Sandra Jean Graham: About this website

Welcome! Thank you for visiting this website! It is a repository of data that supports my research on late nineteenth-century popular and religious music, with a particular focus on African American spirituals, blackface minstrelsy, and theater. As the website grows, it will contain pages devoted to repertory, performer/composer biographies, and sound recordings. My goal is to stimulate research on popular music in this era, which is still under-studied and poorly understood, and to give credit to the many performers whose achievements remain unknown today.

About me

I am an ethnomusicologist in the Division of Arts and Humanities at Babson College (Babson Park, MA). Previously I taught at University of California, Davis, and had visiting professorships at Davidson College, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Academy of Music at the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here's a list of my published scholarship:

"The Songs of Sam Lucas," 12 recordings with background essay and liner notes, with vocalist Chad Runyon, streaming for free at Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University:

"Composing in Black and White: Code-Switching in the Songs of Sam Lucas," in Patricia Hall (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Music Censorship (Oxford University Press, publication date early 2014)

Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, eds. J. R. Watson and Emma Hornby (2013): "The Fisk Jubilee Singers"

New Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed., articles on Music and Abolition; Frank Brower; George C. Howard and family; Kelly & Leon's Minstrels; Walter Kittredge; William Henry Lane; Dick Pelham; George Primrose; Tyrolean Minstrels; James Unsworth; Josephine Wright;  Fisk Jubilee Singers; Hyers Sisters; Musical Theater 1860–1900; James Rosamond Johnson; Spirituals.

"Reframing Spirituals in the Late Nineteenth Century," in John Koegel (ed.), Music, American Made: Essays in Honor of John Graziano, Detroit Monographs in Musicology / Studies in Music (Harmonie Park Press, 2011), 603–27.

"What's the Score? Interpreting the Transcriptions of Fisk Jubilee Spirituals," Muzikološki Zbornik XLII/1 (2007): 115–25.

"On the Road to Freedom: The Contracts of the Fisk Jubilee Singers," American Music 24/1 (2006): 1–29.

"The Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Concert Spiritual: The Beginnings of an American Tradition," Ph.D. dissertation (Department of Music, New York University, 2001)

Source: Music Division, Library of Congress

Coming soon

  • Composer and performer biographies

Contact me

Please leave a comment on this page, or email me at:
I appreciate suggestions, comments, corrections, additions!

This page last update: 19 July 2015