The Musical Culture of African American Children in Tennessee

Marvelene C. Moore

in The Oxford Handbook of Children's Musical Cultures

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199737635
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Musical Culture of African American Children in Tennessee

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This article examines music-making by African American children. It focuses on two singing games played by children at Red Elementary School in Applesville, Tennessee, and another singing game from the author’s childhood. Games and songs serve as a homogenizing agent in stabilizing issues of race, poverty, and social injustice that concern African Americans within their communities. Further, the games contribute to the formation and maintenance of personal and group identity, survival, socialization, solidarity, cooperation, and strength within the group. The songs of African American children also reflect features of African American adult music.

Keywords: musical activities; children’s songs; singing; games; African American; music; culture

Article.  7000 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Ethnomusicology

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