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American Music Timeline

American Music Timeline

Part I: Colonial Music

by David Johnson
1640 1700 1775 1776 Next: 1800s


The Bay Psalm Book, Cambridge, Massachusetts, first book printed in British Colonial America, entire Book of Psalms translated into English meter; indicates dominance of religious music

Circa 1700

Black slaves include songs based on Old Testament stories in their worship services; beginnings of Negro Spirituals

Circa 1775

British soldiers sing "Yankee Doodle" to mock colonists; Americans adopt it as their own tune

Circa 1776

"Johnny's Gone for a Soldier," adaptation of Irish folk tune, popular during American Revolutionary War

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Did you know?
Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day on which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated.