Political Discourse and American Published Sheet Music: A Commentary of Four Published Works

Crew, Danny Oliver (2014) Political Discourse and American Published Sheet Music: A Commentary of Four Published Works. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this commentary is to discuss the context and theoretical
underpinnings that form the basis of my four publications, and how these works
have made a meaningful contribution to the study of American socio-political
discourse in general, and to the study of American historical music in particular.
The study of American political history has principally focused on traditional
primary and secondary sources for such inquiry: contemporary letters, journals and
diaries, books, official documents, newspapers and other periodicals. One major
primary source that has been largely overlooked is that of published music. Two
factors have precipitated this oversight: historically, traditional musicology ignored
popular music as having no scholarly legitimacy. Secondly, most repository
institutions have ignored, or are unaware of, the historical context and relevance of
socio-political sheet music, cataloging it as a one-dimensional artifact defined
almost exclusively in musical terms such as “vocal,” “instrumental,” or “ballads,”
and not for its historical context and non-musical relevance.
Published music encompasses far more than just notation, structure and form; it
illuminates a plethora of human activity far beyond the composer-listener
archetype: performance, publishing, commercial enterprise, and socio-political
context are only a few of these extra-musical facets of published music that can tell
us not only about the composer and music itself, but also about the society in which
it was created.
It was the purpose of my four published works submitted herewith to begin to
remedy these issues by illuminating a source of contemporary discourse that can
shed a different light on history; a discourse oriented towards the popular masses
rather than the educated elite. These four works broaden contemporary discourse
in American history by providing historians with the knowledge of, and access to,
this vast wealth of untapped resource material.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2016 15:29
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 14:12
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/6581

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