Oral history interview with Hale Smith, 1999
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Hale Smith recounts his early experiences with music beginning with piano lessons at the age of 7, and recognizing his desire to create his own music. He discusses his approach to composing, and his belief that there is no single formula for composing. He describes spirituals as folk songs initially composed by individuals, but transformed over time to be the true voice of a people performing them. He contrasts the musical genre of gospels that he believes are most effectively performed and delivered only as part of a church experience, with spirituals that have been successfully transferred to the concert hall.