In terms of form gospel typically uses strophic forms

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Unformatted text preview: s) and the singers. The singers would stand in one place and the shouters would move around in a circle for as long as four and five successive hours. The spiritual would be repeated over and over, taking on the character of a chant. Although the ring moved slowly at first, gradually the pace would quicken until the religious fervor of the participants and the loud and incessant music of the singers combined to produce a state of ecstasy in all present. Shouters often fell to the ground completely exhausted but when they did, new dancers would take their place. While white observers found the shouts or ring spirituals fascinating, they also often disapproved of it, regarding the dance as barbaric. As Southern points out, knowing nothing of African traditions, they often failed to recognize that 1) shouters used dance in the same manner as song and prayer to communicate with God; and 2) a shouter reached his or her deepest connection with God when the Spirit entered his body to take possession of his soul.7 6 Quoted in Southern, p. 130 from Recollections, p. 69. 7 Southern, p. 13 and pp. 182- 183. 8 Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 SIDETRIP 9B: WHITE GOSPEL Members of the white church of the rural south were exposed to many of the music tradit...
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