Following the drums : African American fife and drum music in Tennessee /

Publication Type:



University Press of Mississippi,, Jackson, United States, p.1 online resource (unpaged). (2022)

Call Number:




(OCoLC)fst00799273, (OCoLC)fst00799648, (OCoLC)fst00923953, (OCoLC)fst00923955, (OCoLC)fst01030486, African American musicians, African American musicians., African Americans, bisacsh, Entretiens., États-Unis, fast, Fife and drum corps, Fife and drum corps music, Fife and drum corps music., Fife and drum corps., Fifre et tambour, Musique de, Histoire et critique., Histoire., History and criticism., History., Interviews., Music, MUSIC / History & Criticism, Music and race, Music and race., Music., Musiciens noirs américains, Musique et race, Tennessee, United States


Includes bibliographical references and index.Foreword -- Acknowledgments -- A note on sources -- Introduction: Black fife and drum music and previous scholarhip -- "To drum for the fun of the thing": African American drumming and fife and drum music before and during the Civil War -- "The inevitable fife and drum": Fife and drum music, benevolent societies, and Black political organizing in Tennessee during Reconstruction -- "These things must have their day": Fife and drum music, benevolent societies, and Black political organizing in Tennessee -- "So important a part of the machinery": Black fife and drum music in Tennessee during Redemption -- "Nerve-torturers and wholesale dispensers of discord": Black fife and drum music in Tennessee during the nadir and segregation -- "Like a muffled, rumbling heartbeat": The rediscovery and disappearance of Black fife and drum music in Tennessee -- Conclusion -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index."Following the Drums: African American Fife and Drum Music in Tennessee is an epic history of a little-known African American instrumental music form. John M. Shaw follows the music from its roots in West Africa and early American militia drumming to its prominence in African American communities during the time of Reconstruction, both as a rallying tool for political militancy and a community music for funerals, picnics, parades, and dances. Carefully documenting the music's early uses for commercial advertising and sports promotion, Shaw follows the strands of the music through the nadir of African American history during post-Reconstruction up to the form's rediscovery by musicologists and music researchers during the blues and folk revival of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although these researchers documented the music, and there were a handful of public performances of the music at festivals, the story has a sad conclusion. Fife and drum music ultimately died out in Tennessee during the early 1980s. Newspaper articles from the period and interviews with music researchers and participants reawaken this lost expression, and specific band leaders receive the spotlight they so long deserved. Following the Drums is a journey through African American history and Tennessee history, with a fascinating form of music powering the story"--Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on May 17, 2022).