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John M. Schechter

revised by J. Richard Haefer

(Sp.: mocha, ‘to cut’)

An ensemble of gourd (puro) trumpets of various sizes, used in the Chota river valley of Imbabura and Carchi provinces of Ecuador. Formed in the late 19th century by Afro-Ecuadorians without access to Western military band instruments, the ensemble includes several puros (calabazas) and pencos (cabuyos) along with other instruments. Puros, about 30 to 60 cm long, are made by cutting a rectangular blowhole near the stem end of a dried gourd and opening the distal end to form a sort of bell. Various sizes provide lead, alto, and tenor ranges. Pencos are made of hollow agave stems about 30 cm long and 7 cm in diameter, with a blowhole cut near one end on a side. The similar chile frito, an ensemble of central Guerrero, Mexico, consists of imitation band instruments made of assembled sections of gourds.

C.A. Coba Andrade: ‘Instrumentos musicales ecuatorianos’, ...


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...


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....


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....


Nicholas Temperley

The two halves of the choir (in an architectural sense) in an English cathedral or a large church or chapel: decani is the south side, cantoris the north. The names mean ‘dean’s [side]’, ‘cantor’s [side]’, and refer to the two highest officials of the chapter of a medieval cathedral. The Cantor, or precentor, ranked immediately after the dean in secular cathedral establishments. The dean’s stall was at the west end of the choir, facing east, just to the south of the central aisle; the cantor’s was opposite, north of the aisle. For certain duties the choir (in a musical sense) was also divided into two equal halves. The singers on the dean’s side – decani – took the leading part one week, those on the cantor’s side – cantoris – the next; during the seasons of the three great festivals the alternation was daily. Psalms, canticles and hymns were sung in alternation between the two halves. Together with much other Latin terminology, the names survived the Reformation, and have been used ever since in cathedral music to signify the two halves of the choir....


Anna-Lise P. Santella

[Fadettes of BostonFadettes Woman’s Orchestra of Boston]

Boston-based women’s orchestra founded in 1888 and incorporated in 1895. Founded in 1888 by Caroline B. Nichols and Ethel Atwood, both violinists, and four of their friends, The Fadettes grew to become one of the most successful women’s orchestras in American history. The Fadettes employed over 600 musicians performing thousands of concerts in the United States and abroad during its more than 30-year career with a repertoire that, according to Nichols, included “many symphonies” and “all the classic overtures of seventy-five grand operas.”

The founding sextet gradually expanded to between 20 (for touring) and 50 members (for Boston-area performances). In 1897 the Fadettes were the resident orchestra for the summer season at Glen Echo, a National Chautauqua Assembly in Washington, DC. They signed with the Redpath and Southern Bureaus in 1898, and toured the Chautauqua-Lyceum circuit for the next several years. In 1902 the Fadettes contracted with vaudeville impresario B.F. Keith and spent the next decade touring the vaudeville circuit. In the mid-teens, the Fadettes spent six months working with Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel (...


Tatjana Marković

The first Serbian choral society in Serbia proper, founded in 1853 as the Belgrade Choral Society (Beogradsko pevačko društvo, henceforth BCS), renamed in 1929 as the First BCS. Working under the auspices of the royal family Obrenović, it was originally a male choir, later a mixed choir, and included a music school. Due to the lack of choir compositions in the Serbian language during the first years of BCS’s work, with Milan Milovuk, the repertoire was based on songs by German, Czech, Russian, and Hungarian composers. The national orientation, resulting in arrangements and stylizations of folk melodies and other compositions, was encouraged by Stevan Todorović, at various times a board member or the president and the main ideologist of the choral society, especially during the engagement of the most prominent Serbian composers as conductors, including Kornelije Stanković, Davorin Jenko, and Josif Marinković, culminating with Stevan Mokranjac. Mokranjac promoted his own choral music, as well as that of his contemporaries and predecessors, not only in the capital of Serbia and the places where a dispersed Serbian population lived (in what is now Vojvodina, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Macedonia), but also in Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire/Turkey, Russia, and Germany, performing concerts for the kings, emperors, and a sultan with great success. This peak in BCS history (...


Romanian orchestra founded in 1868 in Bucharest. Previously known as the Romanian Philharmonic Society Orchestra, since 1955 it has borne the name of Romania’s most prominent composer, George Enescu. It is the oldest orchestra in Eastern Europe and its headquarters is the Palace of the Romanian Athenaeum, a concert hall with a capacity of 800, and a symbol of Bucharest’s cultural richness.

The Romanian Philharmonic Society was founded on 7 May 1868, under the leadership of Eduard Wachmann, who conducted the first concert of the orchestra, on 15 December of the same year. The role of the orchestra was to educate the taste of the increasingly growing Bucharest audience for classical music; this is why Wachmann wanted to form a stable orchestra. On 5 March 1889, the orchestra gave the first concert in the freshly-built Atheneum (1888), which became the new home of the institution. Constructing such a concert hall for the Philharmonic Society was only possible with the support of cultural figures of the time, who understood the necessity of an adequate headquarters for an institution that promotes art, culture, and science. A public subscription was organized and together with other donations, sufficient funds were raised to build the Atheneum quite quickly, in two years....


Tully Potter

String quartet. It was founded in Budapest in 1909 by Imre Waldbauer (b Budapest, 13 April 1892; d Iowa City, 3 Dec 1953), János Temesváry (b Szamosújvár, 12 Dec 1891; d Budapest, 8 Nov 1964), the composer and musicologist Antal Molnár (b Budapest, 7 Jan 1890; d Budapest, 7 Dec 1983) and Jenő Kerpely (b Budapest, 1 Dec 1885; d Los Angeles, 1954). Known locally as the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet, it had some 100 rehearsals before giving the premières of the first quartets of Kodály and Bartók in Budapest on 17 and 19 March 1910. Later that year Debussy’s Quartet was performed with the composer present (his only Budapest concert) and in 1911 the ensemble toured the Netherlands. In 1912 Molnár was replaced on viola by another musicologist, Egon Kornstein (b Nagyszalonta, 22 May 1891; d Paris, 3 Dec 1987). The Hungarian Quartet became its country’s leading chamber ensemble, performing the standard repertory as well as introducing home audiences to a wide range of new music. Its other premières included Bartók’s Second, Third and Fourth Quartets and Kodály’s Second. After ...


