Timelineexhibitsvoicesactive learningreference room



CURRENT VIEW: BY ERA












































Display Information
Overview:
It was during the second half of the eighteenth century that American music began to be professionalized. These years saw the spread of music publishing, the appearance of subscription concerts, and a proliferation of professional musicians and composers.

The most important American composer of the second half of the eighteenth century was William Billings (1746-1800) of Boston, who published six tunebooks containing more than 340 of his compositions. His New England Psalm-Singer: or American Chorister, published in 1770, was the first psalmbook to consist wholly of original music composed by an American. His 1770 song "Chester," which was, along with "Yankee Doodle," one of the most popular songs of the Revolution, was a forcefull call for resistance against British oppression:

Let tyrants shake their iron rod. And slav'ry clank her galling chains. We fear them not….

Hail Columbia
Listen to this music

Old Oaken Bucket
Listen to this music

Star-Spangled Banner
Listen to this music

Star-Spangled Banner
Listen to this music

Star-Spangled Banner
Listen to this music

Star-Spangled Banner
Listen to this music

Star-Spangled Banner
Listen to this music