NEH logo
[Return to Query]

Products for Grant HB-50517-15

HB-50517-15
Music and the Performance of Women's Culture in the South, 1840-1870
Candace Bailey, North Carolina Central University

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=HB-50517-15

The Multifaceted Music Career of Sarah Smith in Mid-Nineteenth Century Tennessee (Article)
Title: The Multifaceted Music Career of Sarah Smith in Mid-Nineteenth Century Tennessee
Author: Candace Bailey
Abstract: Modern studies of southern women in the antebellum tend to focus on elite and/or upper-class white women, enslaved women, or free women of color. One demographic that is missing is white women whose circumstances place them in a social class somewhat less lofty than elite or even upper class, but who were what is described as “comfortable.” This is a serious omission in our telling of the story of American music: I have compiled evidence of numerous antebellum white women participating in music as wage-earners and their impact on music throughout the South has yet to be calculated. This essay begins with the founding of the Columbia Female Institute (in Columbia, Tennessee) and the impact of Sarah Smith’s arrival there in 1837. I then examine the dispute that led to Sarah and her husband Franklin’s establishing the Athenaeum in the same town in 1851. In the conclusion I will consider Sarah Smith’s role as a model for others.
Year: 2016
Primary URL Description: forthcoming winter 2017
Access Model: subscription only
Format: Journal
Publisher: Tennessee Historical Quarterley

Binder's Volumes as Musical Commonplace Books: The Transmission of Cultural Codes in the Antebellum South (Article)
Title: Binder's Volumes as Musical Commonplace Books: The Transmission of Cultural Codes in the Antebellum South
Author: Candac Bailey
Abstract: Binder’s volumes are the primary artifacts of antebellum women’s musical culture, and they serve as more than records of popular genres, composers, and styles. They can be interpreted as a type of commonplace book compiled by young women between the ages of about 12 and 15. This study examines the books of three young women from different social positions (Eliza Harwell of Williamsburg, VA; Mary Stedman of Fayetteville, NC; and Kate Berry of Nashville, TN) in order to understand the cultural values that music translated to them: they contain items that serve not only as pieces of music and means to achieve and demonstrate musical accomplishment, but also as visual aids to guide them in deportment, sentiment, and behavior. It also considers the personal notations made by the owners in each collection. These binder’s volumes evince how one is to be viewed, how one is to present herself for the gratification of others, how one is to think or behave, how one moves within desired social circles. These binder’s volumes demonstrate how one is to Perform—whether or not music occurs.
Year: 2015
Primary URL Description: forthcoming November 2016
Access Model: subscription only
Format: Journal
Publisher: Journal of the Society for American Music

Charleston Belles Abroad: The Music Collections of Harriet Lowndes, Henrietta Aiken, and Louisa Rebecca McCord (Book)
Title: Charleston Belles Abroad: The Music Collections of Harriet Lowndes, Henrietta Aiken, and Louisa Rebecca McCord
Author: Candace Bailey
Abstract: Charleston Belles Abroad will examine music collected between about 1820 and 1865. The weight of the book lies in the three central parts that focus on Harriet Lowndes, Henrietta Aiken, and Louisa Rebecca McCord. Each of these women owned multiple bound volumes, which in itself is unusual. Binder’s volumes—bound collections of sheet music—are themselves not unusual and were found in the homes of many women of the middling and upper classes throughout most of the nineteenth century. More striking, however, is the impact of European travel in each woman's collection. This book examines the influence of European music on the collections of three women in antebellum Charleston.
Year: 2016
Primary URL Description: Contracted, due to publisher in Dec. 2016
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Type: Single author monograph
Copy sent to NEH?: No

Women, Music, and the Performance of Gentility in the Mid-Nineteenth Century South (Book)
Title: Women, Music, and the Performance of Gentility in the Mid-Nineteenth Century South
Author: Candace Bailey
Abstract: Women, Music, and the Performance of Gentility in the Mid-Nineteenth Century South examines individual variations expressed through music aimed at a common goal: gentility. Gentility does not belong to a particular class. I contend that genteel culture expands in both directions, from enslaved women of color to the richest daughters of white planters. The binder’s volume (sheet music bound into a single volume, collected before marriage) was a visual symbol of gentility and its chief artifact. Binder’s volumes reveal a much more widespread practice than has been previously acknowledged, encompassing a wide range of social and economic backgrounds from free women of color in Natchez to comparatively poor white women in rural NC to the richest belles in Charleston. The heyday of the binder’s volume, roughly 1835-1880, provides the chronological boundaries for the study. I have uncovered significant data that depicts how women participated in genteel music culture after marriage, an aspect of women’s lives hitherto undocumented. In Women, Music, and the Performance of Gentility, I examine the ways that women performed gentility through music through the Civil War and Reconstruction, periods in which ideas of gentility were in flux.
Year: 2016
Primary URL Description: forthcoming 2017, contracted
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Type: Single author monograph
Copy sent to NEH?: No


Permalink: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/products.aspx?gn=HB-50517-15