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Physical description x, pages : illustrations ; 24 cm. Online Available online. Music Library.

Why is there no Saxophone in the Orchestra?

A44 Unknown. More options. Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Contributor Spitzer, John, Bibliography Includes bibliographical references pages [] and index. Summary Studies of concert life in nineteenth-century America have generally been limited to large orchestras and the programs we are familiar with today.

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But as this book reveals, audiences of that era enjoyed far more diverse musical experiences than such focus would suggest. To hear an orchestra, people were more likely to head to a beer garden, restaurant, or summer resort than to a concert hall. And what they heard weren't just symphonic works - programs also included opera excerpts and arrangements, instrumental showpieces, comic numbers, and medleys of patriotic tunes. This book brings together musicologists and historians to investigate the many orchestras and programs that developed in nineteenth-century America.

In addition to reflecting on the music that orchestras played and the socioeconomic aspects of building and maintaining orchestras, the book considers a wide range of topics, including audiences, entrepreneurs, concert arrangements, tours, and musicians' unions. The authors also show that the period saw a massive influx of immigrant performers, the increasing ability of orchestras to travel across the nation, and the rising influence of women as listeners, patrons, and players.

Painting a rich and detailed picture of nineteenth-century concert life, this collection will greatly broaden our understanding of America's musical history.


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Bibliographic information. Music differed from other disciplines in America in several respects.

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First, it was a performing art that did not present linguistic obstacles for the performers; second, its most established stars were Europeans with European training; and third, its audience was constantly replenished from the waves of new immigrants pouring into the United States who carried their cultural legacies with them.

As a result, the United States became a dominant market for classical music from Europe in the late nineteenth century. Every major European performer and composer from Anton Rubinstein to Richard Strauss traveled to America, lured by big fees and enthusiastic audiences. Theodore Thomas, the legendary conductor and builder of American orchestras in the late nineteenth century was born and schooled in Germany.

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When the Boston Symphony Orchestra was founded, its conductor and most of its players were imported. Therefore as Emerson, Hawthorne, Whitman, and Dickinson were shaping a distinctive American literary tradition, those musicians and composers who wanted to discover an American musical tradition were facing a particularly complex problem. Some American composers of the late nineteenth century, such as John Knowles Paine and George Chadwick, remained faithful to their European training, and wrote music that discreetly displayed American subject matter Rip van Winkle, for instance brilliantly ensconced within the finest European symphonic traditions.

But these appropriations do not make a new musical identity. Their purpose is only to enhance the old, established tradition, which is why the folk elements used before World War I did not even have to be authentic, but only sound appropriately exotic.

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In personality as well as artistic career, Ives was the quintessential New Englander. The son of a band leader, Ives lived out a dream of success as a pioneering force on Wall Street in the insurance business as well as eventually becoming recognized as a ground-breaking composer.

He was a radical democrat without sacrifice to his commitment to ideals of capitalist entrepreneurship, patriotism, and freedom of thought and expression. For Ives these included tunes derived from the New England hymns, marching band music, Yale football songs, Stephan Foster, and church organ music with which he had grown up. His use of these tunes created a refracted image of American identity tied to the post-Civil War era on the southern New England landscape. However conservative the ideology of this identity created from these tunes may be though, the way in which Ives utilized them demonstrates his unique brand of experimentalism, the innovative freedom that he so cherished in the America he knew.

Rather than exalting the American elements in a traditional symphonic rendering, Ives used a collage-like technique that breaks open notions of musical continuity. He layered rhythms and sounds in a manner that transformed the tunes, the form, and the harmony of orchestral music.

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Familiar tunes made unfamiliar evoke shadows of recognition, which are fragmentary and uncertain markers in a thrilling, unpredictable river of harmonies and dissonances. Ives used the most nostalgic elements of American life to experiment in a way unthinkable outside of the United States.


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  • He became the architect of American musical modernism. He stopped composing in the late s, and it was only years later that his originality finally earned him his proper due. John Alden Carpenter bears some similarity to Charles Ives. Carpenter also had a distinguished career in business as well as composing.

    Like Ives, his wealth and independence ensured a certain amount of license to do as he pleased. He was not an academic caught in a subculture bound by European tradition.

    But for Carpenter, the basis of such a voice was not in a nostalgic, pastoral image of New England, but rather in the excitement of a country of advancement in industry and technology. For Carpenter, the cultural universalism that existed no where but in the United States and which would come to dominate the twentieth century afforded the United States a stature equal to the greatest societies of Europe.

    That sentiment of equality with Europe informs his music.