MYRON GRAY The United States is not the first place where one expects to find musical tributes to deposed monarchs at the end of the eighteenth century. The American Revolution had overturned a royal administration, resulting in the first modern republic and offering a precedent to leaders of the French Revolution. Moreover, the federal era is known as a time of consolidation, when an antimonarchical national identity strengthened throughout the colonies turned states. It might seem strange that music lamenting the fall of the Old Regime found an audience in postrevolutionary America, but songs entitled "Captivity," "Louis the Sixteenth's Lamentation," and "Maria Antoinette's Complaint"--all sympathetic portrayals of the demise of the French king and queen--circulated in Philadelphia between 1793 and 1800. In part this phenomenon is attributable to the popularity of English music in American cities during the late eighteenth century--all of the above titles were reprints of London editions.1 But even so, it is hard to reconcile such a trend with the emergence of an American national consciousness. Further complicating mats is the existence of American-published royalist songs. One such work, Myron Gray teaches music history at Haverford College and Westmins Choir College of Rider University. A
American Music – University of Illinois Press
Published: Jan 14, 2015
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