High-minded and low-down: music in the lives of Americans, 1800-1861

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Northeastern University Press, Jan 1, 2000 - History - 350 pages
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From America's beginnings, our homes, churches, and public spaces have resounded with music. A preeminent musicologist now explores the relevance of music to Americans during the country's formative years, from the dawn of the nineteenth century to the Civil War.
Rather than reexamining composers or musical compositions, Nicholas E. Tawa focuses instead on the cultural interests and values of men and women, white and black, wealthy and poor, educated and uneducated, sophisticated and uncultivated, to show how their tastes in music reflected their times.
Distilling thirty years of research in a vast array of primary sources, Tawa depicts scenes of domesticity and worship, wooing and recreation, toil and travel, illustrating how the music of a citizenry struggling to define its government evolved from ordinary, everyday experiences. His book re-creates the spirit that helped bind a young nation together and holds up a new and valuable mirror to early American musical life and society.

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High-minded and low-down: music in the lives of Americans, 1800-1861

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Here, Tawa (music, emeritus, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston) documents the refined and primitive musical interests of the newly formed United States and describes music-making practices that are as ... Read full review


Shaping Music for an American Society
Why Americans Did or Did Not Cultivate Music
Becoming Acquainted with Music

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About the author (2000)

NICHOLAS E. TAWA is Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

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