Following three years of ethnomusicological fieldwork on the sacred singing traditions of evangelical Christians in North-East Scotland and Northern Isles coastal communities, Frances Wilkins documents and analyses current singing practices in this book by placing them historically and contemporaneously within their respective faith communities. In ascertaining who the singers were and why, when, where, how and what they chose to sing, the study explores a number of related questions. How has sacred singing contributed to the establishment and reinforcement of individual and group identities both in the church and wider community? What is the process by which specific regional repertoires and styles develop? Which organisations and venues have been particularly conducive to the development of sacred singing in the community? How does the subject matter of songs relate to the immediate environment of coastal inhabitants? How and why has gospel singing in coastal communities changed? These questions are answered with comprehensive reference to interview material, fieldnotes, videography and audio field recordings. As one of the first pieces of ethnomusicological research into sacred music performance in Scotland, this ethnography draws important parallels between practices in the North East and elsewhere in the British Isles and across the globe.
Table of Contents
PART I HISTORICAL AND GLOBAL CONTEXTS 1. Introduction 2. ‘An Evangelical Hurricane’: Global and Local Contexts of Revival 3. ‘Will Your Anchor Hold?’: Evangelical Hymnody and the Fishing Industry 4. ‘Just in Time I Saw the Light’: Praise Nights in the Deep Sea Mission 5. ‘Waiting for the Call’: Precentors and Pitch-pipes in the Brethren Assemblies 6. ‘Praise the Lord, We’ll all be There’: Singing in The Gospel Male Voice Choirs PART II CASE STUDIES: PRACTITIONERS, COMMUNITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE 7. ‘Scotland for Christ’: North-East Scotland’s Family Singing Groups 8. From the Church to the Public Sphere: The Secular Face of the Gospel 9. Gifts from the Holy Spirit: Contemporary Song Composition in North-East Scottish Evangelicalism 10. ‘I Raise My Hand’: Inter-Generational Concerns and the Concept of the ‘Worship Group’ 11. Singing in Evangelicalism along Scotland’s North-East Coast and in the Northern Isles: A Summary
Frances Wilkins is a lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, UK.