1860's Music During The American Civil War

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Music has always been an important factor in history. From the court composers of the Renaissance and Baroque style periods, to the party music of today, music has provided an outlet for stress relief, and expression, for countless numbers of people. Music carries with it, the feeling of those both writing and performing it, and is one of the best ways to truly understand what the people of time period are feeling. One fascinating musical time period we can examine is the 1860's, or the time of the American Civil War. Music played a major role in the war, and through studying the types of instruments the military used, their uses of music, and the lyrics and composition of the songs of this time period, one can gain a greater appreciation,…show more content…
Of course music was used for recreational purposes, but it was also used for very practical things as well. Most commonly it would be used to boost the morale of the troops, give orders on the battlefield, help recruit soldiers to fight in the army, and give daily instruction in the camps. The most used instrument by far, however, were the drums. The drums would give the men battle signals like when to fire their guns, or when to reload. The drums gave out marching commands, and were played at the various role calls throughout the day. The use of drums was mainly pertained to the infantry though. Other units used different instruments to give their signals and commands, “While drums were very important to the infantry, the cavalry and artillery relied on buglers instead of drums for their orders” (Civil War Music /civil-war-music.html). Music was also more prominent in the Union rather than the Confederacy. According to an article on civil war academy, “The Confederate armies had fewer bands then the Union armies. This was because there were not enough musicians in the South. Also instruments were very hard to obtain” (Brass Band /brass-band.html). The Confederate were not able to obtain the instruments, because most instruments also happened to be made in the north. Therefore, the instrumentsns that the south did get ahold of, were mostly taken from Union troops. Another interesting fact about the military bands, is that during the winter, in 1862, when the armies were camped out near each other, the bands played against one another in a sort of battle of the bands. They battled in a sotr of call and response way, in which the Union band would play a song, and then the Confederate band would attempt to play it back. The article “Civil War Music History and Songs” says that, “The duel finally ended when both bands

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