Salem Musick

Or How the Puritans Boogied Down, Down, Down Derry Down

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Further Reading

Material in this performance is based on several sources. In Builders of the Mass Bay Colony (Princeton, N.J., 1934), Samuel Eliot Morison was one of the first modern historians to attempt to paint a kinder, gentler picture of the Puritans. Percy A. Scholes’ thorough and persuasive book The Puritans and Music in England and New England (London, 1934) remains invaluable. Music historians Barbara Lambert, Joy Van Kleef, and Kate Van Winkle Keller expand upon Scholes’ work with their lively and well researched contributions to the subject in the massive collection of articles in Music in Colonial Massachusetts 1630-1820, Vols. I and II (Boston, 1980). Also extremely useful is Bruce C. Daniels’ Puritans at Play-Leisure and Recreation in Colonial New England (New York, 1995). Also see William Wells Newell’s Games and Songs of American Children (New York, 1883). Lastly, I highly recommend J.A. Leo Lemay’s New England’s Annoyances-America’s First Folk Song (Newark, Delaware, 1985).


This article originally appeared in issue 13.2 (Winter, 2013).

Larry Young is a performer who has long been fascinated with the music of colonial America. He pursued music at Dartmouth College where he studied music history with Charles Hamm and violin with Andrew Jennings. He is passionate about bringing history to life with his costumed performances of period music, for which he has appeared on PBS. He has published two CDs, Lovely Nancy and Other Popular Musick of 18th Century America and Salem’s Musick: Songs and Dances of the Puritan. He maintains the website www.historicfiddler.com.

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