Master of Arts (M.A.)
Mary Lynn Weiss
This thesis consists of two separate essays both concerned with affect, memory, and music of the Civil War. The first examines the production, use, and purpose of a booklet called The Soldier’s Friend, with an emphasis on the mission of its producer, the United States Sanitary Commission and the needs of the readers of the booklet. In addition, I highlight the explicit connections that the organization made in this document between health and music by bringing cultural and psychological theories to the study of music. While many scholars have emphasized the ubiquity and importance of music during the War (and during the greater nineteenth century), a thorough discussion of the importance of songsters is mostly missing from the narrative. My paper ultimately provides an initial insight into the prominence of songsters in American culture by tying together methods from multiple disciplines. In my second essay, I argue that Max Steiner’s film score in Gone with the Wind aids Rhett Butler’s transition from a renegade man to a southern gentleman. His transformation carries with it messages and memories of the Lost Cause, most notably through Civil War melodies. Ultimately, I conclude that affect, music, and memory are intricately tied in the production of and actualization of southern, white, masculinity.
© The Author
Weinberg, Ari Marie, "Songsters and Film Scores: Civil War Music and American Memory" (2017). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1516639562.