As divisive and destructive as the Civil War was, the era nevertheless demonstrated the power that music could play in American culture. Popular songs roused passion on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, and military bands played music to entertain infantry units-and to rally them on to war. The institution of slavery was debated in songs of the day, ranging from abolitionist anthems to racist minstrel shows. Across the larger cultural backdrop, the growth of music publishing led to a flourishing of urban concert music, while folk music became indelibly linked with American populism. This volume, one of the first in the American History through Music series, presents narrative chapters that recount the many vibrant roles of music during this troubled period of American history. A chapter of biographical entries, a dictionary of Civil War era music, and a subject index offer useful reference tools.
The American History through Music series examines the many different styles of music that have played a significant part in our nation's history. While volumes in this series show the multifaceted roles of music in culture, they also use music as a lens through which readers may study American social history. The authors present in-depth analysis of American musical genres, significant musicians, technological innovations, and the many connections between music and the realms of art, politics, and daily life. Chapters present accessible narratives on music and its cultural resonations, music theory and technique is broken down for the lay reader, and each volume presents a chapter of alphabetically arranged entries on significant people and terms.