The introduction outlines why Americans turned to music for political expression in the early republic and how music shaped Americans’ visions of the nation through performance, imagination, and print. It situates Americans’ use of music for political expression in long-established and transatlantic practices, including those used in Britain and before and during the Revolutionary War. It introduces the wide range of Americans who created, circulated, interpreted, and performed political music in the early nation. The introduction surveys the types of sources that circulated this music and the musical genres that were commonly used. Chapter summaries and the challenges of studying this music are included.
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