Sound in Early America
Listening to the past opens our ears to the sounds that animated early America. Using written sources and objects this exhibit traces the rhythms and pitches that reverberate through the collection at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. Children’s songs and fragments of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite violin composer add sound to images of elite parlor culture. A civil war valentine in the form of a song and a narrative of an enslaved woman who reminds her readers not to be lulled into assuming that singing implies happiness sensitizes our ears to racial difference. An 1893 World’s Fair description of a so-called “cannibalism dance” and a 1786 transcription of a Cherokee song makes audible the western appropriations of non-Western sounds.
This exhibit is curated by Dr. Bonnie Gordon, Music Department graduate students Amy Coddington, Stephanie Doktor, Emily Gale, Courtney Kleftis, and Gretchen Michelson, and Music Library Assistant Winston Barham.
The Sound in Early America exhibit opens on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 and runs through August 20, 2012. There will be a reception on Monday, March 26, 2012 that is free and open to the public, at 5 pm in the Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library (First Floor, Lower Gallery).
The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collection Library is #19 on the UVA Central Grounds map
A collaboration between The Jefferson Trust, an initiative of the Alumni Association; the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library; and the McIntire Department of Music and the UVA Music Library in conjunction with the Soundscapes of Jefferson's America Symposium.