Moravian Soundscapes: A Sonic History of the Moravian Missions in Early Pennsylvania

Moravian Soundscapes: A Sonic History of the Moravian Missions in Early Pennsylvania

by Sarah Justina Eyerly

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Overview

In Moravian Soundscapes, Sarah Eyerly contends that the study of sound is integral to understanding the interactions between German Moravian missionaries and Native communities in early Pennsylvania. In the mid-18th century, when the frontier between settler and Native communities was a shifting spatial and cultural borderland, sound mattered. People listened carefully to each other and the world around them. In Moravian communities, cultures of hearing and listening encompassed and also superseded musical traditions such as song and hymnody. Complex biophonic, geophonic, and anthrophonic acoustic environments—or soundscapes—characterized daily life in Moravian settlements such as Bethlehem, Nain, Gnadenhütten, and Friedenshütten. Through detailed analyses and historically informed recreations of Moravian communal, environmental, and religious soundscapes and their attendant hymn traditions, Moravian Soundscapes explores how sounds—musical and nonmusical, human and nonhuman—shaped the Moravians' religious culture. Combined with access to an interactive website that immerses the reader in mid-18th century Pennsylvania, and framed with an autobiographical narrative, Moravian Soundscapes recovers the roles of sound and music in Moravian communities and provides a road map for similar studies of other places and religious traditions in the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253047694
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 05/05/2020
Series: Music, Nature, Place
Pages: 290
Sales rank: 818,397
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sarah Eyerly is Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of the Early Music Program at the Florida State University.

Table of Contents

About the Companion Website
Acknowledgments
Note on Naming, Terminology, and Archival Sources
Prologue: The Pennsylvania Wilds
Introduction: Sounding New Histories of the Moravian Missions
Peale
1 Penn's Woods
Bethlehem
2 Friends & Strangers
Herrnhut
3 Sound & Spirit
Moravian Run
4 1782
Epilogue: Petquotting
Glossary: A Moravian Vocabulary
Bibliography
Index

What People are Saying About This

"Eyerly accomplishes what few scholars thought possible—creating a 'sonic link' to early America and transporting us into the sensory and spiritual world that German-speaking Moravian missionaries and Native American Christians built and inhabited for a brief time in mid-eighteenth century Pennsylvania. Entering through the portal of her personal connections to this historical aural landscape, Eyerly's marvelous book and its compendium website transform readers into imaginative witnesses and embody a lost knowledge through digital methods, painstaking research, and a sensitive rendering of a place and time full of violence and hope. Moravian Soundscapes is an intellectual, auditory, and emotional revelation. "

John Demos

Moravian Soundscapes is a fresh, new kind of history, combining painstaking research, imaginative reconstruction, and technological wizardry. Eyerly's approach to acoustic ecology brings the reader much closer to the historical actors than I had thought possible. Her writing throughout is beautiful, as she weaves her personal story of family and place into her historical narrative, making a persuasive case for history writing as an interactive endeavor.

Olivia Bloechl]]>

Moravian Soundscapes is an important contribution to our understanding of the musical dimension of European religious subcultures in colonial-era North America. . . . Eyerly positions Moravian song and sound at the center of this history and shows how its creators used it to impose order on their social and natural worlds.

Glenda Goodman

Moravian Soundscapes brings a compelling and necessary new approach to the study of music, sound, space, and colonial encounter in early America. Combining historical research, sound mapping, and autobiographical reflection, Eyerly reveals the way in which listening and singing were integral to European and Native Moravians' understanding of their environments, experiences of faith, and construction of community. In doing so, she offers an intimate exploration of how family, place, and music intertwine.

Daniel K. Richter]]>

"Part personal memoir, mostly deep immersion in the eighteenth-century landscapes where European and Native American ways of being briefly came together, Moravian Soundscapes is a major achievement. With its accompanying website, it comes as close as anyone ever has to re-creating a lost sensory world—and to showing why such a re-creation matters in our own time."

