Thinking about Serious Music in New York, 1842–82

Adrienne Fried Block

in American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226769769
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226769776 | DOI:
Thinking about Serious Music in New York, 1842–82

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The Philharmonic Society of New York stated its purpose as “the advancement of Instrumental Music.” This study of programming and ideology in America's first permanent symphony orchestra reveals the history of American orchestras in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The ideas in the Philharmonic's annual reports were aimed at a broad audience of New York music lovers. The Philharmonic aimed to train its audience to musical idealism. The shift to a single conductor had an important impact on its repertory, particularly in the balance of “serious” and lighter genres. Musical idealism was a viable marketing strategy in New York. New York was large enough, economically strong enough, and its audiences familiar enough with symphonic repertory to support not one but two orchestras that played serious music.

Keywords: symphony orchestra; Philharmonic Society; New York; Instrumental Music; American orchestras; musical idealism

Chapter.  6674 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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