorite hymns (e.g., those by Isaac Watt, and Charles and John Wesley) shared by Protestant denominations and beyond. The chapter compares the ways meaning in hymn texts affords meaning to American religious experience. Hymnody itself is presented comparatively, as texts (ritual song, sacred medium) and contexts (belief, spirituality) for the lives of evangelicals and the formation of their churches and denominations.

Keywords:   canons, denominations, evangelicals, Great Awakening, Protestant, Isaac Watt, Charles Wesley, John Wesley

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