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The achievements of Augsburg’s music scribes, engravers, printers and publishers are among the finest in southern Germany. Outstanding music calligraphers, including Leonhard Wagner, wrote splendid manuscripts at the abbey of St Ulrich and St Afra during the 15th and 16th centuries, and at approximately the same time early German music printing culminated in the magnificent choral incunabula of Ratdolt. Music printing with movable type was introduced to Germany by Oeglin, who printed the earliest odes of the German Humanists; Johann Miller, Sigmund Grimm and Marx Wirsung similarly served the Humanist movement. In the mid-16th century Melchior Kriesstein and Philipp Ulhart printed anthologies edited by Salminger. The first large retail stock of printed music in southern Germany was established in Augsburg (with affiliated branches in Vienna and Tübingen) by Georg Willer, who published his first catalogue for the Frankfurt Fair of 1564. The printing houses established by Valentin Schönig and Johannes Praetorius were continued after the Thirty Years War by Andreas Erfurt, J.J. Schönig, J.C. Wagner, Jakob Koppmayer and Andreas Maschenbauer. The booksellers Goebel, Kroniger, Schlüter and Happach and printers Simon Utzschneider, J.M. Labhart, August Sturm and J.K. Bencard further contributed to Augsburg’s active trade in music selling. In the 18th century the Lotter firm assumed a leading role in music publishing as did the music engravers J.F. and J.C. Leopold and the publishers Matthäus Rieger and J.K. Gombart. In ...

Article

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

The earliest choral singing in Boston was the first settlers’ congregational psalm singing, which continued through later times of controversy over the relative virtues of the old style and the cultivated new style promoted in the singing schools. Church and community choirs were formed throughout New England from the 1750s. The work of George K. Jackson, who in 1812 organized a concert of Handel’s music, was instrumental in broadening the musical repertory of Boston’s churches.

The Handel and Haydn Society was formed for the purpose of ‘cultivating and improving a correct taste in the performance of sacred music, and also to introduce into more general practice the works of Handel, Haydn, and other eminent composers’. It gave its first concert on 25 December 1815 and served as the prototype for similar organizations in other cities. At Christmas 1818 the society gave its first performance of the complete Messiah; on 16 February 1819...

Article

Muck’s successors, Henri Rabaud (1918–19) and Pierre Monteux (1920–24), presided over a transitional period. In 1920 more than 30 players who wished to affiliate with the Boston Musicians' Protective Association, the local union of the American Federation of Musicians, went on strike and were replaced by musicians of Monteux’s choice. (The Boston SO was the last important American orchestra to join the union, in 1942.) The glamorous Sergey Koussevitzky (1924–49) influentially championed the music of Copland and such other postwar Americans as Barber, Bernstein, Hanson, Harris, Piston and Schuman. It was under Koussevitzky that the orchestra took over the Berkshire Music Festival, acquired Tanglewood and in 1940 opened the Berkshire Music Center (renamed the Tanglewood Music Center in 1985; see Tanglewood). In the meantime, in 1929 Arthur Fiedler, a member of the orchestra since 1915, organized the Esplanade Concerts as free, outdoor programmes of symphonic and light music in the band shell on the banks of the Charles River. In ...

Article

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

Early settlers were concerned with musical education, and devotional singing is said to have had a place in the original curriculum at Harvard College, founded in 1636. The first published musical teaching material is the ‘admonition to the reader’, in the Bay Psalm Book of 1640, and the instructive introductions to 18th-century tune books extended this practice. By 1720 the traditional ‘old way of singing’ came under attack from those who favoured musically literate ‘regular singing’, and singing schools were established. A century of Yankee tunesmiths wrote and published the psalm settings and hymns that were their teaching pieces, but early 19th-century hymnodic reformers sought to replace earlier American psalmody with ‘scientific’ European models.

Lowell Mason studied the methods of Swiss educational theorist Pestalozzi and applied them to the children’s music classes that he taught in churches and private schools. In the Boston Academy of Music he held teacher-training classes in addition to its concerts. In ...

Article

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

Before American independence almost all musical instruments used in Boston had been imported from England and later from the Continent; but by the mid-19th century Boston was exporting instruments to Europe and South America. Collections are owned by the Boston Public Library, the Boston SO, Boston University, Harvard University, the Museum of Fine Arts and the New England Conservatory.

The first organ in New England, probably the second in the Colonies, was installed in the home of Thomas Brattle by 1711, and the first locally built organ was left unfinished by Edward Bromfield. A contemporary report of the period 1810–15 said that only six Boston churches then had organs. Among early organ builders were William Goodrich, the firms of Hayts, Babcock & Appleton and Hook & Hastings, and John Rowe. In 1854 a successful organ business was begun by Henry L. Mason and Emmons Hamlin, with financial backing from Lowell Mason and Oliver Ditson. Its products became well known in Europe, and its profits helped to finance the manufacture of the fine Mason & Hamlin pianos, begun in ...

