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Life in Nineteenth-Century Ohio
Temperance | Parlor Music | Minstrel Songs
Changes in religious life paralleled the changes in family life. Between 1776 and 1820 American religion changed from a hierarchically-run to a participant-run activity with revivals and competition among denominations. The Puritans' inscrutable, angry God was replaced by a loving, comforting Jesus. The sacred songs of the time reflect these changes as they address human emotion rather than religious doctrine. The Concordia, compiled by the Reverend Augustus Dameron Fillmore (1823-1870), contains several excellent examples of this shift.
In The Concordia, Fillmore offers several of his own rustic musical compositions that suggest a self-taught evangelistic musician rather than a polished musical academician. He provided musical settings for both well-known hymn texts and his own original poems. Among his own more bucolic and individualistic musical settings, he also included numerous relatively refined pieces such as "Ives."
The Concordia is also an excellent example of early hymnals which included musical notation. This was a departure from hymnals of the period which only gave the lyrics and meters. Fillmore’s hymnals actually notated the music so the words and music were together in the form that is now most widely used. Although he was probably not the first to do this, this feature certainly helped popularize his hymnals.
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"Hymnals of the Stone-Campbell Movement" (Enos E. Dowling Hymnal Collection, Jessie C. Eury Library, Lincoln Christian College and Seminary)