Aflerword: Coming of Age

Ronald G. Walters

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:
Aflerword: Coming of Age

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Parallels between the trajectory of American history in the last half of the nineteenth century and the history of America's orchestras were revealing and misleading. It is observed that as “sacralization” progressed, Beethoven and beer no longer shared the same venues. As highbrow and lowbrow cultures drew apart, orchestras found places for themselves on both sides of the divide. Orchestras were vital to many “popular” entertainments, and benefited from the larger markets that population growth produced. Traveling orchestras, such as the Thomas Orchestra, generated local audiences and induced local competitors. “Sacralization” had some advantages for orchestras. In general, this book has clarified that contemporary American symphony orchestras are not simply the bearers of an uncontested tradition, but rather the products of the messy reality of history.

Keywords: American symphony orchestras; American history; sacralization; Thomas Orchestra; entertainments; Beethoven; traveling orchestras

Chapter.  3295 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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