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Katherine K. Preston and Michael Mauskapf

[music management]

This article addresses the history of individuals and organizations devoted to the management of musical artists and their careers in the United States.

Musicians who toured the United States during the first half of the 19th century relied on individuals to manage their tours. Some of the most important early impresarios included William Brough, max Maretzek , bernard Ullman , and maurice Strakosch . These men travelled the musicians’ routes, sometimes with the performers and sometimes a week or two ahead, and were responsible for renting a performance venue, arranging publicity, and engaging supporting musicians and needed instruments. Managers also made travel arrangements, secured lodging, and negotiated terms with the managers of local theaters or halls. Some of these managers were themselves performers; the pianist Strakosch frequently toured with singers, and Maretzek was the conductor for his opera companies. This style of management essentially replicated the modus operandi of itinerant theatrical stars. (...


Susan Key

Parlor music generally refers to music composed for domestic use from c1820 to World War I, consisting primarily of songs for voice and piano but also including compositions for solo piano as well as transcriptions and arrangements adaptable for a variety of instruments. Both vocal and instrumental music were aimed at an amateur market and intended for performance in the home, primarily but not exclusively by females. Instrumental music for the parlor was most commonly for piano or melodeon but demonstrated flexibility according to circumstances, with interchangeable parts for a variety of popular domestic instruments such as flute, guitar, or violin. The music was published in individual Sheet music editions, often with elaborate engraved covers. All aspects of the genre—music, texts, and the material cultural of sheet music and instruments—both reflected and affected the technology, social mores, and cultural values of this period.

The emergence of parlor music in the 19th century was a result of three interrelated phenomena: technological developments, the growth of the middle class, and changes in domestic architecture. Technical advances in the manufacture and dissemination of sheet music and musical instruments fostered music-making in American homes. In the 18th century, only a few hundred musical titles were published in the United States; the first quarter of the 19th century saw the publication of 10,000 titles, and the industry continued to expand until World War I. The growth of a middle class with more leisure time led to greater opportunities for music lessons and domestic entertainment. The 19th century saw sharp increases in the number and frequency of native-born music teachers who offered music training in school, home, and church settings. Finally, changes in domestic architecture created a room removed from the daily functions of cooking, eating, and sleeping, which served as a marker of social stature for Americans. Derived from the French word ...


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....


Mark Clague and Dan Archdeacon

Growing out of the Detroit Artists Workshop (founded 1964), Trans-Love Energies (TLE, formally, Trans-Love Energies Unlimited, Inc.) was an anti-establishment commune founded in Detroit in February 1967. Its mission was to “produce, promote, manage, and otherwise represent musical and other artists, in recordings, concerts, tours, media, and related fields of culture and entertainment, including films, books, posters, light and sound environments—all on a cooperative, non-profit basis, for the purpose of educating and informing the general public in terms of contemporary art forms and cultural patterns.”

An umbrella corporation, TLE included a production company, a light show and poster company, the Artists’ Workshop Press (distributor and publisher of underground newspapers, including the Warren-Forest Sun), and many side enterprises that helped fund commune operations. Inspired by rock music’s potential to catalyze social change, TLE managed musical acts including the Up, Iggy and the Stooges, and most notably the MC5. The activist leader John Sinclair (...


Colette Simonot

North American concert tour and music festival for female artists. It was founded in 1996 by Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan, along with Dan Fraser and Terry McBride of Nettwerk Music and agent Marty Diamond. McLachlan had become increasingly frustrated by concert promoter and radio station policies which rarely featured two female musicians in a row. In response, she booked a North American tour with Paula Cole in 1996. McLachlan and Cole were joined by Lisa Loeb and Michelle McAdorey at some of the performances, and these shows were billed as “Lilith Fair.” The following year, McLachlan founded the Lilith Fair tour, consisting of female solo artists and female-led bands. The festival continued until 1999 and was revived in 2010. Each year, three different stages featured well-known headliners, up-and-coming acts, and local performers. The festival included performers from all genres, including Tracy Chapman, Jewel, Suzanne Vega, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Cassandra Wilson, Holly Cole, Erykah Badu, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, Bonnie Raitt, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Diana Krall, Liz Phair, Neko Case, Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, the Pretenders, Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, and many others. Between ...



