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Académie Royale de Musique  


Altamont Festival  

Norma Coates

A free outdoor music festival organized and headlined by the Rolling Stones that took place on 6 December 1969. Goaded by the music press to put on a free show in the wake of the recent Woodstock festival and unprecedentedly high ticket prices for their own shows, the group quickly and haphazardly arranged the festival. The remote Altamont Speedway in the scrubland northeast of San Francisco was used after attempts to hold it at more congenial spots fell through. Possibly at the suggestion of the Grateful Dead’s manager, the Stones hired some members of San Francisco Hells Angels, the notorious motorcycle gang, to work security. Over 300,000 people flocked to the desolate place on a wintry day. Violence, primarily attacks by the Hells Angels on audience members and musicians, began almost immediately, and culminated in the murder of a young African-American man, Meredith Hunter. Documentarians Albert and David Maysles captured Hunter’s knifing at the hands of a Hells Angel, and the rest of the day’s dysfunction and violence in their film ...


Amusement parks  

Elizabeth A. Clendinning

An amusement park is a commercially-operated, outdoor venue that offers games, rides, and other types of entertainment, including music. The amusement park concept originated in the pleasure gardens of 17th-century Europe, which were originally large landscaped outdoor spaces primary devoted to games with a few refreshment stands. Dances and social and instrumental concerts became commonly integrated into these pleasure gardens in the 18th century. (See Pleasure garden.) Another important part of early amusement park soundscapes was the mechanical organ, which was used by street performers as early as the 18th century and was frequently built into carousel rides by the end of the 19th century. Over the course of the 19th century, the popularity of amusement parks skyrocketed, especially in the United States, where large tracts of land were available for development. Bandstands and pavilions devoted explicitly to musical performances were common in the 19th century, in part influenced by the popular World’s Fairs, which were industrial and cultural expositions that featured specific stages devoted to performers from around the world. A change came with the ...


Apollo Theater  

Jennifer L. Campbell

Theater in New York. Located at 253 West 125th Street, the Apollo Theater is situated in the heart of Harlem. Benjamin Hurtig and Harry Seamon originally owned the building and operated it as the New Burlesque Theater until Sidney Cohen purchased the establishment in 1934, reopening it as the 125th Street Apollo Theater. Frank Schiffman and Leo Brecher bought the building soon thereafter, and the theater flourished under their direction for more than 30 years. Schiffman achieved a reputation for programming entertainment intended to attract sizeable African American audiences and for employing African American musicians, dancers, comedians, and stagehands. He used a vaudeville-style variety format to organize the shows, also called revues, which allowed multiple acts to perform in a single evening. A similar approach was employed for “Amateur Night at the Apollo,” which began in the 1930s, quickly became popular with audiences and talents scouts, and evolved into a long-standing Apollo tradition. Winning Amateur Night helped launch the careers of many black musicians and entertainers, among them Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dionne Warwick, James Brown, Gladys Knight, and Jimi Hendrix. Throughout the years, the Apollo became a symbol of musical innovation, embracing new styles of music from swing, bebop, and rhythm-and-blues during the 1930s through 1950s to soul music, Motown, and experimental jazz in the decades that followed. In the 1970s and 1980s the Apollo suffered from financial difficulties and intermittent closings until it became a city and state landmark in ...


Athos, Mount  

Miloš Velimirović

Semi-autonomous monastic ‘republic’ comprising numerous Greek and other Christian monastic communities. It is located on a peninsula of the same name, east of Thessaloniki in northern Greece; the peninsula is also known as the ‘Holy Mountain’ (Hagion oros) or the ‘Garden of the All-Holy Virgin’. Since the Middle Ages, and especially since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Athos has been an important centre for Byzantine chant. A number of notable musicians and composers worked there, including Joannes Koukouzeles, who lived near Lavra in the 14th century, and many important manuscripts were produced in its monasteries. The Athonite monastic communities are now unusual in their adherence to the regular recitation of the Byzantine Offices.

