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American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century$
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John Spitzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226769769

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226769776.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Introduction: Toward a History of American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Introduction: Toward a History of American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

(p.1) Introduction: Toward a History of American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century
American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Deane L. Root

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explains the major historiographical perspectives of prior research on the nineteenth-century American orchestra. The study of American orchestras is both a pursuit more than a century old and a new, wide-open field. The first generation of histories of American orchestras was absorbed in the social gospels of America's late nineteenth-century educated class. The increase of American music studies coincided with a sea change in musicology as a discipline. A cumulative influence of the chapters in this book indicate that the earlier standard narrative about American orchestras in the nineteenth century severely undervalued and misrepresented the richness and importance of orchestras in the web of culture. It tried to understand the lives of men and women who played in those orchestras, looked at the ensembles as part of the “businesses” of entertainment and culture, and explored orchestral history in the framework of ethnicity and national identification.

Keywords:   American orchestras, American music, musicology, nineteenth century, entertainment, culture, ethnicity, national identification

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