|The Village Harmony, first published in 1795, is a compilation of sacred songs, mostly European but notable for the inclusion of several American works in the early editions.
The inclusion of American songs, however, soon incurs the wrath of the Good Music movement, resulting in the exclusion of American works in subsequent editions with the following explanation:
Those alterations have been made which correspond to the progressive improvement of the publick taste in Sacred Musick. A few Classical European tunes have been substituted for some of less perfect character, and the valuable foreign musick which is retained, and which the publick has not ceased to venerate and admire, is still preserved in this collection, secure from the touch of American innovation.
The above serves to illustrate the pro-European disposition of American society for things cultural. American society feels secure and comforted with European "Sacred Musick" safe from the "touch of American innovation."
If American hymns are discomforting because of their "less perfect character," one can only imagine the unnerving effect of indigenous, secular roots music.
A hundred years hence, when secular music goes mainstream, middle America will embrace the pop tunes of Tin Pan Alley written by European songwriters.