Mohican-Moravian Singstunde

Musical worship services called Singstunden (singing meetings) were a prominent feature of Moravian daily life. In a Singstunde, individual hymn-verses and phrases of memorized chorale melodies were extemporaneously combined by a community member called a Liturg (worship leader, liturgist), and repeated by other participants to create a Liederpredigt (hymn sermon). This practice was called “singing from the heart." During the mid-eighteenth century, Singstunden were performed in many languages, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of those who joined the Moravian Church. In eastern Pennsylvania, the creation and singing of Native-language hymns was an important part of daily life in Moravian communities.


Click on the recordings below to listen to a reconstructed Singstunde in Mohican by singers from the early music choir at Florida State University.

 

Jesu paschgon kia some image

Gaquay npettamechnau some image

Christi machgaju pgachganom some image

Lamm, lamm, o lamm! some image

Paquaik assanaik some image

Mamanak hammawe nana some image

 


Singers: Vivianne Asturizaga, Rachel Bani, Laura Clapper, Drew Griffin (singer and conductor), Teodora Mitze-Cîrciumaru, Kevin Speer, Ryan Whittington, and Kaitlin Zardetto-Smith.

Music theorist Joshua Tanis created the alto and tenor parts from the original figured bass notation. Recording engineer John Hadden supervised the recording process and mastered the recordings.

The production of the recordings was generously funded by a Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, shared with collaborator Rachel Wheeler (IUPUI, Religious Studies). To learn more about the larger collaborative project, see Rachel Wheeler and Sarah Eyerly, “Singing Box 331: Re-Sounding Eighteenth-Century Mohican Hymns from the Moravian Archives,” The William and Mary Quarterly 76/4 (October, 2019): 649-96, https://oieahc.wm.edu/digital-projects/oi-reader/singing-box-331-rachel-wheeler-sarah-eyerly/.

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