I woke up this snowy morning to check my email and sleepily surf through my usual list of journals and sites, and what did I find? An entire issue of the online journal Common-Place devoted to "Music and Meaning in Early America." Exciting! The articles explore a wide range of issues and topics from musical representations of King Philip's War to sacred music and Southern nationalism after the Civil War. (There is also a review of Listening and Longing by historian David W. Stowe). One of the guest editors, Nikos Pappas, explains:
...Rather than trying to define American music according to a narrow understanding and definition, the contributors to this special issue of Common-place explore the multivalent world of British North America and the United States for its first three centuries of existence. They reveal uniquely American trends in music performance, composition, and the climate for musicking, especially in the period predating recorded sound as well as the replication of European practice in the Western Hemisphere and its resonance and use in its new environment. Together, their essays explore the many ways in which music existed in the United States. The result reveals how disparate and quirky American music was in that period.
Have a look, if you get a chance.