Article " Balm in Gilead" by Harry Thacker Burleigh

Balm in Gilead, 1919, by Harry Thacker Burleigh, 1866-1949.
Balm in Gilead, 1919. Harry Thacker Burleigh, 1866-1949. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: M1671.B

As with most of Burleigh's works for chorus, Balm in Gilead was originally set for solo voice. He dedicated the solo arrangement to John Wesley Work of Fisk University, author of the treatise Folk Songs of the American Negro (1915). The SSA version, arranged for women's chorus by Burleigh, is inscribed to the Schumann Club, conducted by Percy Rector Stephens. Balm in Gilead was published in 1919 for solo voice, men's chorus, and women's chorus by G. Ricordi & Co., New York.

The text of this spiritual was inspired by the biblical passage: "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" (Jeremiah 8:22). Burleigh's setting alternates three nearly identical repetitions of the refrain with two verses. The refrain features a B-flat pedal tone in the piano accompaniment underlying a simple harmonization of the melody in sixths. In the final repetition of the refrain, the second alto part doubles the piano pedal tone.

About this Item

Title
" Balm in Gilead" by Harry Thacker Burleigh
Subject Headings
-  Burleigh, H. T. (Harry Thacker), 1866-1949
-  Worship and Praise
-  Songs and Music
-  Parlor and Concert Stage
-  Traditional and Ethnic Songs and Music
-  Progressive Era to New Era (1900-1929)
-  Articles
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article
Online Format
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online text
Description
Article. The text of this spiritual was inspired by the biblical passage: "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" (Jeremiah 8:22). Burleigh's setting alternates three nearly identical repetitions of the refrain with two verses. The refrain features a B-flat pedal tone in the piano accompaniment underlying a simple harmonization of the melody in sixths. In the final repetition of the refrain, the second alto part doubles the piano pedal tone.
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Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permission ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. Users should consult the bibliographic information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding items and may assist users in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items as related to their desired uses.

Items included here with the permission of the rights holders are indicated as such in the bibliographic record for each item.

In some cases, the Library was unable to identify a possible rights holder and has elected to place some of those items online as an exercise of fair use for strictly non-commercial educational uses. The Library of Congress would like to learn more about these materials and would like to hear from individuals or institutions that have any additional information or know of their history. Please contact:  Performing Arts Reading Room.

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" Balm in Gilead" by Harry Thacker Burleigh. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200185367/. (Accessed June 27, 2017.)

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" Balm in Gilead" by Harry Thacker Burleigh. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200185367/>.