A Shaker Musical Legacy (Paperback)

A Shaker Musical Legacy By Robert Opdahl, Viola Opdahl Cover Image
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This fascinating book brings more than one hundred previously unpublished Shaker songs to the attention of scholars, performers, and aficionados of folk music. A Shaker Musical Legacy introduces Shaker songs and dances that Brother Ricardo Belden, the last male member of the Hancock Shakers, gave in original manuscript form to Jerry and Sybil Count, the first directors of the Shaker Village Camp. The Opdahls have selected from and transcribed this music and included dance directions to honor Brother Ricardo’s hope that doing so would keep alive a part of the Shaker heritage. The songs are transcribed as modern musical scores for use by contemporary musicians and singers. Many examples are also shown in their original Shaker musical notation. Step-by-step instructions show how to perform the dances as the Shakers themselves danced them. Explanatory notes introduce each of nine musical sections.

About the Author

ROBERT C. OPDAHL spent several summers at the Shaker Village Work Camp as a key staff member creating and conducting workshops on Shaker music as well as transcribing songs from the manuscripts. Toward the end of his experience, and while completing studies at Hofstra University, he met with folk singer Frank Warner who heartily supported the transcription project. VIOLA E. WOODRUFF OPDAHL taught history in New Lebanon, New York, where she had the opportunity to learn about the nearby New Lebanon and Hancock Shaker communities. Viola has written for the New York Historical Society, New York State Education Department, and she was a college social studies supervisor for SUNY at New Paultz. The authors have been studying Shaker music and collecting original songs and dance materials of the Shakers for more than forty years. ROBERT STUART JAMIESON, folk musician and author, has written a foreword about the fascinating chain of events that has preserved this musical heritage. JERRY V. GRANT, director of research at the Shaker Museum and Library in Old Chatham, New York, has supplied an introduction to A Shaker Musical Legacy that explores how songs and dances express the Shaker’s sacred worldview.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781584653608
ISBN-10: 1584653604
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication Date: July 1st, 2004
Pages: 360
Language: English
Series: Revisiting New England

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