They Came To Sing, Music in the Colonies (James M. Volo) pdf, epub, doc

When reading the common histories of colonial North America the impression is often made that the emigrants of the 17th century detested not only the religious, political, and economic practices found in Europe but also its musical culture. A fair observer can only wonder at the hidden motives that prompted the antiquarian catalogers of colonial events to postulate that those who came to American shores seeking liberty—out of all the millions of music lovers who inhabited Europe—were just those few thousand dower beings that had no music in their souls. This simply was not the case.
There is a great need for a history of the role of music in colonial America. It is a peculiar characteristic of American musical history, however, that its early musicians and composers suddenly and mysteriously appeared on the horizon and disappeared again leaving either no clue whatsoever to their antecedents or allowing the inquisitive historian only momentary and fleeting glimpses into the different periods of their lives and activities.
This work is a general history of the English colonies. Rather than torture chronology, the selection is generally divided by topic. The purpose of this book is to relieve the reader, and those interested in the general history of music in colonial America, of many of the misconceptions surrounding the topic. The author is a widely published historian of daily life and a physics professor for more than four decades with a curiosity concerning the science of acoustics: tonality, vibrations, sound, and especially (like many physicists) violins, pipe organs, and tuning forks. Hence, the unusual dual interest in the physics of music and American colonial culture.

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