American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

John Spitzer

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226769769

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Studies of concert life in nineteenth-century America have generally been limited to large orchestras and the programs we are familiar with today, but audiences of that era enjoyed far more diverse musical experiences than this 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 were not 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, it 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.

Table of Contents

[I.2] Modeling Music

Anna-Lise P. Santella

[II.2] Beethoven and Beer

John Koegel and Jonas Westover

Aflerword: Coming of Age

Ronald G. Walters