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Dance and Its Music in America, 1528-1789

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1576471272
ISBN-10: 1576471276
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Editorial Reviews


"a very well researched study of dance as a social feature of everyday life, detailing the various European influences, as well as the danced of the Natives and the traditions of the African slaves and how it all came together. ... Fluent and pleasant to read, even for a non-scholar who might be interested in the early history of the USA in general. ... brilliantly investigated, well written ... enjoyable, fascinating reading." Music Web International

"copious illustrations and extended quotations ... brings coherence to a large, complex, and somewhat scattered body of primary sources. ... [A] milestone publication." Notes 64.4 (June 2008)

"It is absolutely fantastic! It really needs to be, at the very least, in every research library in the country. It is a remarkable piece of research that will be used by scholars for decades to come." Thaddeus Russell, historian

"a very useful, thought-provoking resource that will be of interest to the general reader and the specialist alike." Ken Pierce, Early Music America Winter 2008

"A useful tool for research students working in this field"--Dancing Times 99.182 --Dancing Times

About the Author

Kate Van Winkle Keller s interest in colonial dance
and music began just before the Bicentennial of the American
Revolution in 1976. She and her family were living in a ca. 1800
tavern in Coventry, Connecticut that was to be open during the
festivities. Fascinated with the question of what kind of dances
had been held in this beautiful space, she started a life-long quest
to bring early American dances back to life. Supported by grants
from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Connecticut
Commission for the Arts, Country Dance and Song
Society, and the Connecticut Historical Society, she co-directed
several projects including The National Tune Index (published in 1980) and its online
edition, Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589 1839,
and The Performing Arts in Colonial American Newspapers, 1690 1783 (published
in 1997). Looking for the roots often took her to British archives, and she coauthored
The Playford Ball, 103 Early Country Dances 1651 1820 as Interpreted by
Cecil Sharp and His Followers. First published by the Society of Dance History
Scholars in 1990, this now classic book on English country dance is in its third edition.
Choreographer for the film The Last of the Mohicans (20th Century Fox:
1992), she has served as consultant in early dance and music to many performing
organizations and individuals, archivists, collectors, composers and scholars.
A specialist in early American music and dance manuscripts, her bibliographic
studies were published by the Music Library Association and the Country Dance
and Song Society. She was a contributor to the American National Biography, the
Cambridge History of American Music and the Encyclopedia of the North American
Colonies. Her path-breaking work, If the Company can do it! Technique in
Eighteenth-Century American Social Dance, was first presented to the International
Early Dance Institute in 1989 and is still in print.
A graduate of Vassar College (1959), Keller also studied at the Hartford
Conservatory of Music. She was an officer and Executive Director of The Society
for American Music, formerly The Sonneck Society, from 1977 to 2000, representing
the Society at the American Council of Learned Societies and the National
Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage. A tireless worker on behalf of early
American music, she was honored with the Society s Distinguished Service Citation
in 1995 and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. She served as Curator of the
Library and Archives of the Country Dance and Song Society from 1985 to 1992
and made an Honorary Member in 2004. In recognition of her scholarly achievements,
Kate Van Winkle Keller was elected to membership in the American Antiquarian
Society of Worcester, Massachusetts in April 2004 and presently serves on
the AAS Council. With David and Ginger Hildebrand and her husband, Robert,
Ms. Keller has been a partner in The Colonial Music Institute since 1998.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 697 pages
  • Publisher: Pendragon Pr (August 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576471276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576471272
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,316,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Written by music and dance expert Kate Van Winkle Keller, whose many accomplishments include service as choreographer for the film "The Last of the Mohicans", Dance and Its Music in America, 1528-1789 is an in-depth history and analysis of dances and dance music in America during the era of Spanish, French, and English exploration and settlement. Timelines, a scattering of black-and-white illustrations reproducing vintage artworks and handwritten musical scores, bibliographical references and an index enhance this thoughtful city-by-city, region-by-region history. "At some point, the May King took on the name and attributes of a Delaware Indian Chief named Tammany (?1625-?1701). Subject of many myths, Tammany was credited with supernatural exploits and was chosen in the 1770s as the figurehead of May Day ceremonies that combined elements of British May Day and seasonal visiting traditions with Native American references, the patriotic resistance movement, and dancing." A studious and thorough chronicle of early American music and dance, accessible to lay readers and historians alike.
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I cannot imagine a more comprehensive, useful book. Ms. Keller is thorough, interesting, and WELL researched. The book is organized so that it is easy to find the info you want. Definitely worth the hefty price tag if you are interested in the subject. Musicologists may find it less so; the focus is clearly on dance.
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