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Farther Along
A Conference on the Southern Gospel Convention-Singing Tradition

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 4-5 April 2008


The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University invites

Southern gospel convention singing is an amateur American musical
tradition comprising singing schools and periodic singings from octavo
"new books" in seven-shape notation, often with keyboard accompaniment.  
Historically led primarily by publishers such as Ruebush-Kieffer, Anthony
J. Showalter, James D. Vaughan, Stamps-Baxter, Hartford, and others, this
amateur tradition and the publishing and educational industry that
accompanies it have been the fertile ground from which has come many
well-known songs and from which has emerged the world of professional
southern gospel.

Despite its popularity among rural southerners and midwesterners, the
southern gospel convention-singing tradition remains little understood by
the larger scholarly community.  This conference is intended to help
address this oversight.

We encourage proposals for papers and presentations on all aspects of the
convention-singing tradition and related activities.  Topics may include,
but are not limited to, studies of:

-       composers and lyricists
-       publishers
-       geographical distribution of convention singing
-       community traditions
-       singing schools
-       pianists
-       songs and songwriting
-       performance styles
-       crossover with bluegrass and country gospel
-       relationship to professional southern gospel
-       inter-cultural exchange
-       mass media
-       the business of gospel music

Proposals should include an abstract of 250-300 words and an indication of
audio-visual needs. Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged, but
hardcopy submissions will be accepted.


Submit proposals to:
Kym Stricklin
Center for Popular Music
Box 41
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 31732, USA
e-mail: kstrick at
fax: +1-615.898.5829 
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