Because of its isolation and semi-desert nature, Athos is an ideal monastic site. Monasteries were first established there in the 9th century (references to earlier foundations are unsubstantiated). Great Lavra, the oldest continuously inhabited monastery, was founded in 963 by St Athanasius of Athos with the support of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas. The number of subsequent foundations grew rapidly; there are references (perhaps exaggerated) to some 180 monastic settlements in the 11th century and close to 300 by the early 13th century. Later, however, the number of monasteries diminished. In the early 13th century crusaders conquered Constantinople and many monasteries lost their property and suffered economic decline. In the early 14th century Athos was ravaged by Catalan soldiers, and for over 20 years in the middle of the century it was a part of the Serbian Empire. During this century, too, the monks were sharply divided by the theological controversy over the views of Gregory Palamas....


Brill Building  

Alexandra M. Apolloni

Located at 1619 Broadway in New York, the Brill Building housed the offices of some of the most commercially successful songwriters, producers, and music publishers working between the late 1950s and mid-1960s. The term “Brill Building” additionally has become a descriptor embracing a wide range of popular musical styles that were being created in New York in the early 1960s, including girl groups, bubblegum pop, vocal doo-wop, Latin pop, and soul. In addition to 1619 Broadway, other sites, notably the offices of Don Krishner and Al Nevins’s Aldon Music at 1650 Broadway, were also locations that contributed to the Brill Building sound. The Brill Building is credited with fostering skillful songwriting and introducing innovations in popular music production models, following in the tradition of Tin Pan Alley.

Numbers 1619 and 1650 Broadway housed songwriters, producers, and publishers in dozens of small offices and cubicles, where collaboration took place daily. Songwriters, often working under salary, were able to pitch their work to publishers in the same building, while producers could solicit songs for their artists, hire musicians and arrangers, and make recordings in-house, resulting in what has been described as a vertically integrated production structure. This system has been likened to a conveyor belt and the Brill Building to a songwriting factory. While this characterization is accurate in some respects, scholars have argued that it undermines the creativity and innovation that emerged there as a result of close relationships between songwriters, publishers, producers, and artists....



Betty Matthews, Ian Stephens, Jill Tucker, and John Snelson

City and seaport. It is located on the west coast of England, near the junction of the River Avon and River Frome. It was at the height of its prosperity, which was reflected in its musical life, in the mid-18th century. A festival of St Cecilia on 22 November 1727 included possibly the first performance of Handel’s music outside London. The ‘Utrecht’ Te Deum and Jubilate were performed in the cathedral, and a concert at St Augustine’s Back Theatre featured a number of other works by Handel. Simultaneously the ‘Gentlemen of the Musick Society’ assisted at a concert in Merchants’ Hall. After festivals in 1728 and 1730 the celebrations were replaced by annual benefit concerts, which ran until about 1760. The 1758 event included the first performance in England of Handel’s Messiah in any church apart from the chapel of the Foundling Hospital.

After the opening in 1756 of the Princes Street Rooms the popularity of the St Augustine’s Back Assembly waned. Among visiting musicians at the New Rooms were Charles and Samuel Wesley in the 1770s and the nine-year-old William Crotch in ...


Camden Maine, Harp Colony  

Joanne Sheehy Hoover

revised by Suzanne L. Moulton-Gertig

[ Salzedo School; Summer Harp Colony of America]

Summer school for harpists. Carlos Salzedo established the school in 1931, and until his death in 1961 taught up to 40 students twice per week. He expected students to adhere to a strict dress code and spend most of their time practicing. He left his colony and house to a former student, Alice Chalifoux (...



Janis L. McKay

[hotel casinos]

The word casino originally referred to small garden houses that were used for music and table games in Europe; over time, it came to mean any building in which gambling took place. Historically, hotel casino owners have used musical entertainment to draw tourists to their locations, in the hope that before and after the performance guests will spend time gambling. Casinos vary greatly in size and design, from small ones located on remote Native American reservations to large mega-resorts found in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and on reservations located near major cities.

