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Article

Stephen D. Winick

Government agency and archive. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress was created by the US Congress in 1976 to “preserve and present American Folklife,” the first time US federal law mandated the conservation of folk culture. The Center soon acquired the Archive of Folk Culture, which had been established by the Library of Congress’s music division in 1928. Through the efforts of such leaders as Robert W. Gordon, John Lomax, Alan Lomax, and Joe Hickerson, the archive had acquired thousands of hours of field recordings, and provided access to them in a public reading room as well as through books and record albums. By 1978, when it became part of AFC, it was already the largest ethnographic archive in the United States, as well as the source for many popular pieces of music, including Aaron Copland’s Hoedown, Johnny Cash’s “Rock Island Line,” and the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley.”...

Article

Katherine Meizel

American television show. Developed by the music executive Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment, American Idol is one of more than 40 “Idol” programs that have been televised around the world, each designed for a particular nation or region. The show was first broadcast on British television as Pop Idol in 2001, before airing in the United States on the Fox Network the following year. American Idol itself has been broadcast in more than half of all sovereign states.

Its format draws on forerunners including Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, Star Search, Popstars, and The Eurovision Song Contest and invites viewers to vote, typically by telephone or text message, in the election of a new pop star. Candidates vying for a recording contract are chosen by producers through a series of open auditions. When the voting episodes begin, contestants’ live weekly performances are critiqued by a panel of judges. Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul served as the initial panel of judges for ...

Article

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. (...

Article

Loren Kajikawa

Record label based in San Francisco, California. Founded by Jon Jang and Francis Wong in 1987, it was inspired by African American musicians, including Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Sun Ra, and members of Chicago’s AACM, who turned to self-production as a way to maintain creative control of their work. With its name derived from the phrase “Asian American Improvised Music,” the label initially functioned as an outlet for recordings by Jang and pianist Glenn Horiuchi, two early leaders in ASIAN AMERICAN JAZZ. In 1988, Jang and Wong created Asian Improv Arts, a nonprofit organization promoting performances by Asian American artists, many of whom record with the label.

Early Asian Improv releases reflect the concerns of the Asian American consciousness movement, such as combating anti-Asian violence and gaining redress and reparations for Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. In the 1990s, however, the label began broadening its roster to reflect a greater diversity of artistic and ethnic viewpoints, including a greater engagement with music and musicians from Asian countries. Although primarily devoted to creating space in the recording industry for Asian American voices, the record label has fostered collaboration across racial lines. For example, African American musicians Fred Anderson, Joseph Jarmon, James Newton, Max Roach, and numerous others have released recordings with Asian Improv or appeared on recordings by its artists....

Article

Article

Banda  

Helena Simonett

[Banda Sinaloense]

Banda (band) is a generic Spanish term for a variety of ensembles consisting of brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments found throughout Latin America. Introduced in the mid-1800s, brass bands were a fixture of Mexico’s musical life in the late 19th century and flourished in both rural and urban areas. With the revolutionary movement (1910–20) bandas populares (popular bands) developed pronounced regional characteristics, and the lineup in regional bands became increasingly more standardized.

Among the many regional bands, banda sinaloense (Sinaloan banda) stands out, as this type gained a reputation in the international popular music market at the close of the twentieth century. The ensemble dates back to the military bands of European colonists and to the brass music of German immigrants to Mexico’s northern Pacific coast in the mid-19th century. After its consolidation in the early 20th century, band membership in Sinaloa averaged from nine to 12 musicians playing clarinets, cornets or trumpets, trombones with valves, saxhorns, tubas, snare drums (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Cancon  

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

M. Montgomery Wolf

[CBGB; Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers]

Nightclub founded by Hilly Kristal in New York in December 1973. It was located below the Palace Hotel, a flophouse on the Bowery in a rough and rundown section of the city. Following his own tastes, Kristal intended to host mostly acoustic Americana, but a few months later, the guitarist Tom Verlaine convinced Kristal to let his band Television play there. The club became a rare site of original rock in an era favoring either folk clubs or arena rock. It also became the physical center for the New York punk scene, which was emerging at the time, allowing Patti Smith, Blondie, the Ramones, and Talking Heads, among others, to hone their craft. Despite its dark, dirty interior, famously squalid bathrooms, and dangerous neighborhood, musicians loved CBGB for its fabulous sound system. By 1975 it had demonstrated the viability of original rock, and Max’s Kansas City, another club in New York, began booking local, unsigned acts. Max’s and CBGB remained the principal venues in New York for punk rock through ...