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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: 02 December 2021

Beethoven and Beer

Beethoven and Beer

Orchestral Music in German Beer Gardens in Nineteenth-Century New York City

(p.130) [II.2] Beethoven and Beer
American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

John Koegel

Jonas Westover

University of Chicago Press

Some of the roots of the contemporary American orchestra were found in the nineteenth-century German American beer halls on the Bowery Theater. Majority of New York City's instrumentalists were German immigrants, and the musicians who played in the beer garden orchestras were overwhelmingly German. The highest level of beer garden was Broadway Garten. Carl Bergmann's “sacred concert” did not include a single piece of religious music. The sacred concerts were vital to the social and musical life of Klein Deutschland. Terrace Garden, which was regarded as the periphery of the main part of the city, presented musical and dramatic performances as well as dancing year round. Symphonic music by Beethoven and other classical composers as well as popular dance-inspired music by composers of light orchestral music were always accompanied in the German beer gardens by “fluent and luminous lager bier.”

Keywords:   beer garden orchestras, American orchestra, beer halls, Bowery Theater, New York, Broadway Garten, Terrace Garden, symphonic music, Beethoven

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