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How Shall We Sing in a Foreign Land?: Music of Irish-Catholic Immigrants in the Antebellum United States cover
  • ISBN: 9780268011109
  • ISBN10: 0268011109

How Shall We Sing in a Foreign Land?: Music of Irish-Catholic Immigrants in the Antebellum United States

by Grimes, Robert R.

  • List Price: $32.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2003
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Description
In this important contribution to the history of American Catholicism and to neglected aspects of ethnomusicology, Robert R. Grimes, S.J., documents for the first time the musical repertory and practice of the urban Irish in America, focusing on Catholic parishes and affiliated organizations between 1830 and 1860. Catholic parishes became the religious, educational, and musical center of Irish immigrant life during this period when the Irish were the largest single immigrant group entering the United States. Grimes begins this fascinating study by providing an overview of the social and economic issues that isolated Irish immigrants from mainstream American life. He then analyzes the descriptions of musical life in antebellum America that appear in newspapers and journals of the time, suggesting that the Transcendental and Unitarian movements, Romanticism, and Nativism influenced reporting on the musical life of Irish Catholic immigrants. The book examines the musical changes that took place among the Catholic communities of Boston during the 1830s and then focuses on the twenty years immediately prior to the onset of the Civil War, examining three different aspects of the Irish immigrant musical repertory: canonical music of ritual, popular music of ritual, and music of popular ritual. Grimes concludes by examining the larger musical trends and preferences that the documented repertory displays, relating the musical life of the Irish immigrant to the wider American musical life of both the antebellum and post-Civil War years.
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