George Pullen Jackson

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George Pullen Jackson
Born 1874
Monson, Maine
Died 1953
Occupation University professor

George Pullen Jackson (1874–1953) was an American educator and musicologist. He was a pioneer in the field of Southern (U.S.) hymnody. Many consider him the "most diligent scholar of fasola singing" in the 20th century and one of the foremost musicologists of American folk songs. He was responsible for popularizing the term "white spirituals" to describe the "fasola" singing.


Early life[edit]

George Pullen Jackson was born in 1874 in Monson, Maine.


He served as a professor of German at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, author, music critic for the Nashville Banner, and the president and manager of the Nashville Symphony Society.

During the 1940s, he studied the roots of anabaptist music (Amish and Mennonite). He proposed the now generally accepted view that the original tunes used in Der Ausbund hymnal were popular medieval melodies.[1]Der Ausbund is still used by Amish groups and has the distinction of being the hymnal with a history of the longest continual use (1564 to the present; the latest edition being published in 1999).[2]


He died in 1953.


  • White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands: The Story of the Fasola Folk, Their Songs, Singings, and "Buckwheat Notes". University of North Carolina Press, 1933
  • Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America: Two Hundred and Fifty Tunes and Texts with an Introduction and Notes. Augustin, 1937
  • Down-East Spirituals and Others: Three Hundred Songs Supplementary to the Author's "Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America". Augustin, 1939
  • White and Negro Spirituals, Their Lifespan and Kinship: Tracing 200 Years of Untrammeled Song Making and Singing Among Our Country Folk, with 116 Songs as Sung by Both Races. Augustin, 1943
  • The Story of the Sacred Harp, 1844-1944. Vanderbilt University Press, 1944
  • A Directory of Sacred Harp Singers and Singing Conventions. 1945
  • American Folk Music for High School and other Choral Groups. C. C. Birchard and Co., 1947 (a collaboration with Charles Faulkner Bryan)
  • Another Sheaf of White Spirituals. University of Florida Press, 1952

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jackson, George Pullen, "The American Amish Sing Mediaeval Folktunes Today," Southern Folklore Quarterly 10:151-157, 1946.
  2. ^ Herald Press: Scottdale, Pennsylvania, and Waterloo, Ontario, Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 869-872. All rights reserved.