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Boston: Smaller ensembles and performers and Vernacular traditions  

Leonard Burkat

revised by Pamela Fox

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....


Jerusalem: Modern History  

Ury Eppstein

Musical life in modern Jerusalem can be divided into two separate spheres: the liturgical music of the various Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities who maintain their living musical traditions; and Western secular art music.

Most of the many Jewish religious musical traditions are represented in the synagogues of the various communities, the most ancient being of Middle Eastern origin, mainly from the Yemen, Baghdad, Kurdistan, Iran, Bokhara and Syria. On further investigation, these may prove to preserve elements of musical traditions from biblical times. There are also representatives of the musical traditions of Spanish-based Sephardi communities, especially those from North Africa, Greece and Turkey, as well as of the mainstreams of eastern European Ashkenazi tradition, namely Hasidism (which created in Jerusalem a special vocal style imitating instruments, stimulated by the ban on instrumental music imposed to signify mourning for the destruction of the Temple) and its opponents, Mithnagdim, who developed a Jerusalem version of the Lithuanian-style Bible cantillation. Western European communities, mainly from Germany, also have synagogues with their own musical traditions....


Moscow: 1703–1918  

I.M. Yampol′sky

revised by Rosamund Bartlett

With the reforms of Peter the Great secular music came to have a much more prominent place in Russian life. The founding of St Petersburg, to which the court moved, also had an effect on the musical culture of Moscow, which changed radically during the 18th century. At the beginning of the century Russian music was represented by its rich heritage of folksong, by ecclesiastical chants and by the simplest domestic genres; by the end of the century Russian opera was taking shape, symphonic and chamber music were being written by Russian composers, and early examples of the Russian song were beginning to appear. The musical needs of Russian society were growing, its tastes were changing and the circle of educated music lovers was expanding. In spite of the fact that St Petersburg drew great artistic forces to the court, Moscow formed its own professional musical circles. Of particular importance were the serf musicians, who performed as soloists and in the many large serf orchestras....