The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT)

Sea shanties


  • Sailors' work songs.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Sea shanties
  • Variants

    • Chanteys
    • Chanties
    • Chantys
    • Sailor songs
    • Sea chanteys
    • Sea chanties
    • Shanties
  • Broader Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Oxford Music online, viewed June 11, 2014(Shanty. A sailors' work song. The basic form of the shanty is a call-and-response pattern, both universal and ancient. The shanty as we know it belongs to a short and very specific period: from about 1830, when competitive packet-ship transport was initiated in America, to about 1870, when British domination of clipper-ship transport was supplanted by steam. This competitive environment required coordination of manpower in heaving and hauling. A soloist, the 'shantyman', would improvise verses, and the working team would punctuate with invariable refrains, containing one or two accents at which combined forces would pull together. The musical form and melodic characteristics suggest the Anglo-Celtic and African influences of the multinational workforce that sang the shanty. Different tasks required different tunes: short-haul jobs tended to use single-line tunes; General Taylor is more elaborate with longer verses and two pulls in the refrain, suiting the long-haul jobs; a more lyrical form, as in Rio Grand, could be used for the continuous, rather than intermittent, effort required at the capstan.)
  • General Notes

    • Sailors' work songs.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-10: new
    • 2015-12-15: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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