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Shredr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-18-06 11:08 PM
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Colonial American music?
I'm writing a script that takes place in Colonial Virginia. There is cause for one of the characters to be playing a piano forte. In all the research I have found, I can not find any reference to whether this is approapriate (if anyone in the colonies would have had such an instrument) and what kind of music they would have played.

I have found great information of their work, dress, firearms, food but nothing on any kind of recreation. I know they didn't have much time, but there must have been some music. Does anyone have any ideas>? Or anywhere to point me in the right direction?

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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-17-06 01:17 PM
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1. Try this link --

Here is a quote:

"So what did the women play? A very tight self-regulation of activity in the name of "maintaining reputation" limited musical options for women. Many wealthy women played harpsichords on which they practiced and performed for family and friends. The other instrument of choice for women was what we call today an English guitar, a now extinct 10-string version of a Renaissance cittern with a flat back and a tear-drop shape, tuned to an open C chord, seen in the picture above. The grandmother of our modern guitar was around also, but not as popular; it is called today a Baroque guitar, and it was a small version of a classical guitar with gut strings, frets of gut tied around the neck, and strung as a modern 12-string without the bass E strings, so it was also a 10 stringed instrument. It wasn't until around 1820 that the standard guitar had 6 strings. Women also played harps, but not before the end of the 18th century."
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Sequoia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-20-06 05:08 PM
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2. Sound trac from the PBS series "Liberty"
It even has "The World Turned Upside Down" which was played when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington.
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-11-08 02:22 PM
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3. Here is an idea.
The group Hesperus has recorded the sort of music that would be heard in Colonial America.
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