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Article

Bryan Burton

AlterNATIVE music combines elements of Western culture with traditional Native American musics and storytelling, including use of western and Native American instruments, Native languages, socio-political and cultural issues, and Native regalia. The origin of the term is attributed to both Keith Secola (Anishinabe) and Jim Boyd (Colville)....

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Robynn J. Stilwell

Music that may be defined in opposition to other musics. This is an ambiguous concept that underwent a significant shift during the 1980s. Before then, alternative music meant music which, stylistically, was not pop, jazz or classical, but often drew on all three. In the USA the term was used to refer to music as diverse as that of Cage, Glass, Velvet Underground, the performance artists Laurie Anderson and Diamanda Galas, and even artists associated with the punk movement of the middle to late 1970s (the glam-drag band The New York Dolls, the poet-singer Patti Smith and the new-wave band Talking Heads). The only common factor was a basis in New York City and a desire to redefine the traditional boundaries between styles and genres, and even those of music itself. Possibly because of the popularity of many of these artists, particularly among students, ‘alternative’ became roughly synonymous with the music played by college radio stations during the 1980s: popular music which operated on the fringes of the mainstream, often incorporating avant-garde or non-Western sounds or concepts. Many of the most popular of these groups (the Police, U2 and REM among them) went on to massive mainstream success, and so ceased to be ‘alternative’ in the original sense....

Article

Chris McDonald

The label was applied to rock artists who met one or more of the following criteria: they recorded and performed on independent (“indie”) networks of record companies and venues; they subverted rock and pop conventions musically in some way; or their stylistic pedigree could be traced back to PUNK. A largely underground sector of rock in the 1980s, a few alternative groups became commercially successful (Jane’s Addiction, R.E.M.). College radio and venues were particularly important for alternative rock’s promotion. By the early 1990s, alternative subgenres (indie, GRUNGE, punk-funk) were embraced by mainstream rock audiences, especially following Nirvana’s ...

Article

The tradition of giving dramatic works alternative titles is an old one, belonging initially to spoken theatrical works. Most Shakespeare plays have alternative titles. Normally, the ‘alternative title’ is not a genuine alternative but is intended to be read alongside the principal title and to elucidate it or elaborate upon it. Examples are Campra’s ...

Article

Bruce Gustafson

A term used primarily in the 18th century to indicate that the first movement of a pair should be performed again after the second, resulting in ABA form. The word could be applied to either of the movements, which were usually binary dances such as minuets, or to the pair as a whole, with no difference in meaning. The second dance of a pair to be played ...

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Alto flute. See Flute, §II, 3, (iv).

Article

Althorn  

Anthony C. Baines and Trevor Herbert

A brass instrument. Usually in E♭, a 5th below the cornet, with bugle-like bore, it is classified as a trumpet. It is used in brass bands in Germany, Switzerland and eastern Europe to fill the alto register and supply off-beats. It is made in various shapes: ‘trumpet-form’, with bell to the front; ‘tuba-form’, upright (...

Image

Althorn in C (high pitch) by John Köhler, London, c1840 (Spencer Collection, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery)

Royal Pavilion, Libraries and Museums, Brighton and Hove

Article

Raoul F. Camus

(b Centre Township, nr Reading, PA, May 26, 1853; d Reading, Oct 12, 1924). American conductor and composer. After playing violin and, later, trombone in local organizations, he decided on a musical career and left Reading, touring with various bands, one of which accompanied Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. In ...

Article

Philip L. Miller

(b Reading, PA, Dec 2, 1889; d New York, NY, Feb 6, 1954). American tenor. Educated at Bucknell University, he studied with P.D. Aldrich in Philadelphia and Oscar Saenger and P.R. Stevens in New York. The first American tenor without European experience to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, he made his debut there as Grigory in the American premiere of ...

Article

Stephen Tobriner

(b Naples, Jan 29, 1745; d Noto, Oct 17, 1820). Italian composer and music teacher. He was educated in Naples, where he met two wealthy citizens from Noto, a small city in south-eastern Sicily, who invited him to their city. Altieri arrived in ...

Article

Eric Blom and Malcolm Turner

(b Adelnau, Poznań, April 4, 1862; d Hildesheim, March 25, 1951). German musicologist. He received lessons in the violin and music theory from Otto Lüstner while at school in Breslau, and studied medieval history and classical philology at Marburg and Berlin (1882–5...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b La Habra, ca , May 2, 1948). American soprano . She studied with Lotte Lehmann in Santa Barbara and later at Salzburg. After winning the Illinois Opera Guild Auditions in 1971, she made her début at the Metropolitan as the Heavenly Voice in Verdi’s ...

Article

Walter Emery and Andreas Glöckner

(b Berna bei Seidenberg, Oberlausitz, bap. Jan 1, 1720; d Naumburg, bur. July 25, 1759). German organist and composer. He attended the Lauban Lyceum in 1733, and was a singer and assistant organist at St Maria Magdalena, Breslau, from about 1740 until the beginning of ...

Article

In general musical terminology the vocal part or range lying below the soprano and above the tenor; the word is also used as a qualifying adjective to distinguish those members of certain families of instruments (especially wind) that play in that range (for example, alto clarinet, alto flute, etc.; ...

Article

Record label established by Boris Rose in the early 1970s.

Article

Owen Jander and Ellen T. Harris

The French and Italian term for the Viola , a usage deriving from the instrument’s range relative to other members of the violin family.

Article

Owen Jander and Ellen T. Harris

A term applied as a qualifying adjective to instruments, especially wind (e.g. alto clarinet, alto flute), usually pitched a 4th or 5th below the standard members of their family. An exception is the alto recorder (in British usage, called the treble recorder) which is the representative instrument of its kind....

Article

Owen Jander and Ellen T. Harris

Term, derived from the Latin altus (the vocal part lying above the tenor), now applied to a singer whose voice lies in the region fd″. It first became common in partbooks (especially of secular music) printed in the second half of the 16th century. In the 16th–18th centuries alto parts were sung by men (falsettists, castratos or high tenors) in sacred music; only in secular music were they sung by women. The terms ‘alto’ and ‘contralto’, often used interchangeably, derive from the same source, the late 15th-century ...

Article

Term used in English to denote a singer whose voice lies in the region f-d″. A female singer is more frequently described as Contralto ; a male may be a Countertenor (or in early French music an Haute-contre ), or a Falsetto singer; a Castrato may also sing at this pitch....