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Harmonia Time Capsule: 1776

Let’s take a quick look back in time. We shot an arrow, and it hit the target: 1776 ...a year of news and a year to remember.

TC-1776-declaration

Photo: Casey Hussein Bisson (flickr)

Detail from the original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence.

By far the most newsworthy and downright historic events of the year were related to the American Revolution, which included the drafting, writing, and public reading of the Declaration of Independence (from the British Empire), its ratification by most of the American colonies, and serious military conflict between the colonies and Britain.

Among the many events that strengthened the declaration was the renunciation of allegiance to King George III of Great Britain by Rhode Island, the first colony to do so.

In other American news we go to the wild and undeveloped west coast where Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza sited the Presidio of San Francisco. Originally a military center for the Spanish, the presidio remained an active military installation for over two-hundred years when it was handed over to the National Parks Service in 1989 and turned into a preserve for commercial and public use.

In January of 1776, the famous writer E.T.A Hoffman was born in Germany. His two great adult claims to fame were (1) as inspiration for the hero in Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann” and (2) as author of “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” from which the ballet The Nutcracker is based.

In France, the distinguished composer François Francoeur retired from his court position as “superintendent of chamber music.” At around 79 years of age, you can imagine that he might have been quite ready for retirement after a long and distinguished career as composer of opera and instrumental music.

Music Excerpt

François Francoeur: Sonata XII in E major, II.Courante
Mira Glodeanu & Ensemble Ausonia — Four Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo (Alpha, 2005)
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Additional information about people, music, and events mentioned in this time capsule

Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States Of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments
Benjamin Franklin
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album cover

The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford History of the United States)
Robert Middlekauff
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album cover

Liberty! The American Revolution
PBS DVD Video
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album cover

San Francisco's Presidio
Robert W. Bowen
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album cover

The Best Tales of Hoffmann
E.T.A. Hoffman
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

The Nutcracker
Baryshnikov, Kirkland, Charmoli
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: Complete Opera
Beverly Sills
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

François Francoeur: Sonata XII in E major, II.Courante
Mira Glodeanu & Ensemble Ausonia — Four Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo (Alpha, 2005)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States Of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments
Benjamin Franklin
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford History of the United States)
Robert Middlekauff
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Liberty! The American Revolution
PBS DVD Video
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
San Francisco's Presidio
Robert W. Bowen
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Best Tales of Hoffmann
E.T.A. Hoffman
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Nutcracker
Baryshnikov, Kirkland, Charmoli
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: Complete Opera
Beverly Sills
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Harmonia Early Music

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

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