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Article

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 ...

Article

John Daverio and Eric Sams

(b Zwickau, Saxony, June 8, 1810; d Endenich, nr Bonn, July 29, 1856). German composer and music critic. While best remembered for his piano music and songs, and some of his symphonic and chamber works, Schumann made significant contributions to all the musical genres of his day and cultivated a number of new ones as well. His dual interest in music and literature led him to develop a historically informed music criticism and a compositional style deeply indebted to literary models. A leading exponent of musical Romanticism, he had a powerful impact on succeeding generations of European composers.

The fifth and last child of August Schumann and Johanna Christiana Schumann (née Schnabel), Robert Schumann was born into a household dominated by literary activity. (There is no evidence for a middle name ‘Alexander’, given in some sources; his birth and death certificates both give ‘Robert Schumann’. Possibly Alexander is a corruption of his teenage pseudonym ‘Skülander’.) His father, an author of chivalric romances and a tireless lexicographer, amassed a small fortune by translating Walter Scott and Byron into German. He was also a book dealer, and Robert, his favourite child, was able to spend many hours poring over the classics of literature....