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Elizabeth A. Clendinning

An amusement park is a commercially-operated, outdoor venue that offers games, rides, and other types of entertainment, including music. The amusement park concept originated in the pleasure gardens of 17th-century Europe, which were originally large landscaped outdoor spaces primary devoted to games with a few refreshment stands. Dances and social and instrumental concerts became commonly integrated into these pleasure gardens in the 18th century. (See Pleasure garden.) Another important part of early amusement park soundscapes was the mechanical organ, which was used by street performers as early as the 18th century and was frequently built into carousel rides by the end of the 19th century. Over the course of the 19th century, the popularity of amusement parks skyrocketed, especially in the United States, where large tracts of land were available for development. Bandstands and pavilions devoted explicitly to musical performances were common in the 19th century, in part influenced by the popular World’s Fairs, which were industrial and cultural expositions that featured specific stages devoted to performers from around the world. A change came with the ...


Joanne Sheehy Hoover

revised by Suzanne L. Moulton-Gertig

[ Salzedo School; Summer Harp Colony of America]

Summer school for harpists. Carlos Salzedo established the school in 1931, and until his death in 1961 taught up to 40 students twice per week. He expected students to adhere to a strict dress code and spend most of their time practicing. He left his colony and house to a former student, Alice Chalifoux (...



Janis L. McKay

[hotel casinos]

The word casino originally referred to small garden houses that were used for music and table games in Europe; over time, it came to mean any building in which gambling took place. Historically, hotel casino owners have used musical entertainment to draw tourists to their locations, in the hope that before and after the performance guests will spend time gambling. Casinos vary greatly in size and design, from small ones located on remote Native American reservations to large mega-resorts found in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and on reservations located near major cities.

The largest number of casinos in the United States is in Las Vegas, often called the “entertainment capital of the world,” and their music is generally typical of what larger casinos in the United States offer. The first casino opened in 1906; the “Arizona Club” was one of the first to offer music, employing three pianists. The Arizona Club was located on notorious “Block 16,” an area originally designated for drinking, prostitution, and gambling. When Nevada banned gambling in ...


Linda Whitesitt

Voluntary associations of professional and amateur musicians. Music clubs have had a profound impact on the modern institutions and practices of American musical life that arose in the decades spanning the turn of the 20th century. Emerging after the Civil War and as part of the long tradition of 19th-century women’s organizations, most of these music clubs were founded by women to offer women musicians the opportunity to study music and perform for each other. By 1893, when the first gathering of women’s music clubs convened at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, many clubs had broadened their mission to include what they described as the advancement of public taste and the promotion of high-quality music. A rapidly expanding body of members (men would eventually join the ranks of club members) in individual music clubs, as well as the National Federation of Music Clubs (chartered in 1898), would accomplish these goals by sponsoring concert series of European and American artists, chamber ensembles, orchestras, and opera companies in their communities....


Paul R. Laird

State-supported university founded in Lawrence in 1866. A Department of Music was established within the School of Fine Arts in 1884. Dance was part of the department from 1985 until 2009, when a free-standing School of Music was formed. In the fall of 2009, the School of Music had 300 undergraduates, 220 graduate students, and nearly 60 full- and part-time instructors. It offers the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in performance, theory, composition, music education, musicology, and music therapy, and a combined BFA degree in theatre and vocal music. The Department of Music founded the long-standing Midwestern Music Camp in the summer of 1936. It also offered the nation’s first graduate program in music therapy (1948). Notable facilities include the World War II Memorial Campanile and Carillon (1951), and the Bales Organ Recital Hall (1996) with its Hellmuth Wolff tracker organ. The Thomas Gorton Music and Dance Library boasts an outstanding collection with over 100,000 books, bound journals, and scores, 15,000 LPs, over 10,000 CDs, and 2,000 videos. Other notable resources include the Richard M. Wright Jazz Archive and Seaver Opera Collection in the Archive of Recorded Sound....


Robert Copeland


The oldest primarily choral music festival in the United States. Held on two weekends in May, the festival was established in 1873 under the direction of Theodore Thomas. German singing societies had earlier laid a strong foundation of choral singing in the city. In 1871 a committee led by Maria Longworth Nichols persuaded Thomas to accept the direction of a new and broader festival patterned after the Birmingham and Lower Rhine festivals. The May Festival Chorus was established in 1872, drawing on singing societies, church choirs, and other Cincinnatians. The first festival included an orchestra of 108 and a chorus of 800, and by 1875 citizens began to collect funds to build the present Music Hall primarily for the May Festivals. The festival was held essentially biennially until 1967, since when it has been held annually. Its focus has been on choral works and opera (usually in concert performance).

Thomas conducted all 16 festivals until his death in ...



Cathy Ragland

Theater and concert hall. The historic venue, located in the heart of San Antonio, Texas, opened to the public on 9 March 1949. It was originally built and owned by Sam Lucchese, who operated several other movie houses in the city. At the time, the 2500-seat theater was the nation’s largest to feature Spanish-language films and live entertainment. Lucchese recognized the earning potential of a business focusing on the city’s large Mexican American population. In its heyday, the Alameda featured top Mexican films often accompanied by live concerts by singing stars Pedro Infante, Lucha Reyes, and Jorge Negrete, popular comedians Cantinflas, Tin Tan, Resortes, and Piporro, such local artists as singer Rosita Fernández and Santiago Jiménez y su Conjunto, and many others. By the late 1960s, the Alameda’s popularity declined as the Mexican American population became more acculturated. It was forgotten until 1997, when the Smithsonian Institution declared the black light murals that adorned its walls a national treasure, possibly the largest existing example of a brief trend in deco theater design of the era. In ...