Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era

Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era

Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era

Bugle Resounding: Music and Musicians of the Civil War Era

Synopsis

In the mid-nineteenth century the United States was musically vibrant. Rising industrialization, a growing middle class, and increasing concern for the founding of American centers of art created a culture that was rich in musical capital. Beyond its importance to the people who created and played it is the fact that this music still influences our culture today. Although numerous academic resources examine the music and musicians of the Civil War era, the research is spread across a variety of disciplines and is found in a wide array of scholarly journals, books, and papers. It is difficult to assimilate this diverse body of research, and few sources are dedicated solely to a rigorous and comprehensive investigation of the music and the musicians of this era. This anthology, which grew out of the first two National Conferences on Music of the Civil War Era, is an initial attempt to address that need. Those conferences established the first academic setting solely devoted to exploring the effects of the Civil War on music and musicians. Bridging musicology and history, these essays represent the forefront of scholarship in music of the Civil War era. Each one makes a significant contribution to research in the music of this era and will ultimately encourage more interdisciplinary research on a subject that has relevance both for its own time and for ours. The result is a readable, understandable volume on one of the few understudied-yet fascinating-aspects of the Civil War era.

Excerpt

On January 1, 1863, Bugler Charles Reed of the Ninth Massachusetts Battery wrote in a letter to his mother, “I … made these old Virginia hills echo and resound with my good bugle.” The title of this work, Bugle Resounding, harkens back to that moment but also looks forward to what we hope will be a new era in research on music of the Civil War period. This volume is an outgrowth of the 2001 and 2002 National Conference on Music of the Civil War Era. These colloquiums were conceived by the editors of this book and were sponsored in part by the Department of Music at Shepherd University (then Shepherd College) and by the university's George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, and in part through the generosity of numerous private donors, and through grants by the West Virginia Humanities Council and by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association. In addition to the presentation of papers, the conferences also featured concerts, exhibits, and workshops. These conferences established, for the first time, an academic setting solely devoted to exploring the effects of the Civil War on music and musicians.

The United States in the mid-nineteenth century was musically vibrant. Rising industrialization, a growing middle class, and increasing concern for the founding (and funding) of American centers of art created a culture that was rich in musical capital. The importance of music to Americans of this period can be documented to some extent through piano production figures, participation trends in community bands and choirs, sales of sheet music, and the like. Some measure of American society's devotion to music can also be gleaned through a cursory glance at the letters, diaries, and memoirs of those

1. Eric A. Campbell, ed., “A Grand Terrible Dramma”: From Gettysburg to Peters
burg: The Civil War Letters of Charles Wellington Reed
(New York: Fordham Uni
versity Press, 2000), 63.

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