Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Lewis-Hale, Phyllis. “From Old Creole Days: Sampling the Afro-Creole Folk Song of Louisiana in the Late Nineteenth through the Mid-Twentieth Centuries.” Journal of Singing 73 (May 2017): 481-95.

The Afro-Creole folk song tradition of Louisiana, as disseminated in concert adaptations, presents distinctive challenges and rewards for singers. The language of these folk songs, Afro-Creole patois, was constructed by African slaves brought to Louisiana in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and differs from standard French. While many Afro-Creole melodies have been preserved in instrumental music by such composers as Louis Moreau Gottschalk, the vocal sources are less familiar. Piano-vocal arrangements of Afro-Creole folk songs show different approaches to adapting the music for concert singers. Dansé, Conni Conné, arranged by Camille Nickerson, adapts a traditional bamboula dance song. At times, the accompaniment rises to become an equal partner of the vocal line. Maud Cuney Hare’s Dialogue d’Amour, also known as Z’Amours Marianne, is an arrangement of canlinda dance song, and features a rare brief modulation from minor to major. W. T. Francis’s arrangement of Zozo Mokeur (The Mockingbird) contains several highbrow, operatic touches. Julien Tiersot’s arrangement of the call and response counjaille, Aurore Bradère, features a sparse accompaniment, highlighting the simple melody. Afro-Creole folk songs have been neglected in performance, but offer a rich cultural tradition for singers to explore.

Works: Camille Nickerson: Dansé, Conni Conné (485); Maud Cuney Hare: Z’Amours Marianne (486); W. T. Francis: Zozo Mokeur (486-89); Julien Tiersot: Aurore Bradère (489-90).

Sources: Traditional: Bamboula (484-85), Dialogue d’Amour (486), Zozo Mokeur (486-89), Aurore Bradère (489-90).

Index Classifications: 1800s, 1900s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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