The Art of the Negro Spiritual (ANS) is a research project that is looking into the rich history of the Negro spiritual as written for solo vocal performance. The research is centered around the development of spirituals from the folk music of slaves of the United States to the art songs set for performance on the concert stage.

The primary goal of this project is to gather into one book information that will become a significant resource for the singer, vocal teacher, and musicologist. That resource is now available to order. More information is available on the So You Want to Sing Spirituals page.

Topics of ANS research include:

  • History of the Negro spiritual
  • Biographies of composers and performers
  • Bibliography of resources
  • Discography of commercial recordings

Developing: ANS is launching a audio playlist of recordings by historical and contemporary vocalists performing concert spirituals. The playlist is still under development, but there are over eight hours of recordings of solo voice and choral performances spanning the century of African American spirituals. Visitors have the option of selecting specific tracks or setting the playlist to shuffle through the available tracks. Please click on the link to access the ANS Playlist.

Other projects are also underway. Go to the Other ANS Projects page to get more information.

If you have questions about ANS, please contact Randye Jones.


Soprano and researcher Randye Jones in performance and lecturing