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Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War by Mary A. DeCredico (review)

Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War by Mary A. DeCredico (review) There are times when this study would have benefited from more musi - cal details. For example, Coleman sometimes slips into the practice of the time and uses the word ‘song’ to refer to a melody, lyric, or combination of the two. This can blur the potential tension between the musical (and political) baggage of a preexisting tune and any new words added later. Additionally, a look at concert programming by musical societies would have been useful, as the choice of repertoire can indicate social and politi- cal leanings. There are a few other issues that might have been addressed in more detail, such as the role of abolition songs in partisan politics or musical politics anywhere other than in northeastern urban centers. And though women were denied the right to vote, by 1850 much of the pub- lished song literature was geared toward domestic consumption. How did political songwriters handle this dilemma? These minor observations in no way diminish the value of Coleman’s work. Indeed, his tightly focused approach confirms that political manip - ulation is found in music’s use as much as in a song’s lyric or melody. Harnessing Harmony is well written and moves at a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War by Mary A. DeCredico (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 11 (3) – Sep 1, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

There are times when this study would have benefited from more musi - cal details. For example, Coleman sometimes slips into the practice of the time and uses the word ‘song’ to refer to a melody, lyric, or combination of the two. This can blur the potential tension between the musical (and political) baggage of a preexisting tune and any new words added later. Additionally, a look at concert programming by musical societies would have been useful, as the choice of repertoire can indicate social and politi- cal leanings. There are a few other issues that might have been addressed in more detail, such as the role of abolition songs in partisan politics or musical politics anywhere other than in northeastern urban centers. And though women were denied the right to vote, by 1850 much of the pub- lished song literature was geared toward domestic consumption. How did political songwriters handle this dilemma? These minor observations in no way diminish the value of Coleman’s work. Indeed, his tightly focused approach confirms that political manip - ulation is found in music’s use as much as in a song’s lyric or melody. Harnessing Harmony is well written and moves at a

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Sep 1, 2021

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