The largest number of casinos in the United States is in Las Vegas, often called the “entertainment capital of the world,” and their music is generally typical of what larger casinos in the United States offer. The first casino opened in 1906; the “Arizona Club” was one of the first to offer music, employing three pianists. The Arizona Club was located on notorious “Block 16,” an area originally designated for drinking, prostitution, and gambling. When Nevada banned gambling in ...


Centennial Exhibition  

Martha Furman Schleifer

A commemorative exhibition established by Act of Congress on 3 March 1871, officially called the “International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and Mine.” Marking the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, it took place in Philadelphia from 10 May to 10 November 1876. Seventeen states and 37 foreign countries accepted invitations to participate, and nearly 10 million visitors viewed 30,864 exhibits in 249 buildings, built on 285 acres of Fairmount Park overlooking the Schuylkill River. Horticultural Hall and Memorial Hall became permanent additions to the park. The site had independent mail, sewer, water, and telegraph systems and the first monorail in North America. New products presented included Bell’s telephone, the Remington Typographic Machine (typewriter), Heinz Ketchup, Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo (precursor to the electric light), and Hires Root Beer. The exhibition showcased the United States as an industrial power and Philadelphia as a city of culture and industry....


Clubs, music  

Linda Whitesitt

Voluntary associations of professional and amateur musicians. Music clubs have had a profound impact on the modern institutions and practices of American musical life that arose in the decades spanning the turn of the 20th century. Emerging after the Civil War and as part of the long tradition of 19th-century women’s organizations, most of these music clubs were founded by women to offer women musicians the opportunity to study music and perform for each other. By 1893, when the first gathering of women’s music clubs convened at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, many clubs had broadened their mission to include what they described as the advancement of public taste and the promotion of high-quality music. A rapidly expanding body of members (men would eventually join the ranks of club members) in individual music clubs, as well as the National Federation of Music Clubs (chartered in 1898), would accomplish these goals by sponsoring concert series of European and American artists, chamber ensembles, orchestras, and opera companies in their communities....


Cotton Club, the  

E. Ron Horton

Nightclub. It was originally located on the corner of 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York. One of the most extravagant and well known entertainment venues in the world during the 1920s and 1930s, it was both a springboard for the music careers of its African American stars and an adherent to the Jim Crow racial policies that divided the United States in the early 20th century. It first opened its doors as a cabaret called Club Deluxe in 1920 under the former champion boxer Jack Johnson. In 1922 it was taken over by Owney Madden, who saw the club as the perfect location to sell his Number One beer. Madden and his management partners reopened and reinvented the establishment as the Cotton Club.

The central theme of the Cotton Club was the re-creation of the grandeur of a Southern plantation. The all-African American cast of dancers, actors, musicians, comedians, and entertainers of all kinds was featured in shows that were written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh and served an exclusively white clientele. No expense was spared in shows that featured some of the best known artists of the day in elaborate sets and costumes. Although the arrangements were exploitive, the employment that the club offered was coveted by black entertainers and dancers, who had few other opportunities to capitalize on their talents. The women who were employed there were judged as much for the light skin complexion as they were for their dancing ability and were forced to relieve themselves in a bucket in the dressing room since restrooms were reserved for the use of white customers only....



Stanislav Tuksar

(Ital. Cherso)

The largest settlement on the largest island (of the same name) in the Adriatic sea, seat of the municipality with about 3000 inhabitants. Today’s main economic activities consist of tourism, shipbuilding, fishing, and agriculture. Cres was originally populated by the Illyrian tribe of Liburns; later came the ancient Roman fortress (Crexa, Crepsa). From the 9th to 15th centuries it was within the Croatian Kingdom; from 1409 to 1797 under Venetian rule; from 1805 to 1814 under French rule; from 1815 to 1918 under Habsburg administration; and in 1918–43 under Italian occupation. Since 1945 it has been incorporated again into Croatia. The urbanized nucleus of the town of Cres has a local museum, town loggia, three town doors, a tower, the parish church of St Mary of the Snow (16th century), and several Gothic and Renaissance palaces and churches. The Franciscan monastery dates from the 14th century and the Benedictine convent from the 15th century. It was home of the noble Petris family, which gave birth to the well-known Renaissance Platonist philosopher Franciscus Patritius (Francesco Patrizi, Frane Petrić) and the composer Andrea Patricio (Andrija Patricij)....



