Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2003


Drawing on a community study of musicians from Mount Vernon, Ohio, I examine the interpenetration of regional and national musical cultures by examining the repertoires and life histories of Dan Emmett, founder of the first professional blackface minstrel troupe in 1843; the Snowden Family Band, African American stringband musicians who performed in the 1850s through 1920; and John Baltzell, a champion fiddler of the 1920s. Instead of viewing national trends as destructive of regionality, I propose that artists are (and were) selective, active participants in the process of forming repertoire and style. Community-based musicians respond to a variety of national musical influences while maintaining a continuing attachment to locality.



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