Useful Distractions and Economic Liberalism in the Belle Epoque

Jann Pasler

in Composing the Citizen

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257405
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943872 | DOI:
Useful Distractions and Economic Liberalism in the Belle Epoque

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This chapter studies commercial culture, which helped bring people together and encouraged sociability among the classes. It introduces the belle époque, or the period of greater consumption, gaiety, and entertainment. Next, it studies how department stores (which were erected during the 1880s) brought both the strengths and weaknesses of the republican ideology out in the open. It notes that the shift from education to commerce and finance as the main focus of government policy led to competition within the musical world. Expanded performances for men and women were introduced during the 1880s, while government policies led to several improvements in theater and popular music.

Keywords: commercial culture; belle époque; department stores; republican ideology; competition; expanded performances; improvements

Chapter.  13376 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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