Caroline Polk O’meara

(New York City)

A collection of Manhattan neighborhoods south of 14th Street, several of which—including Greenwich Village, SoHo, and the Lower East Side—have fostered musical movements in the post-war era. The terms “downtown music” and “music downtown” have been used to refer to different genres—including popular, jazz, avant-garde, and concert music, among others—but they also often indicate the ways such categories have become increasingly blurred since the 1970s.

Urban folk music, originating in Greenwich Village and featuring artists such as Bob Dylan and the Holy Modal Rounders, was the first distinctly Downtown musical movement of the post-war era. By the late 1960s young musicians and artists of all types were priced out of the Village and began moving east, creating new music and arts communities. During this period the counterculture in New York found its home in the tenements of the Lower East Side.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, the variability of Manhattan’s real estate market shifted the locus of the avant-garde to the manufacturing lofts of SoHo. Composers, including Carla Bley, Philip Glass, and Meredith Monk, held events in loft spaces and venues such as Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation (established ...



Stanley Sadie

Swedish opera house on Lake Mälaren, just outside Stockholm, in the Swedish royal palace. The first theatre there was built in 1754; it burnt down in 1762 and was replaced by a larger building, designed by C.F. Adelcrantz and completed in 1766, with changes in 1791 by L.-J. Desprez. Its heyday began in 1777 when Gustavus III inherited the palace. The repertory included spoken drama, operas in French, Italian and Swedish and pantomime ballets. After the assassination of Gustavus in 1792 the theatre fell into disuse. Not until the 1920s was it investigated, by the theatre historian Anje Beijer. The original wooden machinery, by Donato Stopiani, was found to be in good working order, needing only to be fitted with new ropes (electrical wiring was also installed); it includes a windlass for changing the side flats, a wind machine, a thunderbox (containing rolling stones), two machines for flight chariots, rollers for clouds, a wave-machine, trapdoors and footlights and sidelights movement with controlled by wheel systems. Several original flats and backcloths survive, by Desprez, Carlo Bibiena and J.D. Dugourc. The theatre (cap. 454) has a single, raked floor with small side boxes; the main seating is on benches, in 32 rows. The building is 57 metres by 23, with a stage depth of 19·8 and a proscenium width of 8·8 and height of 6·6. Drottningholm is generally regarded as the best-preserved theatre of the 18th century, in particular for its machinery....


Ephrata Cloister  

Russell P. Getz

revised by Denise A. Seachrist

A communal society of German immigrants located 65 miles from Philadelphia. Ephrata was founded in 1732 under the leadership of Georg Conrad Beissel (1691–1768) on two main religious concepts: celibacy and Sabbatarianism. The religious observances held at Ephrata were similar to those of the Dunkers (the Church of the Brethren): baptism by total immersion three times (trine immersion), feetwashing (a symbolic act of humility performed during communion), and the observance of the love feast (the sharing of a common meal symbolic of Christian fellowship and charity).

The celibate society at Ephrata consisted of a single brotherhood and single sisterhood; however, a third order comprised of married couples known as “householders” met weekly to worship with the cloistered orders. At its height, Ephrata counted about 300 members. The brothers and the sisters occupied separate buildings, lived in tiny rooms, and underwent rigorous discipline. In keeping with the idea of humility and a commitment to the mystical way of life, the buildings at Ephrata contained narrow halls (symbolic of the straight and narrow path) and low doorways, making it necessary for the celibates to bow in humility. The members slept in cells measuring five by ten feet each with a small window, a 15-inch bench for sleeping, and a wooden block for a pillow. The members believed that the more they denied themselves in physical terms, the greater their rewards in spiritual terms. Eventually they became known as German Seventh-Day Baptists....