Sandra Jean Graham

Vocal duo. The group comprised soprano Anna Madah (b New York?, NY, 1855; d ?1920s) and alto/tenor Emma Louise (b Sacramento, CA, 1857; d by 1901). Born to Samuel B. and Annie E. Hyers, the musically precocious sisters soon abandoned their parents’ musical tutelage for private study with German music teacher Hugo Sank (vocalization, piano) and opera singer Josephine D’Ormy (Italian and German, enunciation, intonation, stage presence). Shortly after their debut at the ages of 12 and 10 at the Metropolitan Theatre in Sacramento, the parents separated, and their father Samuel managed their careers.

From 1867 to 1876 the sisters devoted themselves to concerts of operatic excerpts, art songs, popular ballads, and, from 1872, spirituals. Arriving in New York in 1871 after a cross-country tour, Samuel formed a concert company around his daughters, engaging tenor Wallace King, baritone John Luca, violinist John Thomas Douglass, and pianist Alexander C. Taylor. Myriad favorable reviews praised Anna’s range and suppleness, Emma’s power, and the sisters’ well-cultured refinement....


Sandra Jean Graham

Minstrel troupe starring tenor, interlocutor, actor Edwin Kelly (b Dublin, Ireland, 1835; d Adelaide, Australia, 24 Dec 1898) and female impersonator, singer, and dancer Patrick Francis “Leon” Glassey (b New York, NY, 21 Nov c1840; d unknown). Kelly immigrated to the United States after completing medical studies in London. Leon sang as a child in the St. Stephen’s Church choir, New York, and graduated from the Jesuit College Fordham. Both entered minstrelsy in the 1850s, Kelly with Ordway’s Aeolians and Leon with Wood’s Minstrels. They seem to have met as members of George Christy’s Minstrels in 1860. They established their own troupe in Chicago c1863 and in 1866 moved to New York, where they played for three years.

Leon’s sensitive female impersonations contrasted with the farcical wench roles that had dominated minstrelsy until then. Eschewing “costumes,” he wore women’s clothing onstage and kept a wardrobe of some 300 dresses. His voice (a soprano that remained with him throughout adulthood), balletic dancing, and delicate mannerisms furthered the impression that he was a real woman. Leon and Kelly’s lavish, full-length opera burlesques blurred the line between legitimate performance and parody. They specialized in Offenbach, offering ...


E. Douglas Bomberger

American organization of composers. The society was founded in 1889 by a group of composers who wished to hear more performances of their works. It presented both public and private performances of mostly unpublished works throughout the 1890s. During its heyday in the early 1890s, the society presented two orchestral concerts and one chamber concert per year in Chickering Hall. A perpetual source of tension was the divergent goals of professional and amateur members, typified by the brief and contentious presidency of Edward A. MacDowell (1899–1900), who wished to broaden the society’s repertoire to include eminent foreign composers. After some notable successes, the members experienced disagreements over procedural issues, and the group’s activities were significantly reduced in 1901. It was disbanded in 1918.

The significance of the organization was to build on the successes of the American Composers’ Concert movement by allowing composers to control the selection and performance of their own works. Especially noteworthy was the large number of female members, who found opportunities that were not available elsewhere. The group inspired the American Composers’ Choral Association (founded in ...


Susan Feder

revised by Michael Mauskapf

[Pop, Promenade]

Orchestral programs modeled after European promenade concerts of the 19th century, in which light classical music was played while the audience was served refreshments. The development of pops concerts in America reflected an emerging emphasis on the audience and an explicitly articulated division between so-called serious and light classical music propagated by conductor Theodore Thomas and others. Such concerts were traditionally structured in three parts, in which lively pieces—overtures, marches, and galops—were played in the outer sections while the middle section typically included waltzes and occasionally more serious works; encores were a regular feature. These concerts often took place in outdoor venues during the summer season, and featured audience promenades during the intermissions. Initially, works by European composers such as Rossini, Grieg, Liszt, and J. Strauss dominated the programs of pops concerts, but excerpts from musicals and operettas by De Koven and Herbert, among others, soon became a significant component. In general these concerts were understood as a vehicle to reach new audiences and broaden the appeal of orchestras and orchestral music....


Milena Bozhikova

Bulgarian musical institution. Bulgarian musical institution founded in 1890 by three Bulgarian musicians, Dragomir Kazakov, Ivan Slakov, and Angel Bukoreshtliev. In May 1891 the Opera division became the Metropolitan Bulgarian Opera. Due to financial difficulties, on 1 October 1892 the dissolution of the company was announced with a decree, sparking a national debate as to whether or not Bulgaria should present operas. Nonetheless, on 18 October 1908 the Bulgarian Opera Fellowship was established with performances of scenes from Faust (Gounod) and Il trovatore (Verdi). At the end of 1908 a resident chorus was established. On 5 June 1909, the first performance of an entire opera was given (Pagliacci by Leoncavallo), which was followed by performances of operas by Bulgarian composers. In 1920 the Opera Fellowship’s first resident orchestra, comprising 32 musicians, was established.

The permanent troupe produced opera, ballet, and concert programs. In 1922 the Fellowship became a state organization under the name National Opera. A ballet company gave its first performance in ...