By drawing upon her own knowledge and experience in both researching and performing spirituals, and by including the input of several other recognized experts in the field, Jones provides a valuable, all-angles exploration of this underperformed genre with this publication.
This guide for the study and performance of spirituals provides not only a wonderful overview of the history of this musical style, but also practical suggestions and advice for the vocalist and teacher. . . this volume is an important addition to continue growing the diversity and inclusivity of different musical styles in vocal training programs. Randye Jones takes the subject in hand masterfully and does not shy away from some of the more complicated issues surrounding this particular style of singing. . . . this is an excellent addition to the So You Want to Sing series. It brings light to one of the more diverse, and regrettably sometimes controversial, styles of singing and encourages all practitioners to invest in study and accurate portrayal of these songs and texts just as they would any other piece of vocal repertoire. It would be worthwhile to purchase and add to the shelves of a personal, public, or academic library.
So You Want to Sing Spirituals is an exemplary title in this series. Jones offers a well researched and well written overview of spirituals, and contributions by guest authors make this volume a rich resource for both avocational and professional performers. It is significant, as noted by Jones, that this book was published on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slave trader ship to the United States. This book is an invaluable tool for moving beyond cultural misappropriation to artistic appreciation, and is a useful addition to the library of all musicians who study and perform this repertoire.