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Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres  

Philippe Vendrix

French institution. Created as the Petite Académie in 1623, the organization that was to become the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres was initially dedicated to the glory of the king and to the history of his reign. Its scope was enlarged in 1703 by Gros de Boze, who called for the study of all aspects of civilization, from its origins to the 18th century. Discussions of music seem to have taken place from the end of the 17th century under the aegis of Charles Perrault, although documentation of such discussions dates only from 1706. The study of ancient music was begun under Galland and Fraguier and continued under Burette. The music of the ancients constituted the favourite subject of the academicians throughout the first half of the 18th century, and was revived by Michel de Chabanon and J.B. Rochefort between 1770 and 1780. A prize was established by Durey de Noinville in ...



Howard Mayer Brown

revised by Iain Fenlon

At various times in musical history, the word ‘academy’ has meant diverse things, including (i) a formal association of people interested in mutually communicating their opinions on various philosophical, intellectual or cultural issues (most such academies sponsored theatrical events with music and some included discussions of musical questions on their regular agenda), or even, in some few cases, a formal association devoting itself primarily to the study of music; (ii) a more loosely formed circle of intellectuals interested in holding lively discussions on various topics; (iii) an official national society that serves as an arbiter of tastes and standards; (iv) a society formed specifically to sponsor musical performances (including opera); (v) a single concert, either public or private; or (vi) an institution for the training of musicians.

The first of these definitions must be considered the original and therefore the primary meaning. The word itself derives from the mythological character Akademos, after whom a garden or grove in Athens was named, where it is said that the Greek philosopher Plato met his students to discuss philosophy, although recent scholarship has shown that exclusive reference to Plato was never intended by users of the word (Chambers, ...


African Music Forum  


African Music Society  

Gregory F. Barz

The now defunct African Music Society was founded in 1948 by Hugh Tracey and anthropologist Winifred Hoernle, whose principal objective was to encourage research in traditional and popular musics in Africa. The society emphasized the importance of recordings to document the range and character of African indigenous music, much of which has been extremely localized due to barriers of distance and language, and through dependence on oral tradition. The society also encouraged the dissemination of musical styles through education and radio programmes. It developed into the ...


Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein  

James Deaville

German musical organization. Established in 1861 in Weimar and dedicated to the promotion of new music (primarily through performance), the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein (ADMV) was the first national music society in Germany. Focal points of its activity were the annual festivals that took place in alternating German and German-speaking cities and initially featured the music of Liszt and his colleagues in the ‘New German’ movement. During its first decade the ADMV gave premières of music by such composers as Wagner, Liszt, Cornelius and Felix Draeseke. Liszt provided the society with artistic leadership but, as president, Franz Brendel was the chief guiding spirit during its early years. Upon Brendel’s death in 1868 the noted Leipzig choral conductor Carl Riedel took over the presidency. During Riedel’s leadership the society entered into a period of identity crisis that was exacerbated by the deaths of Wagner and Liszt: it gradually broadened its mandate to encompass the promotion of music by non-Germans (Saint-Säens, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky) and by the former conservative opposition (Brahms). These developments intensified under the leadership of Riedel’s successors, Hans von Bronsart von Schellendorf (...


Alliance of Composer Organisations  


American Academy in Rome  

Andrea Olmstead


American artists’ colony. The AAR was founded by Charles F. McKim in 1894 for architects and classicists. In 1920, the AAR added composers, urged by Edward MacDowell before his death and administered from 1920–40 by Felix Lamond. The AAR is modeled on the French Academy that awards the Prix de Rome (to Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy, for example). The Rome Prize is awarded through a national juried competition. Winning Fellows, 30 American artists and scholars, are given a year in Rome supported by a stipend, room, board, travel expenses, and a studio at the 11-building complex atop the Janiculum hill. The Academy’s mission is “to foster the pursuit of advanced research and independent study in the fine arts and humanities.” Resident and Visiting Artists and Scholars also contribute to the interactive artists’ colony atmosphere, which includes communal living, eating, and traveling, and twice weekly trips with AAR members lecturing on the history, archeology, or architectural or art history of various Roman, Vatican, and nearby sites....


American Academy of Arts and Letters  

John Shepard

Organization of American writers, artists, architects, and composers. The National Institute of Arts and Letters, founded in 1898 by the American Social Sciences Association, formed the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1904 to confer further distinction on 50 of its 250 members. In 1976 the two organizations merged under a single board of directors, although they continued to function as separate bodies. In 1993, the two organizations combined to form one organization of 250 members, called the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Its headquarters is in New York.

The Academy has encouraged the advancement of music in the United States by presenting concerts of American works and by giving financial assistance to composers through the administration of awards and prizes. Among the musicians elected to the academy have been John Adams, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Cage, Elliott Carter, Copland, Henry Cowell, Ellington, Gideon, Charles Ives, Piston, Rochberg, Schuman, Sessions, Stravinsky, Thomson, Tower, and Zwilich. At an annual ceremony, new members are inducted, honorary membership is bestowed on foreign artists (such as Benjamin Britten and Pierre Boulez), and various awards are presented (...


