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Lost Music of Early America: Music of the Moravians ()

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As they become acquainted with the musical history of early America, listeners seem to gravitate toward works that diverge from European models. William Billings showed up on Mormon Tabernacle Choir albums, and choirs of all kinds sing his music enthusiastically, while Alexander Reinagle is dutifully mentioned in textbooks but otherwise pretty much forgotten, even though no less a figure than George Washington championed him. The music of the Moravians, a German religious group that flourished (and continues to flourish, also known as the Unity of the Brethren) in an inland Eastern zone running from North Carolina northward, has likewise been neglected, even though Benjamin Franklin, who was in a position to know, characterized it as the most accomplished in all the colonies. Some of it is in German, but not all, so the language barrier can be only a partial explanation. The corpus of Moravian music in the U.S. is large, numbering some 10,000 compositions, but only a handful have ever been... Hide synopsis

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