America’s History Through Her Music: 1500-1900 (MHI2103.01)

Kitty Brazelton
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Start with the tributaries: European, African, then Caribbean. Trace these forward in great whorls, mingling currents in a hard-rushing river. For instance, chamber music from Germany in the Pennsylvania countryside was venerated by the High Anglican merchants in Philadelphia and the gentlemen farmers further south. And while those noble white gentlemen listened in parlors to their imports, hambone and ring shout replaced forbidden West African drums in the slave barracks, giving way to Gospel when sons of New England fishermen came preaching the Great Awakening. Black Gospel is Pilgrim hymn. Appreciation of the sonata da camera has always denoted high social standing, here in America. And a hundred years before John Brown, you could hear the Civil War coming if you knew what to listen for. Music literacy and a knowledge of harmony is recommended but not required.

Corequisite: Four attendances at Music Workshop (T 6:30pm-8:00pm).