Article

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

The first music known to have been printed and published in North America appeared in the ninth edition of the Bay Psalm Book (Boston, 1698), in which 13 tunes are printed from woodblocks. The next appeared in two instruction books, one by John Tufts (1721 or earlier), the other by Thomas Walter (also 1721), which was probably the first North American music printed from engraved metal plates. Two collections by Josiah Flagg (1764 and 1766) and at least part of William Billings’s The New-England Psalm-Singer (1770) were engraved by Paul Revere. The first American set of type for printing music was cast in Boston by William (or possibly John) Norman, first used in the Boston Magazine in 1783.

Between 1798 and 1804 P.A. von Hagen (father and son) issued about 100 publications. Graupner was Boston’s principal music publisher for about 25 years, beginning in ...

Article

In 1844 the Harvard Musical Association began a series of six annual chamber music concerts that continued for five years. The public performance of chamber music acquired an important place in musical life with the founding of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club in 1849 under the leadership of Thomas Ryan. The German pianist and composer Otto Dresel (1826–90), a pupil of Hiller and Mendelssohn, settled in Boston in 1852 and was much admired for his tireless efforts on behalf of J.S. Bach, Schumann and Robert Franz. In 1858 B.J. Lang, who had been a member of the Liszt circle in Europe, returned to Boston to start an active career that included conducting the world première of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto (1875) at Music Hall, with Hans von Bülow as soloist. The Euterpe Society was founded in 1879 as a membership subscription scheme for the presentation of chamber concerts and recitals....

Article

Boston’s need for a more professionalized, cosmopolitan and focussed musical community resulted in 1881 in the formation of the Boston SO. This was the brainchild of Henry Lee Higginson, a financier whose lifelong passion was music. Resolving to give Boston a ‘full-time and permanent’ orchestra that would ‘offer the best music at low prices’, Higginson created an ensemble soon regarded as peerless in the USA and comparable to the best abroad. He paid all salaries and deficits, but conferred artistic control on his conductors. Some recent accounts of his philanthropy stress the Gilded Age plutocrat rather than the cultural democrat. It is true that Higginson forbade his musicians to form a union or to play popular music on days they rehearsed or performed (a Wednesday-to-Saturday prohibition sometimes wrongly characterized as full-time); that his own musical tastes were relatively conservative; that his orchestra was a Brahmin cultural stronghold. At the same time, he reserved ‘rush seats’ for non-subscribers and began ‘popular concerts’ – the future Boston Pops....

Article

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

Early public performances of music were organized in private homes, coffee houses and religious meeting houses. A law of 1750, re-enacted in 1785, prohibited theatrical entertainments of all kinds, but it was commonly circumvented by billing such events as ‘lectures’ or ‘readings’. In 1792 the New Exhibition Room was opened for ‘lectures, moral and entertaining’ with a ‘gallery of portraits, songs, feats of tumbling, and ballet pantomine’ but it was promptly closed in 1793.

Public demand brought swift change, and in 1793, the Boston Theatre, designed by Charles Bulfinch to be one of the grandest in the USA, was opened. It was often called the Federal Street Theatre, especially after the Haymarket Theatre opened in 1796, and spoken drama and ballad opera were popular on both stages. Graupner later had a concert room in the same building as his home and shop. His Philharmonic concerts took place in Pythian Hall and later the Pantheon. The Handel and Haydn Society’s early performances were given in churches such as Stone Chapel and then Boylston Hall. From ...

Article

Ury Eppstein

Musical life in modern Jerusalem can be divided into two separate spheres: the liturgical music of the various Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities who maintain their living musical traditions; and Western secular art music.

Most of the many Jewish religious musical traditions are represented in the synagogues of the various communities, the most ancient being of Middle Eastern origin, mainly from the Yemen, Baghdad, Kurdistan, Iran, Bokhara and Syria. On further investigation, these may prove to preserve elements of musical traditions from biblical times. There are also representatives of the musical traditions of Spanish-based Sephardi communities, especially those from North Africa, Greece and Turkey, as well as of the mainstreams of eastern European Ashkenazi tradition, namely Hasidism (which created in Jerusalem a special vocal style imitating instruments, stimulated by the ban on instrumental music imposed to signify mourning for the destruction of the Temple) and its opponents, Mithnagdim, who developed a Jerusalem version of the Lithuanian-style Bible cantillation. Western European communities, mainly from Germany, also have synagogues with their own musical traditions....