Scott Henderson

Canadian content regulations for commercial radio that were enacted in 1971. These introduced a requirement for commercial AM stations to play a percentage of Canadian songs each day, including set percentages for prime listening hours to prevent stations from limiting Canadian tracks to less lucrative overnight hours. Subsequent regulations have been put in place for FM stations with some flexibility on the established percentages based on the mandate of each licensee. For mainstream, commercial radio, the percentage was established at 25% in 1971 and then increased to 30% in 1986 and to 35% in 1998. The 1986 extension of Cancon to Canada’s music video television station, Much Music, gave Canadian acts a national presence as opposed to the more regional impact of regulations on local radio.

Songs that qualified as Canadian under the Cancon regulations had to meet a minimum of two of four key criteria: music must be composed entirely by a Canadian, the artist must be Canadian, production must take place in Canada, and lyrics must be composed entirely by a Canadian. The system is commonly referred to by the acronym MAPL; pronounced Maple to ensure an added Canadian “flavor.” This designation led to controversy in ...


Nancy Yunwha Rao

[Cathay Music Society]

Sponsored by the Chinese Six Companies Association, it was formed in 1911 by 13 Chinese teenagers in San Francisco and was the first Chinese Western-style marching band in America. Later its members created the Cathay Club, or Cathay Music Society, which fostered multiple bands and social activities, including a small Chinese instrument ensemble. Bookings ranged from the Orpheum Circuit, which involved tours to the Midwest and South under such names as the Chinese Military Band and the Chinese Jazz Band, to various world fairs, including the Panama Pacific International Exposition (1915). The Cathay Club also provided music at holiday parades and funeral processions for generations of San Franciscans, a tradition absent in other American Chinatowns. It grew to 30 members in the 1930s and around 100 at its peak, when it included a senior band, a junior band, a glee club, and two dance bands. The Cathayans Orchestra and Chinatown Knights, formed by Cathay Club members in the 1920s and 30s, were the first all-Chinese dance bands in the United States, performing big band music through the 1950s. In ...


Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) derived from the National Folk Festival Association, established in 1933 by Sarah Gertrude Knott. Knott, born in Kentucky in 1895, was a proponent of community arts. In 1934, with a group of advisors that included folklorists Zora Neale Hurston and George Lyman Kittredge, she established the National Folk Festival in St. Louis. The annual event contrasted with folk festivals of the era in championing ethnic and regional diversity. Following Knott’s retirement in the 1970s, the organization renamed itself the National Council for the Traditional Arts, in an attempt to revitalize a festival that, with many costumed presentations, had begun to seem dated. Long under the stewardship of Joe Lee Wilson, a National Heritage Fellowship awardee and Living Legend (Library of Congress) designee, the NCTA broadened its portfolio. It has sponsored the National Folk Festival (which has changed locations every few years), “partner” festivals such as the Lowell Folk Festival, touring programs, and the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, Virginia. The extensive NCTA audio archives have been held by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In the early 2010s Julia Olin was the director, and the NCTA has continued to present a broad range of grassroots musical traditions from around the world....


Gerald Bordman

revised by Stephanie Jensen-Moulton

[Bostonians; Ideals]

American opera company. In 1878 a Boston newspaper, critical of the performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore that had been staged in the city, called for an “ideal” production. The singers’ agent Effie H. Ober responded by forming the “Ideals,” and staging a highly successful version of Pinafore on 14 April 1879. In the next years the troupe built a sizable repertory of contemporary comic operas and such works as Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and D.-F.-E. Auber’s Fra Diavolo. It made annual countrywide tours and earned a reputation as the finest American ensemble of its kind. Aside from the troupe’s chorus of 40 to 60 members, early featured singers included George Fessenden, Myron Whitney, Tom Karl, Adelaide Philips, and Mary Beebe. Trouble began for the Ideals in 1883, with the firing of a manager who was convicted as “insane from drink.” In 1885 Ober stepped down as the troupe’s manager. In ...


Colette Simonot

Annual North American music festival. Lollapalooza was created by Perry Farrell, who aimed to assemble a musical roadshow in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band, Jane’s Addiction. Although Lollapalooza was closely tied to alternative music, from the beginning the festival featured a variety of genres, including punk, hip hop, and heavy metal. The 1991 headliners included Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ice-T, and Nine Inch Nails, as well as comedy and circus acts. Lollapalooza also hosted a craft fair and provided a platform for political and environmental groups. The festival exposed audiences to artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, and Green Day. In 1992, a second stage was added for local and up-and-coming acts and a third was added in 1996. By the late 1990s, alternative rock was on the decline and Lollapalooza along with it. Farrell bowed out in 1996, while audiences grew disenchanted with the high prices of tickets, food, and water. Lollapalooza ...