Music in the American Revolution

2344 Words Jul 15th, 2018 10 Pages
In the American Revolution, music played an important part of American culture no matter what sector of society. The music of the era served as a social commentary on the political concerns of the period aside from entertainment. The music was expressed through many forms, songs, hymns and varied instrumental musical traditions that reflected the social conditions which created it. Church music was an important source of spiritual inspiration and expression of the patriotic sentiment. The music in the Revolutionary period in the thirteen colonies varied according to region and the region’s prevalent religious views, it was used for revolutionary propaganda and expressed the tensions and sentiments of the revolutionary culture of the time. …show more content…
The southern colonies were different; they were less homogenous with multiple religious views. The agricultural geography made up of large portions of land owned allowed for more individualism as the plantations were to some extent self-contained, in New England on the other hand portions of land were smaller and closer to each other. The southern colonies, like Virginia had a less centralized music tradition, in the same way that the economy was more individualistic the music too, was more individualist and amateur mostly for private enjoyment. Music making in the south was more of a private affair taking place in the residences of the upper class. Mid eighteenth century elite class amateur musicians often ordered books and musical scores from England, the music was often that of the European masters of the period.
We do not think often of Thomas Jefferson as a musician, but he used to practice the violin three hours a day and play in a chamber music ensemble with his law professor George Wythe. Jefferson was part of the musical culture of the land owner amateur musician of the south. The same pattern of music making as more of a private affair repeated itself in other southern states like Maryland, the exception was Charleston. Charleston enjoyed a more public musical life due to a more developed urban metropolitan life, comparable to London. The city boasted of more of a public musical culture with concerts and operas being presented in
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