Notes on Negro Music

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Charles Peabody, Pre Blues

Author: Charles Peabody
Source: The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 16, No. 62 (Jul. – Sep., 1903), pp. 148-152
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In the textbooks on the origin of the blues, the story of W.C. Handy hearing an African-American play the guitar in the Tutwiler station , supposedly in 1903,  is a classic narrative.

Less known is the 1901 story of Harvard archaeologist Charles Peabody who conducted a seven-week excavation season at the plantations in Clarksdale and in Oliver, and who described the singing of the African-Americans he hired.

The observation that his transcription of these songs in his  ‘Notes on Negro music’ (1903) was published before his archaeological findings (1904) illustrates the profound effect that his worker’s chants must have had on him.

This could be an earlier example of proto- or early blues.

You can read the 1903 article HERE

Some further information is on this site : http://j.mp/PeabodyBlues

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