Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Carolyn Eastman


This thesis explores the burgeoning musical commerce industry in Williamsburg, Virginia between approximately 1716 to 1775. It especially focuses on the gentrification of this industry and the ways in which elite Virginians made use of music to establish themselves as inheritors of British culture and musical entertainment. A diversity of musical businesses appeared in Williamsburg during the eighteenth century, including instrument sellers, music and dancing teachers, and two theaters utilized by theatrical troupes, to name a few. Drawing on evidence from the Virginia Gazette, as well as journals, letters, playhouse reports, and account books, the thesis concludes that music provided an important means for the formation of an elite colonial identity in a time and place heavily influenced by an American consumer revolution and a desire for refinement.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2013

Included in

History Commons