János Malina


Palace and former settlement in west Hungary in the town now called Fertőd.

The palace and settlement, once part of the village of Süttör and later called Eszterháza, owed its existence to an adjacent hunting area. Today it belongs to the Hungarian town Fertőd near the Austrian border. A palace was built here from 1720 on for Count Nicolaus Esterházy, still a minor, using parts of an earlier building. When he became prince in 1762, he started to transform his domicile into a magnificent residence of the maison de plaisance type. From 1765 he used it again as his permanent dwelling, although he spent several months of the year in Vienna. (He visited Eisenstadt, the administrative centre of his estates sporadically after 1765 and apparently never after 1776.) His vision, accomplished by 1784, included a mostly three-storey main building with a spectacular pair of stair-wings leading from the large ...


Gold Rush, the  

Meredith Eliassen

The music and songs of the (California) Gold Rush in San Francisco reflected the sorrows and hard luck of residents who failed to find fortunes in California’s gold fields and faced mortality far from loved ones. The newspaper Alta California observed in 1851, “Birds of a feather flock together,” describing San Francisco as a miniature world where music reflected nearly “every country on the face of the earth.” A few short blocks from the Latin Quarter lay the heart of Chinatown. Streets reverberated with the bustling rhythms of landfill machinery used to reshape the geography of San Francisco’s waterfront and the transient movement of boardinghouse dwellers dodging firestorms, shanghaiers, and outbreaks of cholera.

Musical influences from Californios, New York’s Bowery district, and the Appalachian Mountains region, along with sea shanties from the Pacific Rim trade routes, rhythms of freeborn African Americans, and traditional musics of Europeans fleeing famines, economic depressions, and violent unrest reverberated through San Francisco’s vibrant street culture. Regular steamship service made minstrel shows and bawdy burlesque featuring all-male casts profitable in the absence of women performers. Local minstrel shows parodied popular music by adapting songs with new lyrics to entertain miners. The Philadelphia Minstrels started a long engagement at the Bella Union Hall on ...


Kansas, University of  

Paul R. Laird

State-supported university founded in Lawrence in 1866. A Department of Music was established within the School of Fine Arts in 1884. Dance was part of the department from 1985 until 2009, when a free-standing School of Music was formed. In the fall of 2009, the School of Music had 300 undergraduates, 220 graduate students, and nearly 60 full- and part-time instructors. It offers the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in performance, theory, composition, music education, musicology, and music therapy, and a combined BFA degree in theatre and vocal music. The Department of Music founded the long-standing Midwestern Music Camp in the summer of 1936. It also offered the nation’s first graduate program in music therapy (1948). Notable facilities include the World War II Memorial Campanile and Carillon (1951), and the Bales Organ Recital Hall (1996) with its Hellmuth Wolff tracker organ. The Thomas Gorton Music and Dance Library boasts an outstanding collection with over 100,000 books, bound journals, and scores, 15,000 LPs, over 10,000 CDs, and 2,000 videos. Other notable resources include the Richard M. Wright Jazz Archive and Seaver Opera Collection in the Archive of Recorded Sound....


May Festival  

Robert Copeland


The oldest primarily choral music festival in the United States. Held on two weekends in May, the festival was established in 1873 under the direction of Theodore Thomas. German singing societies had earlier laid a strong foundation of choral singing in the city. In 1871 a committee led by Maria Longworth Nichols persuaded Thomas to accept the direction of a new and broader festival patterned after the Birmingham and Lower Rhine festivals. The May Festival Chorus was established in 1872, drawing on singing societies, church choirs, and other Cincinnatians. The first festival included an orchestra of 108 and a chorus of 800, and by 1875 citizens began to collect funds to build the present Music Hall primarily for the May Festivals. The festival was held essentially biennially until 1967, since when it has been held annually. Its focus has been on choral works and opera (usually in concert performance).

Thomas conducted all 16 festivals until his death in ...