Music and Spectacle: A Visual Representation of Sound in the Context of War

Document Type

Digital Project

Date of Creation

Spring 2019

Department 1

Conservatory of Music


What is the relationship between music—jazz, popular, and art music—and spectacle on the global stage? During Spring 2019, the capstone musicology seminar (MUS_CLAS 442) at Gettysburg College’s Sunderman Conservatory set out to explore this guiding question at three critical political junctures: The Chicago World’s Exposition (1893), World War I and its aftermath (1914-1919), and World War II. With support of a grant from the College’s Johnson Center for Creative Teaching and Learning, we engaged digital literacy to add relevance to our research and communication, with an eye toward transferable skills for the future.

This project is dedicated to the intrepid students, alongside whom I learned, and to a fabulous team of librarians and archivists: Clint Baugess (Research and Instruction Librarian), R.C. Miessler (Systems Librarian), and Carolyn Sautter (Director of Special Collections), and Emma Lewis (Digital Scholarship Fellow, '20). Carolyn assembled sheet music representing 1914-1919 from Gettysburg College’s Special Collections. Students adopted a piece of sheet music from which they created a microhistory, supported by Clint’s expertise in assembling historical resources. Finally, as you see here, under the guidance of R.C., we contextualized the sheet music using TimelineJS and annotated the sheet music covers with StoryMapJS. By looking to different times and contexts, what might you learn about spectacle today, from reality shows to social media? Join us and see!


This project was developed for MUS_CLAS 442: Musicology Analysis Seminar.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.