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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

George Nemeth

First Committee Member

Ronald Limbaugh

Second Committee Member

Clayton M. Shotwell


A search of music history texts on American music, such as American Music: A Panorama, by Daniel Kingman, seems to ignore the music of 19th-century California. In Kingman's text, music of the Indians and of mission life is discussed, but music of California and, indeed, much of the western United States is left unexplored. I have found this to be the case in other texts as well. In fact, I have never found a text that discusses or even mentions music of the Gold Rush in California. Two reasons for this omission seem likely: the first is the paucity of information available and the second may be that the authors incorrectly assumed that, because all miners were emigrants, the music would not be original. The area of music I have chosen to discuss was, in fact, unique to the mining country of California in the first decade of the Gold Rush.

It is my hope that this thesis will be the starting point for further research on the music of the Gold Rush.



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