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Jazz, Blues, and Spirituals

The Origins and Spirituality of Black Music in the United States, New Edition

Direct Price: $19.99 $15.00
Format: Paperback
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781629956732
Release Date 02/05/20


“African American Spirituals . . . are the root of almost all American music, being the forebears of both the Blues—music that expresses the burden of so-called ‘freedom’ and hardships of everyday life, and Jazz, America’s classical music,” writes Jazz vocalist and composer Ruth Naomi Floyd. “This work . . . shows the words of a Dutch man, a brilliant scholar, author, and cultural critic, who, as a youth, was drawn to African American music. . . . His prophetic insight on Christianity and the arts is profound.”


“The fundamental admiration of African American creativity shining through oppression is Rookmaaker's view woven through every paragraph of this research. Though written in 1960, this is an example that the twenty-first-century educated musician should follow.”

James Ward, Recording Artist, Singer-Songwriter

“A robust and diverse contribution to the world of music comes out of the Black experience in America. . . . Hans Rookmaaker gives us this American story through the lens of God’s work among a people. We are brought into the beauty that springs out of joy and sorrow intimately tied to a hope rooted in God.”

Irwyn L. Ince, Director, GraceDC Institute for Cross-Cultural Mission

“Hans Rookmaker is a fascinating man who played an important role in the development of a neo-Calvinist vision of the arts. Now that it is available once again, may this volume remind a generation of Christians that no musical form is neutral or without meaning. May it stimulate further work across a variety of musical genres.”

Mark P. Ryan, Director of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute, Adjunct Professor of Religion and Culture, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis


The Author

Hans Rookmaaker

Hans Rookmaaker

Hans Rookmaaker (1922–1977) was a notable Dutch professor and author, writing on art theory, music, philosophy, religion, and other topics.