Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Pleyel's Hymns Across the Atlantic: Migration, Travel, and American Psalmody Reform in the Early Nineteenth Century

In the decades following the American Revolution, a generation of New England intellectuals and musicians attempted to reform American hymnody from its lively, William Billings-derived native style to a more deliberate, Old World solemnity. This Ancient Music movement proposed to return American psalmody to its European origins, but its participants also imported recently composed tunes, including two hymns by Ignace Pleyel. This thesis discusses how these Pleyel hymns--one brought to the United States via the emigration of the Carr family of publishers from England, and the other through the European travels of Boston reverend Joseph Stevens Buckminster--intersected with psalmody reform at the turn of the nineteenth century. In tracing the dissemination of Pleyel's hymns, I show how transatlantic developments in Britain and the United States fundamentally altered the direction of American hymnody.