Richard McNemar, Music, and the Western Shaker Communities: Branches of One Living Tree
Type of Work
Kent State University Press
Kent, OH, USA
The arrival of the Shakers in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana in the decades after 1805 saw a substantial escalation in the movement. In Richard McNemar, Music, and the Western Shaker Communities, Carol Medlicott and Christian Goodwillie reconstruct a vast repository of early Shaker hymns, using them to uncover the dramatic history of Shakerism’s bold expansion to the frontier. With newly discovered tunes for more than one hundred Shaker hymns, this volume illuminates a little-known dimension of American folk hymnody.
Medlicott and Goodwillie paint a rich picture of the Shaker west during its most dynamic years. They probe the hymn texts and use them to illuminate the dramatic events of the Shaker west from its founding through the 1830s. They analyze the collection of hymns and hymn tunes in light of the development of Shaker hymnody by the 1830s and of American folk hymnody in general. A series of carefully researched commentaries is presented alongside the score for each hymn, serving to contextualize them individually. One learns of the hymn’s history, its authorship, and its use among the Shakers, making this exploration an invaluable reference for music historians, students of Shaker history, and students of Ohio cultural history.
Hamilton Office Affiliation
Library and Information Technology Services