Conflicted Identities

Lynn M. Sargeant

in Harmony and Discord

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735266
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894505 | DOI:

Series: The New Cultural History of Music Series

Conflicted Identities

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This chapter examines the drive for professionalization and the consequent undermining of the status of amateurs that was the subtext for most of the debates and controversies of musical life in the nineteenth century. It looks at the process of musical professionalization from both a personal and a legal point of view, exploring the importance of credentials, diplomas, titles such as “free artist,” and formal social statuses such as “honored citizenship” for Russian musicians as individuals and as a group. Efforts to elevate and codify the status of elite musicians proved successful in the long run, but exacerbated status divisions among musicians. The presence of professionally marginal groups—women, Jews, and poorly educated and socially inferior orchestral musicians—weakened societal acceptance of the music profession.

Keywords: professionalization; amateurs; credentials; diploma; free artist; honored citizenship; women; Jews; orchestral musicians

Chapter.  20128 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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