Date of Award
Master of Music
David H Evans
In the mid-eighteenth century, Rev. Samuel Davies introduces slaves to an now archaic form of English Hymnody,which became known as "Dr. Watts." Isaac Watts, Charles and John Wesley, John Newton,and Horatius Bonar, among others wrote many of these hymns. Nearly three hundred years later "Dr. Watts" continues atweekly worship services as an essential component in stabilizing, strengthening, and bringing peace and comfort to many core culture African Americans. The traditionis under-studied inmuch of theUnited States, especially in the Memphia Area. The purpose of this thesis is to confirm the musical characteristics, performance practices, and examine some of the motivations that keep this tradition alive. Despite the long-held fears of its demise, "Dr. Watts" has shaped and continues to shape the artistic creation of many African American Musical styles including spirituals, ragtime, minstrelsy, jazz, blues, gospel, doo wop, rock &roll, soul, rap and hip-hop.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Buhler, Brent Virgil, "The Persistence of "Dr. Watts" in the Core Culture African American Churches in the Memphis Area" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 332.