Katherine Faull

Beautifully written and expertly researched, this remarkable volume with its companion digital components will change the way in which the eighteenth-century landscapes of North America's mid-Atlantic are navigated historically, acoustically, and experientially. Through listening to the sounds of history and ethically reconstructing those traces of past acoustic experience, Sarah Eyerly redirects the conversation about Native American and European cultural and linguistic encounter, the consequences of settler colonialism, and religious experience. A must-read for Moravian scholars and musicologists alike! 

Katherine Faull]]>

Beautifully written and expertly researched, this remarkable volume with its companion digital components will change the way in which the eighteenth-century landscapes of North America's mid-Atlantic are navigated historically, acoustically, and experientially. Through listening to the sounds of history and ethically reconstructing those traces of past acoustic experience, Sarah Eyerly redirects the conversation about Native American and European cultural and linguistic encounter, the consequences of settler colonialism, and religious experience. A must-read for Moravian scholars and musicologists alike! 

Patrick Erben]]>

Eyerly accomplishes what few scholars thought possible—creating a 'sonic link' to early America and transporting us into the sensory and spiritual world that German-speaking Moravian missionaries and Native American Christians built and inhabited for a brief time in mid-eighteenth century Pennsylvania. Entering through the portal of her personal connections to this historical aural landscape, Eyerly's marvelous book and its compendium website transform readers into imaginative witnesses and embody a lost knowledge through digital methods, painstaking research, and a sensitive rendering of a place and time full of violence and hope. Moravian Soundscapes is an intellectual, auditory, and emotional revelation. 

Glenda Goodman]]>

Moravian Soundscapes brings a compelling and necessary new approach to the study of music, sound, space, and colonial encounter in early America. Combining historical research, sound mapping, and autobiographical reflection, Eyerly reveals the way in which listening and singing were integral to European and Native Moravians' understanding of their environments, experiences of faith, and construction of community. In doing so, she offers an intimate exploration of how family, place, and music intertwine.

Daniel K. Richter

"Part personal memoir, mostly deep immersion in the eighteenth-century landscapes where European and Native American ways of being briefly came together, Moravian Soundscapes is a major achievement. With its accompanying website, it comes as close as anyone ever has to re-creating a lost sensory world—and to showing why such a re-creation matters in our own time."

Rachel Wheeler

Eyerly's Moravian Soundscapes is a stunning achievement that deftly crosses disciplinary boundaries to offer a compellingly immersive journey into eighteenth century Moravian communities as experienced by German and Native peoples. Woven throughout is Eyerly's own family story, which reminds readers that all history writing gains its fuel in our own more recent pasts.

John Demos]]>

Moravian Soundscapes is a fresh, new kind of history, combining painstaking research, imaginative reconstruction, and technological wizardry. Eyerly's approach to acoustic ecology brings the reader much closer to the historical actors than I had thought possible. Her writing throughout is beautiful, as she weaves her personal story of family and place into her historical narrative, making a persuasive case for history writing as an interactive endeavor.

Patrick Erben

Eyerly accomplishes what few scholars thought possible—creating a 'sonic link' to early America and transporting us into the sensory and spiritual world that German-speaking Moravian missionaries and Native American Christians built and inhabited for a brief time in mid-eighteenth century Pennsylvania. Entering through the portal of her personal connections to this historical aural landscape, Eyerly's marvelous book and its compendium website transform readers into imaginative witnesses and embody a lost knowledge through digital methods, painstaking research, and a sensitive rendering of a place and time full of violence and hope. Moravian Soundscapes is an intellectual, auditory, and emotional revelation. 

Olivia Bloechl

Moravian Soundscapes is an important contribution to our understanding of the musical dimension of European religious subcultures in colonial-era North America. . . . Eyerly positions Moravian song and sound at the center of this history and shows how its creators used it to impose order on their social and natural worlds.

Rachel Wheeler]]>

Eyerly's Moravian Soundscapes is a stunning achievement that deftly crosses disciplinary boundaries to offer a compellingly immersive journey into eighteenth century Moravian communities as experienced by German and Native peoples. Woven throughout is Eyerly's own family story, which reminds readers that all history writing gains its fuel in our own more recent pasts.

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