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Pennsylvania Dutch Tune and Chorale Books In The Early Republic: Music as a Medium of Cultural Assimilation

Grimminger, Daniel Jay (2009) Pennsylvania Dutch Tune and Chorale Books In The Early Republic: Music as a Medium of Cultural Assimilation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Pennsylvania Dutch Kirchenleute (Lutheran and Reformed "Church People"), who spoke a dialect of German ("Pennsylvania Dutch"), were the largest ethnic group in early America outside of the English-speaking population. Like all ethnic minorities, they went through a process of change in relationship to the dominant English-speaking society in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This sequential process (i.e., full ethnic retention, adaptation, acculturation, and amalgamation) is reflected in the Pennsylvania Dutch tune and chorale books that supported various stages of this evolution, depending on location and editor. Details of each music publication between the 1790s and 1850 contributed to this change linguistically, theologically, and musicologically through their content and appearance. Books that supported and promoted full ethnic retention retained the German language entirely, had a simple preface outlining the purpose of the book, employed a pure European repertoire, utilized unrealized figured bass or a harmonization on three staves, were printed from engraved or punched plates, and sought to retain German theology from the Reformation era. Some later examples of retention were not produced for ethnic reasons, but for theological reasons that resulted in the retention of traits of European chorale books. Tune books participating in ethnic change moved away from the use of the German language and European repertoire. They employed singing-school introductions and were resultant of the type-set printing process. Assimilating publications embraced revivalist theology and a type of consumerism that made the books and their users look more like their English-language equivalents than their European predecessors. All the while, Pennsylvania Dutch culture and all of its peculiarities were disappearing. This dissertation is a study of Dutch retention and assimilation, analyzing the tune and chorale books in the context of other folklife including visual art, food, manuscripts, and other publications.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Grimminger, Daniel
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoot, Deane
Committee MemberFranklin, Don O
Committee MemberYoder, Don
Committee MemberLewis, Mary
Date: 15 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 March 2009
Approval Date: 15 June 2009
Submission Date: 24 April 2009
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lutheranism; Theology; chorales; Ethnic Assimilation; German; german chorale; Kirchenleute; language conflict; Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Dutch; singing schools; tune books; cultural change; hymnody; Culture
Other ID:, etd-04242009-121447
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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