“Authentic 1800s Music Is Part of the Gospel in Action,” Ensign, Apr. 1991, 79
Visitors to the model of the Joseph Smith farm, an exhibit in the LDS Museum of Church History and Art, hear authentic music played on instruments authentic to the period of the early 1800s while they learn about the lives and times of the Smith family.
“Visitors push buttons to hear about different things,” explains Steven Epperson, a museum curator who was assigned to locate and acquire the music. “While listening to authentic music, they learn about the family farm, the First Vision, and other aspects of the family’s life-style.”
The background music helps establish an appropriate atmosphere while a narrator shares information. The music is the result of extensive research by Brother Epperson, University of Utah music major Cheryl Hart, and Bob Collins of the Church’s Curriculum Department.
Sister Hart’s research focused on music well known and widely sung in America during the early decades of the 1800s. “This was music that the Smith family would have been familiar with,” Brother Epperson explains. Folk music, dance music, and religious choral music are all included.