Sunday, March 30, 2008

Book Review

Music and Musket: Bands and Bandsmen of the Civil War by Kennith Olson

The book Music and Musket by Kennith Olson is a histoy of martial music during the Civil War. It begins with a brief history of martial music in America, as well as the band movement in America. Olsen spends a great deal of time outlining the importance of the bands to the war effort both in terms of propaganda and morale. He also includes a chapter on the instruments used, as well as the music performed. While Olson does describe in great detail the band at Fort Sumpter, he usually tends to stay away from any great detail about specific bands. For this reason I would consider this book a broad overview of the topic of Civil War Bands. If you are looking for information on specific bands, or bandsmen this book would probably not help you very much. However, if you are new to the subject this book would be a great place to start.
-Art Haecker

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