Music of the Civil War Essay examples

736 Words Jun 15th, 2005 3 Pages
The War Between the States was complex. If you wish to understand the events, you should refer to a textbook. Music of the time, however, helps us delve into people's thoughts and opinions on the war, slavery, and many other important issues in our country's history. Prior to the civil war, American music followed its European roots. During the civil war, American music began to develop in its own way, largely influenced by the music of the African-Americans. The war produced many well-known songs. These songs were important in their time and they are still known to many people today.

Music was important to the Union and also to the Confederacy. The troops sang on battlefields, around campfires and while marching. They sang to
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Northerner, George Root, wrote a famous rallying song called the "Battle Cry Of Freedom". The song was about the flag, which was a very important symbol at the time. There are many legends about this song and its influence on the troops of the union army. The song was extremely popular throughout the war. It ended up being parodied in the south. Both sides used the song as a marching song.

The most popular marching song of the Union troops was "John Brown's Body Lies a Mould' ring in the Grave." written by Thomas Bishop. Abolitionist, Julia Ward Howe, who wrote words to the tune and made it into "The Battle Hymn of The Republic", heard this song. The song has become one of the most well known of patriotic songs.

Another popular song was "Dixie's Land". It was a northern minstrel song, which caught on in the south. The writer of the piece, Daniel Emmett, was upset when it was used during the inauguration of the southern president Jefferson Davis. You can infer from this that everyone liked the same type of music and the two sides were not very different deep down.

For the recordings that I made to accompany this paper I chose "John Brown's Body" and "Dixie's Land". We used instruments that would have been used during the Civil War to play the songs- banjo, guitar and mandolin. At the Gettysburg museum I saw the guitars that soldiers carried to the war. They were small, parlor

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