American Bandmasters Association  

Raoul F. Camus


Professional organization founded in 1929 in New York by Edwin Franko Goldman (who also became its first president) and a group of eminent bandmasters from the USA and Canada. John Philip Sousa served as its first honorary life president. The objectives of the ABA are to honor (by invitation to membership) outstanding achievement in the area of the concert band and its music; to encourage prominent composers of all countries to write for the concert band; and by example and leadership to enhance the cultural standing of bands. Associate Membership may be attained by firms in the music industry or related fields who wish to identify themselves with the objectives and activities of the association. The association sponsors the Ostwald Band Composition Award, and has published the biannual Journal of Band Research since 1964. The American Bandmasters Association Foundation, affiliated with the ABA but not under its control, provides funds for the Ostwald Band Composition Award, commissions symphonic band music, and partially funds the ABA Research Center at the University of Maryland....


American Choral Directors Association  

Debra L. Spurgeon


Professional organization founded in 1959. A group of 35 attendees at the biennial conference of the Music Teachers National Association in Kansas City, Missouri, formed this organization. A steering committee consisting of J. Clark Rhodes, Elwood Keister, Curt Hansen, Harry Robert Wilson, R. Wayne Hugoboom, Warner Imig, and Archie N. Jones created a working philosophy called the original ten purposes. The first purpose states: “To foster and promote choral singing which will provide artistic, cultural, and spiritual experiences for the participants.” The first national convention, held the following year in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in conjunction with a convention of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), featured five concerts, reading and interest sessions, and panel discussions, a model that continues to the present day. During its first decade the ACDA formed division and state chapters following the MENC model. R. Wayne Hugoboom was appointed the first executive secretary (1964...


American Composers’ Concerts  

E. Douglas Bomberger

Concerts consisting exclusively of works by American composers. The practice of promoting American composers by segregating their music has recurred often since the middle of the 19th century and was especially in vogue in the late 1880s, during World War II, and in the years around the Bicentennial of American independence in 1976.

The American Music Association was founded in 1855 by C.J. Hopkins to counter the assertion that American composers had not written enough compositions to present an entire concert. It presented ten concerts of works by native composers and resident foreigners in three seasons before succumbing to the financial panic of 1857. In May 1877, Russian pianist Annette Essipoff performed American Composers’ Concerts in Boston and New York on stages decked with red, white and blue.

The fad for American Composers’ Concerts in the 1880s was a reaction to inequities in the copyright laws of the era. Because the United States did not have an international copyright agreement, publishers could reprint foreign works without paying royalties. Even the best American composers—who were entitled to royalties—found it difficult to compete against cheaply produced foreign compositions flooding the American market. In addition to lobbying for copyright protection, composers and performers were determined to introduce their works to the public through performances....


American Federation of Musicians  

Rita H. Mead

Trade union founded in 1896 for professional musicians. Membership was extended to Canadian musicians in 1900, when ‘of the US and Canada’ was added to its title. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO in the USA and with the Central Labor Council in Canada, in 1996 it had 130,000 members in 300 local affiliates, which have jurisdiction over local areas of employment, while the international union has exclusive jurisdiction over recordings, film and network broadcasting. The federation publishes the ...


American Guild of Organists  

Rita H. Mead

revised by N. Lee Orr

An American educational and service organization for organists, clergy, and choral conductors. The guild was founded in New York in 1896 by over 100 of the leading organists and clergy, including John Knowles Paine and George Chadwick, and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. Dudley Buck served as the first honorary president. Its goals are to promote the organ, encourage excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, to support education and certification of Guild members, and to set and maintain standards of artistic excellence among its members. The Guild sponsors competitions in organ performance, improvisation, and in organ and choral composition, as well as national and regional conventions. The Guild also conducts examinations in organ playing and choir training, awarding successful candidates certificates and designating them as fellows, associates, or choirmasters. Monthly since 1967 it has published the American Organist, the most widely read journal devoted to organ and choral music in the world. With some 20,000 members in 322 chapters in all 50 states, Panama, and Europe, the Guild is one of the world’s largest organizations of musicians specializing in a single instrument....


