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Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

The first book-length work of general musical literature published in the USA was probably John Rowe Parker’s A Musical Biography or Sketches of the Lives and Writings of Eminent Musical Characters, Interspersed with an Epitome of Interesting Musical Matter (Boston, 1824). His The Euterpiad, or Musical Intelligencer (1820–23) was the city’s first musical periodical. Dwight’s Journal of Music (1852–81) covered local, national and international musical issues. Dwight and other early 19th-century Boston-based writers promoted abstract instrumental music’s elevation from mere entertainment to a vehicle of moral enrichment and led America in establishing high-art idealism and the classical canon.

The Ditson firm, which published Dwight’s Journal from 1868 and then several lesser journals, also published important books. Near the end of the 19th century L.C. Page began to publish some handsome editions of books by the Elsons, Lahee and Rupert Hughes. From 1872 Boston’s first woman journalist to write on musical issues, Sallie White, regularly reported in the ...