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Thomas Jefferson and Music (front cover)


Thomas Jefferson and Music by Helen Cripe, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, 2009, 160 pages, 11 illustrations, paperback.


Thomas Jefferson and Music

Brief Description

Thomas Jefferson and Music has served as the definitive work on Jefferson's musical knowledge and activities for over thirty years. This revised edition includes new details about the music Jefferson enjoyed throughout his life, the musical instruments of his time, and the importance of music to Jefferson and his family at Monticello. Jefferson once described music as "the favorite passion of my soul." As Helen Cripe shows, Jefferson's love of music is reflected in his correspondence, in the musical education of his daughters and granddaughters, and in the contents of his extensive music library. Thomas Jefferson and Music, the first exploration of Jefferson's musical world, offers an intimate understanding of the role music played in his daily life and invites us to experience the music he once enjoyed.

About the Author

Helen Cripe is an editor and writer in Wilmington, Delaware.  She first authored Thomas Jefferson and Music in 1974 but revised and updated the text in 2009, when she was a fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. She is coauthor of American Manuscripts, 1763-1815: An Index to Documents Described in Auction Records and Dealers Catalogues.

Related Media

Monticello Music podcast

Related Articles

Thomas Jefferson, Musician (Wall Street Journal/Barrymore Laurence Scherer, July 2, 2009)

Table of Contents

1. Music in the life of Thomas Jefferson
2. The musical education of daughters and granddaughters
3.  Thomas Jefferson's musical instruments
4. The technical delights of a delightful recreation
5. Conclusion
    Appendix I. : Jefferson's 1783 catalog: a transcription of the music section
    Appendix II. : Monticello music collection
    Appendix III. : Jefferson's notes on tickets purchased for musical performances while minister to France.

Related Items in Our Catalog

CD: Music from the Jefferson Collection: An Evening of Songs & Sonatas

Related Items in Our Collection 

Thomas Jefferson's Music (Music section of Jefferson's 1783 catalogue and Collections of Jefferson Family Music (Appendices I and II of Thomas Jefferson and Music by Helen Cripe)

Personality Profile: Music: "The Favorite Passion of My Soul"


Helen Cripe was a fellow at Monticello's Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (ICJS) in 2009.

Google Books Link

Thomas Jefferson and Music

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