Michael Hawn

26 September 2023, 4.30 PM - 26 September 2023, 6.00 PM

Victoria's Room, Department of Music, Victoria Rooms

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music and Director of the Doctor of Pastoral Music Program in Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, USA

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: Uncovering the Origin, Dissemination, and Performance Practice of Black Spirituals in White America

African American spirituals are part of the soundtrack of the United States' historical/social narrative and musical life--perhaps one of the truly American contributions to world musics. This presentation will explore two aspects of Black music research: 1) What research methods are available to understand the origin, dissemination, and performance practice of this primarily oral folk tradition? 2) Can a White male from the dominant culture contribute to the understanding and perpetuation of a Black song form?


C. Michael Hawn, DMA, is the University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, retiring in 2017 after 25 years. In addition to directing the Master of Sacred Music program, he initiated the Doctor of Pastoral Music (DPM) program for career church musicians in 2016, continuing to teach and direct DPM theses. His research in the hymnody of the Global South has taken him to forty countries. He has published four books on hymnology, most recently Sing with Understanding: Introduction to Theology in Christian Congregational Song (2022), and has been the USA Editor for the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology since 2017. 

Michael Hawn

Michael Hawn Southern Methodist University

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