- Series: Music in American Life
- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: University of Illinois Press (July 16, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0252070038
- ISBN-13: 978-0252070037
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,898,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sound of Dove: Singing in Appalachian Primitive Baptist Churches (Music in American Life) Paperback – July 16, 2001
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In "The Sound of the Dove", Beverly Bush Patterson explores one of the oldest traditions of American religious folksong: unaccompanied congregational singing in Appalachian Primitive Baptist churches. Using interviews, field observations, historical research, song transcriptions, and musical analysis, Patterson explores the dynamic relationship between singing and theology in these churches, the genesis of their musical practices, and the unexpectedly significant role of women in their conservative congregations. An hour-long audio recording of Primitive Baptist singing is available separately.
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Beverly Bush Patterson uses another means to understand the Primitive Baptist churches: their music, specifically their songs, songbooks, song tunes, and hymn choices in individual congregations. While not downplaying Primitive Baptist theology and preaching, the author sees their music as a perhaps more reliable means of understanding how theology and doctrine plays out in congregational life.
This includes a detailed analysis of hymn and song choices and hymn tune choices in congregations. And while I'm making this sound dry, this book is anything but dry: it is a good, well-written, well-told analysis of a little-known group in American religious life.
A slightly secondary theme in the book is the role and function of women in Primitive Baptist churches. This isn't an easily done analysis, since women in Primitive Baptist churches operate in a "silent" setting in their churches, neither preaching nor holding offices within the congregations. Patterson seeks to understand how women in these congregations understand their faith, live within the parameters of their theology, and express their faith.