"Music of an Emerging Nation"

 

Music CD

A selection of historic American music from the period -1751 to 1820.  Carefully researched, arranged and directed by Nikos Pappas, these 25 music selections were recorded for use in "Opening the Door West."

 

Much of this historic music was virtually lost over time and now has been reconstructed and performed for the first time in many, many years.

 

This 62 minute Music CD includes Orchestral, Choral, Fiddle, Native American Indian and African American tradition music.

 

 

 

 

About "Music of an Emerging Nation" as featured in the film "Opening the Door West"

 

by Nikos Pappas, Music Director

 

Music and music making occupied a central place in the lives of all 18th-century Americans, regardless of race and ethnicity. As one of the few universally accepted cultural and social pastimes, music could be heard in the home, the theater, the tavern, and also in areas outside of America’s eastern seaboard. This recording captures both the musical ebullience of a new nation, and the artistic expression of a race in bondage as well as a culture forced into continual exile. While previous recordings of earlier American music have focused more on mainstream culture, Music of an Emerging Nation serves as a soundscape for all people in 18th and early 19th-century America. 

 

Originally compiled for use in the documentary film, Opening the Door West, the pieces featured on this recording have been selected both for their musical quality and their ability to capture every aspect of American music during the Federalist period. The music heard on this recording originates from the Iroquois and Shawnee nations, professional musicians in New York and Philadelphia, collections for amateur and domestic use from New England, and African Americans. In putting together this CD, every effort has been put forth to ensure its authenticity and accurateness in documenting the musical culture of the formative part of our nation’s history.

 

For instance, one of the flutes played by Shawnee musician Butch Shepherd of Parkersburg, West Virginia originally belonged to his grandfather and is made of river cane from the Ohio River. Similarly, the drum heard in the African American pieces is a 19th-century African porter’s drum originating from Tanzania. Finally, the distribution and number of instrumentalists in the orchestra heard on this recording correspond exactly to a period account of the orchestra at the Park Street Theater in New York City for the year 1797, led by James Hewitt, composer of the “Medley Overture” heard on this CD. In short, not only have the instruments been selected for their authenticity, but also the size and combinations of instruments correspond to known ensembles in Federalist America.

 

As Shelburne Films documented the opening of the door west through the exploits of the Ohio Company, the music, whenever possible parallels this exploration of Western culture. The march composed by Harman Blennerhassett was most likely written in ca. 1797-1805 while living on his island estate on the Ohio River. Similarly, the pieces played by the smaller orchestra of string and woodwind instruments, either originated from or were found in an early orchestral manuscript from Tallmadge, Ohio (outside of Akron) ca. 1820. Thus, the CD comprises not only a collection of music embracing various American cultures, but also documents both the early music of the Eastern seacoast and the earliest surviving Western musical documents.

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Music of an Emerging Nation - Audio CD         $16.95
 

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Track List for CD: "Music of an Emerging Nation"
 
  1. “Faederal March” by Alexander Reinagle written for the 4th of July Celebration in Philadelphia, 1788. orch. Nikos Pappas - Orchestra
  2. “Washington’s March” arr. Job Plympton from the mss. collection “Universal Repository of Music,” 1807 – Harmonie wind band
  3. “Green’s March, or March to Boston,” ca. 1777 – Fiddle
  4. “Shawnee Buffalo Song” – Native American tradition
  5. “George Washington’s Funeral March” arr. Job Plympton, 1807 – Harmonie wind band
  6. “The Negroe” from A Choice Collection of 200 Country Dances, Vol. VI, 1751 – African American tradition
  7. “Handel’s Water Piece” arr. Samuel Holyoke from The Instrumental Assistant, 1800 – American consort
  8. “She Rides on Eagle’s Wings” – Native American tradition
  9. “La Rogue” from Plympton mss., 1807 – Fiddle
  10. “Jordan” by William Billings, 1778 – Choir
  11. “La Marselleise” arr. Charles Bronson (?) from a mss. collection from Tallmadge, OH, ca. 1820 – American consort
  12. “Massachusetts March” by Frederick Grainger, ca. 1790, keyboard score appeared in the “Massachusetts Magazine,” 1790; band arrangement in The Instrumental Assistant, 1800 – Harmonie wind band
  13. “Iroquois Social Song No. 1” – Native American tradition
  14. “Iroquois Social Song No. 2” – Native American tradition
  15. “Medley Overture” by James Hewitt. ca. 1793, recon. Nikos Pappas (Only the string parts survive in mss., the wind parts were written to approximate the original instrumentation) – Orchestra
  16. “Marie Antoinette” arr. Plympton, 1807 – Harmonie wind band
  17. “Maryland” by William Billings from Psalm Singer’s Assistant, 1778 – Choir
  18. “Marching Quadrille” transcribed by Samuel P. Bayard from Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife – Fiddle
  19. “Wayne’s March” arr. Holyoke, 1800 – American consort
  20. “Pompey ran away – Negroe Jig” from A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs. Adapted for the Fife, Violin, or German Flute, 1782 – African American tradition
  21. “Roslin Castle” arr. Charles Bronson (?), ca. 1820 – American consort
  22. “Green’s March” arr. Charles Bronson (?), ca. 1820 – American consort
  23. “Spirits in the Mist” – Native American tradition
  24. “Ticonderoga” from Thompson’s Collection of Country Dances, ca. 1780 – Fiddle
  25. “March” by Harman Blennerhassett, ca. 1796-1804, arr. and orch. Nikos Pappas - Orchestra

 

 

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