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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31695

Title: Music and the Making of a Civilized Society: Musical Life in Pre-Confederation Nova Scotia, 1815-1867
Authors: Boyd, Michelle
Advisor: Elliott, Robin
Department: Music
Keywords: 19th-century music
Nova Scotia history 19th-century
transatlantic music studies
Maritime history 19th-century
amateur music 19th-century
Canada music history
music social aspects 19th-century
wind bands 19th-century
sheet music publishing 19th-century
piano building 19th-century
music in rural communities
community music
music and society 19th-century
Halifax, Nova Scotia
concert life in 19th-century North America
choral societies 19th-century
piano trade 19th-century
music trade 19th-century
music profession 19th-century
Nova Scotia music
music and character
music and progress
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2012
Abstract: The years 1815 to 1867 marked the first protracted period of peace in Nova Scotia’s colonial history. While the immediate effects of peace were nearly disastrous, these years ultimately marked a formative period for the province. By the eve of Confederation, various social, cultural, political, economic, and technological developments had enabled Nova Scotia to become a mature province with a distinct identity. One of the manifestations of this era of community formation was the emergence of a cosmopolitan-oriented music culture. Although Atlantic trade routes ensured that Nova Scotia was never isolated, the colonial progress of the pre-Confederation era reinforced and entrenched Nova Scotia’s membership within the Atlantic World. The same trade routes that brought imported goods to the province also introduced Nova Scotians to British and American culture. Immigration, importation, and developments to transportation and communication systems strengthened Nova Scotia’s connections to its cultural arbiters – and made possible the importation and naturalization of metropolitan music practices. This dissertation examines the processes of cultural exchange operating between Nova Scotia and the rest of the Atlantic World, and the resultant musical life to which they gave rise. The topic of music-making in nineteenth-century Nova Scotia has seldom been addressed, so one of the immediate aims of my research is to document an important but little-known aspect of the province’s cultural history. In doing so, I situate Nova Scotia’s musical life within a transatlantic context and provide a lens through which to view Nova Scotia’s connectivity to a vast network of culture and ideas. After establishing and contextualizing the musical practices introduced to Nova Scotia by a diverse group of musicians and entrepreneurs, I explore how this imported music culture was both a response to and an agent of the formative developments of the pre-Confederation era. I argue that, as Nova Scotia joined the Victorian march of progress, its musicians, music institutions, and music-making were among the many socio-cultural forces that helped to transform a colonial backwater into the civilized province that on 1 July 1867 joined the new nation of Canada.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31695
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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