• By Lydia Parrish, Copyright 1942
  • The old out-of-print hard back version is a very beautiful book. You might find it worth it to pay the extra $25 or so it costs to buy that version.
  • I found the scores fairly difficult to understand. For example I had the following difficulties with the Kneebone score:
    • The root note of the major scale the song uses is E, but the score is written in the key of B. (The verses resolve in the middle and begin and end on the 5th, which is what keeps things rolling along and means the song never has to end.)
    • The clapping parts are all combined into one staff. No one person could clap the rhythm in the score. It would take three people, one clapping the down beats, one clapping the up beats, and a third clapping between alternate up and down beats, but you have to figure that out for yourself.
    • The same is true of the 'heel' staff.

 MOTHER WIT FROM THE LAUGHING BARREL, Readings in the Interpretation of Afro-American Folklore

  • Edited by Alan Dundes. This is a collection of essays which contains a great essay on Ringshout.
  • The essay  was written by Robert Winslow Gorden, a famous folk music collector, in 1927.   It quotes tons of older sources.


  • By Cynthia Hickman, Copyright 2002
  • This book contains the words to hundreds of Spirituals and not a single note of music!
  • The Introduction is a wonderful history of Spirituals and it has a great bibliography and diskography.
© 2007 Santa Barbara Ring Shout Project