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Mr. Blum is currently working on a doctorate in musicology at the State University of Iowa and pfons to spend the 1958-1959 year studying and doing research in Germany on Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst and Fulbright Committee grants. In the following articles, condensed from a more extended bibliographic survey, the author is especially concerned with the fine art music produced around the time of the Civil War. Music During the Civil War: A Preliminary Survey FRED BLUM no comprehensive STUDY of Civil War music has been attempted to date. Much of the material for such a study is now at hand. In addition to passing references to Civil War music in monographs on topics ranging from music publishing to music education, from regional history to biography, and from popularmusic to art music, contemporary accounts appear in the newspapers, musical and non-musical periodicals, memoirs, and letters of theíeeÓ's. Perhapsthisbriefsummaryoftheexistingmaterial, gatheredtogether and viewed in perspective, will serve as a suitable introduction to further study in Civil War music. In order to understand Civil War music in historical context, it is necessary to consider certain social and economic processes that began during the first half of the nineteenth century or earlier, among them economic expansion, urbanization, westward movement of the frontier, and immigration . During the eighteenth century, southern towns, such as Williamsburg and Charleston, competed with northern towns like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia for the attention of visiting English and French musicians. They and the Moravian settlements at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Salem, North Carolina, also produced a limited home-grown art. However , the diminutive size of the towns did not encourage indigenous music. In Virginia, the oldest and most populous of the colonies, no city exceeded a population of four thousand in 1790.1 But the southern towns failed to 1 U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, A Century of Population Growth . . . 1790-1900 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909), p. 12. 325 326FRED BLUM keep pace with northern economic expansion. At the turn of the century maritime commerce shifted from southern to northern ports. By 1829 Charleston, the center of transatlantic shipping in 1815, suffered a seventyfive per cent decrease in tonnage.2 Northern mining, industry, and commerceprovidedasolid baseforthe expandingeconomyandproduced large personal fortunes. Post-Civil War musical enterprises reflected this prosperity. Thus, in 1881, Boston financier Henry L. Higginson set the pattern for the financing of most major American orchestras when he undertook to hire a symphony and to provide one million dollars in principal to meet the projected deficit .3 Shortly thereafter, "fifty gentlemen," including such tycoons as three members of the Armour family, Henry and Marshall Field, C. Norman Fay, Cyrus McCormick, and George M. Pullman guaranteed "$1,000 per annum each for three years against any deficit" resulting from the operations of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.4 Such activity would have been impossible in the South, even if she had kept pace with northern postwar expansion . Consequently, only New Orleans and the border cities of St. Louis, Baltimore, and Louisville resumed musical activity during the 1870*s. Apart from the continuous trends towards economic expansion and northern dominance, temporary financial booms and busts affected musical activity. Booms, whether due to San Francisco's gold, Virginia City's silver, or New York's war-time inflation, meant ready money; and ready money meant gaiety, display, and sumptuous entertainment—in a word, theater and opera. During recessions, however, chamber and choral music dominated . These media were less expensive to maintain and, therefore, less affected by temporary disturbances. For example in San Francisco, "Grand opera presentations held the spotlight during 1854 and until July, 1855. With the financial panic of 1855, opera temporarily disappeared. ... [It] regained its former position in 1858."5 Urbanization took place rapidly during the first half of the century, particularly in the North. In 1790 the Census listed the six largest cities as: Philadelphia, 42,500; New York, 33,000; Boston, 18,000; Charleston, 16,500; Baltimore, 13,500; and Salem, 8000.6 These cities contained less than four per cent of the national population, of which roughly ninety per cent were farmers and fifteen per cent slaves. But by...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 325-337
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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