College singing in American college life
Winstead, James Lloyd
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The singing of college alma maters and fight songs of today owe their beginnings to a rich history of singing in American college life. Singing in American colleges existed from the earliest days of Harvard and Yale and continued with the growth of higher education into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and beyond. Some might not expect singing to have been a part of Puritan structured colonial and academic life, but plenty of evidence exists regarding singing in higher education. Sacred singing, buoyed by Puritan ministers’ demands for improvement, also stimulated secular singing, which mirrored the increasingly diverse intellectual, artistic and social development of the larger American society as the country matured. Within this broader context of American music, American colleges developed their own unique formal and informal singing traditions. While music has many forms and methods of delivery, this historical research primarily focused on instances of singing associated with college life from the founding of Harvard to the publication of the first college song book in 1853 and the first collection of songs of multiple colleges in 1860.