Article

Manuel Carlos De Brito

The new impetus in concert life in the last decades of the 19th century is particularly associated with institutions such as the Orquestra 24 de Junho (1870), conducted by, among others, Francisco Barbieri, Edouard Colonne and Ruddorf; the Sociedade de Concertos de Lisboa (1875); and the Real Academia dos Amadores de Música (1884), whose orchestra was directed by the German conductor Victor Hussla, and whose music school offered an alternative to the Conservatório Nacional. While the Recreios Wyttoyne (1875), the Real Coliseu de Lisboa (1887) and the Avenida (1888) theatres specialized in comic operas and zarzuelas, the Coliseu dos Recreios, built in 1890, presented both symphonic concerts and opera performances at reduced prices. Well-known orchestras visited Lisbon, including the Berlin PO under Nikisch in 1901 and again under Richard Strauss in 1908, the Colonne Orchestra in 1903 and the Lamoureux Orchestra in ...

Article

Enrico Weller

German town famous for instrument production since the mid-17th century. It was named Neukirchen until 1858. Instrument making first developed there when Bohemian luthiers began settling in the area (Vogtland) as a consequence of the Counter-Reformation. A guild of violin makers was founded in 1677; a violin, a cittern, and a viola da gamba were at first required as masterpieces. Early violin making in the Vogtland was characterized by free-form construction (without use of an inside mould) and an integral neck and upper block. The various violin workshops (Ficker, Gläsel, Hamm, Heberlein, Reichel, Schönfelder, Voigt, etc.) had individual styles, but Italian stylistic influence became evident from about 1800 to 1840.

In the mid-19th century, specialized division of labour led to mass-production of violin bodies and parts by means of cottage industry. Inexpensive violins were manufactured (often more than 100,000 instruments per year) until the 1930s. Between 1906 and 1930 a joint-stock (cooperative) company for violin making existed....

Article

Melk  

Robert N. Freeman

Town in Lower Austria. The strategic location of the fortress Medelica (Melk) on a slope overlooking the Danube led the Babenbergs, Austria's medieval rulers, to establish their court there in 976. Monks from the Benedictine abbey of Lambach were invited to join the court in 1089; shortly after 1110, when the Babenbergs moved to Klosterneuburg, the Benedictines became the owners of Melk and a large area of land. This link with the Austrian monarchal line made the wealthy abbey one of the Empire's most powerful institutions.

Soon after their arrival the Benedictines founded a boys' choir; pueri are mentioned as early as 1140 and a cloister school, training boys for singing in processions and daily church services, is described in a manuscript dating from 1160. The scriptorium was most productive in the first half of the 13th century. A great fire (1297) destroyed most of the manuscripts recording this formative musical period. 133 codices survived intact, about half of which originated at Melk, including the ...

Article

I.M. Yampol′sky

revised by Rosamund Bartlett

With the reforms of Peter the Great secular music came to have a much more prominent place in Russian life. The founding of St Petersburg, to which the court moved, also had an effect on the musical culture of Moscow, which changed radically during the 18th century. At the beginning of the century Russian music was represented by its rich heritage of folksong, by ecclesiastical chants and by the simplest domestic genres; by the end of the century Russian opera was taking shape, symphonic and chamber music were being written by Russian composers, and early examples of the Russian song were beginning to appear. The musical needs of Russian society were growing, its tastes were changing and the circle of educated music lovers was expanding. In spite of the fact that St Petersburg drew great artistic forces to the court, Moscow formed its own professional musical circles. Of particular importance were the serf musicians, who performed as soloists and in the many large serf orchestras....

Article

Rosamund Bartlett

With Moscow once more established as the capital and seat of government following the October Revolution, the city was also bound to become the most important centre of Soviet music, and its theatres, concert halls and educational institutions now gradually began to take precedence over those in Petrograd. Overseen by Anatoly Lunacharsky, the Narodnïy Komissariat Prosveshcheniya (Commissariat of Public Education), better known by its acronym Narkompros, was given the task of nationalizing all aspects of musical life. The Bol′shoy Theatre had already been taken over by the state in November 1917, and tenor Leonid Sobinov helped to smooth the transition as temporary director. Lenin initially took exception to the large subsidy of a theatre so closely associated with the old regime, but its popularity with the new worker audience and Lunacharsky’s commitment to the preservation of the legacy of the past ensured its survival. Yelena Malinovskaya, appointed as commissar of Moscow theatres, attempted to infuse a new energy into productions and raise acting standards at the Bol′shoy by involving leading singers and stage directors such as Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko. On the initiative of Stanislavsky, the Opernaya Studiya Bol′shogo Teatra (Bol′shoy Theatre Opera Studio) was opened in ...

Article