New England Music: The Public Sphere, 1600 - 1900

New England Music: The Public Sphere, 1600 - 1900


This publication is a collection of papers presented in June of 1996. The essays which make up this volume collectively address the issues of patronage and musical purpose and consider music as it was performed in a wide range of public settings in New England during the first three hundred years of the region’s history. The principal occasions for public music were military and fraternal assemblies, theatrical and social entertainments and divine services. The areas covered in this collection are social dance, musical theater, singing schools and musical societies, ballad traditions, religious music and military music and town bands.

The following is a list of the title and author of each paper:

The Eighteenth-Century Ballroom: A Mirror of Social Change by Kate Van Winkle Keller

The American Death of Harlequin: Musical Pantomimes in Boston before 1815 by Peter Benes

Thomas Walter and the Society for Promoting Regular Singing in the Worship of God: Boston, 1720-1723 by Alan C. Buechner

Singing and Reading: Cooper’s Public Presentation of Psalmody in The Last of the Mohicans

 “Village Harmony”: Music and Popular Culture in Portsmouth, New Hampshire by James Kences

“:I Sing the Mason’s Glory”: Freemasonry and Musical Life in Early New England

“How Got the Apples in?”: Individual Creativity and Ballad Tradition by Edward D. Ives

Christmas Religious Music in Eighteenth-Century New England by Stephen Nissenbaum

Evangelical Hymns and Popular Belief by Stephen A. Marini

The Young Convert’s Pocket Companion and Its Relationship to Migration Patterns of American Religious Folk Song by Emily Laurance

The Power of Music Enhanced by the Word: Lowell Mason and the Transformation of Sacred Singing in Lyman Beecher’s New England by Martha Dennis Burns

Military Music and the Roots of the American Band Movement by Raoul F. Camus

A Joyful Noise, “Sounding Brass and Tinkling Cymbal”: The Late Nineteenth-Century New England Town Band by David R. Proper

Capt. Eliphalet Grover’s “Boon Island Fiddle: The Folk Violin in New England, 1750-1850 by Steven C. Mallory

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