American Harp Society  

Martha Woodward

revised by Suzanne L. Moulton-Gertig

Organization founded in New York in 1962. Its archetype was the National Association of Harpists (established in 1919 by William Place Jr.), active between 1920 and 1933 under president Carlos Salzedo. During the interim between its dissolution and the founding of the American Harp Society, the Northern California Harpists Association (which evolved from the Northern California Chapter of the National Association of Harpists) published Harp News (1950–66), an immediate forerunner to the American Harp Society’s American Harp Journal (since 1967). Under Marcel Grandjany, chairman of the founding committee, the American Harp Society (http://www.harpsociety.org/) was established to function as a clearinghouse for information related to the harp. Its stated mission is “to foster the appreciation of the harp as a musical instrument, to encourage the composition of music for the harp and to improve the quality of performance of harpists.” The society has over 3000 members from all 50 states and 20 countries. Membership elects a board to oversee its activities: including a biennial national conference (concerts, lectures and workshops combined with a general meeting), a biennial Summer Institute (with biennial AHS National and Lyon & Healy Awards Competitions), administration of the Concert Artist Program, and an endowment fund to support conferences, competitions, institutes, harp literature, education programs, audiovisual, and archives/research collections. A separate support organization, the AHS Foundation (established in ...


American Institute of Musicology  

Paula Morgan

Organization founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Armen Carapetyan in 1944 as the Institute of Renaissance and Baroque Music. The primary purpose of the institute is to publish scholarly editions of compositions and theoretical works, chiefly those of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and thus to promote the study of these sources in the humanistic disciplines in institutions of higher education. In 1946 the new name was adopted, and headquarters were moved to Rome (though offices were maintained in Cambridge and in Dallas, the latter’s circulation office moving to the firm of Hänssler-Verlag in Stuttgart in 1974). A group of eminent scholars served as an advisory board until 1949, when Carapetyan became the sole director. A choir was established in 1947, and summer sessions featuring advanced studies in medieval and Renaissance music history were held in 1947 and 1948; both were soon discontinued.

In its range of publications the institute has always aimed at high standards of scholarship and book production; following Carapetyan’s death in ...


American Music Guild  

R. Allen Lott

Organization formed in New York in 1921 to encourage serious efforts in composition by American composers. Its founding members, Marion Bauer, Louis Gruenberg, Sandor Harmati, Charles Haubiel, Frederick Jacobi, A. Walter Kramer, Harold Morris, Albert Stoessel, and Deems Taylor, first met informally to listen to each other’s works and offer criticism. From ...


American Music Therapy Association  

Alan L. Solomon

National professional association for music therapy. AMTA was founded in 1998 as a result of the unification of the National Association for Music Therapy (founded 1950) and the American Association for Music Therapy (founded 1971). AMTA’s mission is to increase public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and to increase access to quality music therapy services throughout the United States and the world. This mission has evolved from a shared vision that every person who can benefit from music therapy, irrespective of economic status, severity of disability, or ethnic background, should have access to music therapy services of the highest quality....


American Orff-Schulwerk Association  

Alan L. Spurgeon


Professional organization for Orff Schulwerk teachers. The organization promotes the artistic and pedagogical principles of Bavarian composer and educator Carl Orff (1895–82) and his colleague Gunild Keetman (1904–90). Orff Schulwerk (schoolwork) uses children’s poems, rhymes, games, songs, and dances as examples and basic materials. The non-competitive approach emphasizes creativity through music and movement. Specially designed Orff instruments are a part of the approach. The American Orff-Schulwerk Association was founded in Muncie, Indiana, in 1968 when educators who had studied Orff Schulwerk convened a meeting. The organization holds annual conferences and oversees guidelines for Orff teacher training courses. There are almost 120 regional chapters that sponsor teacher education workshops. The organization’s journal, the Orff Echo, is published quarterly. The membership elects a board of directors representing each region of the country. AOSA is the largest of many Orff organizations internationally that look to the Orff Institute of the University Mozarteum in Salzburg as the center of the Orff movement. AOSA members and other Orff-trained teachers use various materials published by Orff and Keetman, most prominently the multi-volume set ...


American School Band Directors Association  

Raoul F. Camus


Professional association of band directors teaching at the elementary- or secondary-school level. Established in 1953, its objectives were to represent school band directors in the academic and business communities; to foster the exchange of ideas and methods that will advance the standards of musical and educational achievement; to stress the importance of the school band in the educational process and establish bands as a basic course in the school curriculum; to maintain a program for the improvement of school bands through research and experimentation; and to cooperate with existing associations that share the aim of promoting the band as a worthwhile medium of musical expression. Membership (by invitation) is open to active school band directors with a minimum of five years’ teaching experience who command the respect of their colleagues for the standard of performance and musicianship achieved by their bands. The association presents two biennial awards, the A. Austin Harding Award to individuals for valuable and dedicated service to the bands of America, and the Edwin Franko Goldman Award as a measure of appreciation for outstanding personal contributions to the school band movement....


American Society for Jewish Music  

Israel J. Katz


Organization founded in New York in 1974. It was a successor to the Mailamm (active 1931–9, whose name is a Hebrew acronym for ‘Jewish Institute of Musicology’), created by Miriam Zunzer, and to the Jewish Music Forum (1939–63), established by Abraham Wolf Binder, which later became known as the Jewish Liturgical Music Society of America (...