Our five-episode series about music in early America continues in this fourth episode about music and politics in the early United States.
Billy Coleman, an Assistant Teaching Professor of History at the University of Missouri and author of the book Harnessing Harmony: Music, Power, and Politics in the United States, 1788-1865, joins us to investigate the role music played in early American politics.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Billy Coleman is an Assistant Teaching Professor of History at the University of Missouri Honors College and at the Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri. He’s also the author of Harnessing Harmony: Music, Power, and Politics in the United States, 1788-1865. Billy joins us to investigate the role music played in early American politics.
As we continue our exploration of the musical landscapes of the early United States, Billy reveals the popularity of music in early America and the desire of early Americans to create new songs; Information about how early Americans wrote songs to circulate ideas about politics in the early republic, And a brief history of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the National Anthem of the United States.
What You’ll Discover
- Popular music in the early American Republic
- How early Americans figured out melodies for songs
- The role of newspapers in circulating popular music to early Americans
- Popular musical instruments in the early republic
- Music as a form of political expression
- Who wrote political songs in the early United States
- Political partisanship, as seen in early American songs
- Joseph Hopkinson and the origins of “Hail, Columbia!”
- Francis Scott Key and the origins of the “Star Spangled Banner”
- Role of churches in musical education
- Singing schools in the early republic
- Social aspects of music lessons in the early United States
- The rise of musical societies and clubs in the early republic
- The importance of music in everyday life
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Billy Coleman
- Harnessing Harmony: Music, Power, and Politics in the United States, 1788-1865
- Soundtrack to Harnessing Harmony
- The President’s Own United States Marine Corps Band, “Hail, Columbia!”
- United States Marine Corp Master Gunnery Sgt. Peter Wilson, “The Star Spangled Banner”
- Billy Coleman & Running Notch, “Hail, Columbia”
- Library of Congress, “Hail Columbia”
- Library of Congress, “Star-Spangled Banner”
Join Us!! Become a Ben Franklin’s World Member. Subscribe and help us bring history right to your ears!
- Episode 207: Nick Bunker, Young Benjamin Franklin
- Episode 227: Kyle Courtney, Copyright & Fair Use in Early America
- Episode 243: Joseph Adelman, Revolutionary Print Networks
- Episode 343: Chad Hamill, Music and Song in Native North America
- Episode 344: David Hildebrand, Music in British North America
- Episode 345: Glenda Goodman, Amateur Musicians in the Early United States
In your opinion, how do you think United States culture and politics would have developed if music hadn’t existed in the early Republic or early Americans hadn't been that interested in music?
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