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George R. Belden

revised by Philip Munger

US state (pop. 721,231; 2010 US Census). Although Alaska’s population grew rapidly from World War II through the end of the 20th century, this growth slowed subsequently with population declines in the rural interior. State support for cultural organizations and for arts education in schools and universities has not remained consistent. A high percentage of corporate gifts to arts organizations has come from oil companies, and, in the early 21st century, from the financial services industry.

The city of Anchorage (pop. 291,826; 2010 US Census) is the main hub for musical activity in the vast yet sparsely populated state. Few records exist of the frontier town’s musical life before 1928, when the local high school engaged Lorene Harrison, a young college graduate from Kansas, to teach music and home economics; she also sang, produced shows, founded groups, and directed the choir at the First Presbyterian Church of Anchorage. For many years she guided virtually all of the city’s musical activities; during World War II, when most civilians were evacuated from Alaska, she stayed on as director of the United Service Organizations, and arranged and conducted concerts at which military personnel and local residents performed....







Raymond F. Kennedy, Cynthia B. Sajnovsky, and Barbara B. Smith

The southernmost of the Marianas Islands and the largest island in Micronesia; its area is 541 sq. km. It became a port of call for the Spanish Manila Galleon, an annual expedition from 1565 to 1815 between the Philippines and Mexico. In 1899, after the end of the Spanish colonial administration, Guam became an American naval base and later a territory of the United States. The population of Guam (180,692 in US Census 2000) includes inhabitants of indigenous extraction (Chamorro), Filipinos, Americans from the mainland, Carolinian and Marshallese islanders, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. The Chamorro population was almost annihilated through war and disease during the 17th century; their demise was accompanied by the growth of a mixed population produced chiefly through intermarriage between Chamorros and Spaniards or Filipinos, and of a hybrid culture including Roman Catholicism and some Hispanic elements.

The only documents concerning music for over 150 years after Ferdinand Magellan’s ...


Isle of Man  

Fenella Bazin

Island located in the Irish Sea, off the north-west coast of England.

Manx music has been shaped by the Isle of Man's unique political status and its position at the cultural crossroads of the British Isles. Manx Celts had been Christian for nearly 400 years before the arrival in about 800 ce of pagan Scandinavian settlers, who were converted to Christianity and founded the Tynwald (parliament). From the early 15th century onwards English rule was to have a profound effect on cultural life. Manx Gaelic, a dialect of Irish and Scots Gaelic, was still the majority language in the early 1800s; the influx of English-speaking holidaymakers hastened its decline, although it was still spoken in the 20th century. Trading and commercial links with Britain and Ireland as well as further afield helped shape a distinctive musical life.

Little music has survived from before the 18th century, although documentary evidence indicates that there was an active musical life at all levels of Manx society. The English Lords of Man (the earls of Derby and their successors the dukes of Atholl, ...









Gerard Béhague

State in north-east Brazil. It had one of the earliest musical establishments in the Portuguese colony. The city of Olinda, founded in the mid-16th century, became during that century the seat of a bishopric, and remained the seat of the diocese until 1833. The first known mestre de capela at Olinda was Gomes Correia, appointed in 1564 and succeeded by the end of the century by Paulo Serrão. Several names of 17th-century mestres de capela survive in church documents, but not a single composition has been discovered. In the city of Recife (the capital of Pernambuco) musical institutions developed, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries. A large number of documents reveal some 600 musicians (instrumentalists, singers, composers and organ builders) working in the area at that period. A frequently praised musician of the 17th century is João de Lima, whose works were considered worthy of publication even 50 years after his death ‘for the instruction of music professors’. Another musician of excellent reputation as a composer and performer was Inácio Ribeiro Noya, born in Recife in ...


Virgin Islands, United States  

Margot Lieth Philipp

revised by Mark Clague

A group of Caribbean islands lying about 50 miles east of Puerto Rico. They consist of the former Danish West Indies (St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix) and about 50 smaller islets, mostly uninhabited; the islands were purchased by the United States in 1917, named the United States Virgin Islands, and became constitutionally an unincorporated territory. They have a combined area of 133 square miles and in 2010 had a population of 106,405.

The original inhabitants of the islands perished during the European colonial period, and no strictly indigenous musical forms survive, although quelbe (since 2004) is the islands’ official folk music. Slaves brought from Africa to labor on sugar plantations and islanders of African descent comprise the majority of today’s residents. Smaller populations of Asians, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Arabs, Caribbean immigrants, United States transplants, and others contribute to the island’s diverse musical culture, which is best characterized as hybrid or syncretic, drawing primarily from West Indian (Caribbean), European, African, and American cultures....



Geraint Lewis, Lyn Davies, and Phyllis Kinney

A principality in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Wales was a separate country from 613 to 1282, when it came under English rule. It is largely a highland area with a traditionally pastoral economy, although in parts of lowland south Wales agriculture is also important, and investment from outside Wales brought new industries to the principality in the late 20th century. The population includes descendants of various pre-Celtic, Celtic and other stocks, and about a quarter are Welsh-speaking. As a result, the Welsh are actively conscious of their Celtic heritage, and this is reflected in their music and in the late survival of archaic forms and instruments. Despite a long history of traditional music, it was not until the 19th century, when the development of coalfields in north-east and south Wales created dense urban centres, that art music, outside the church, began to develop.

After the long and slow alignment of the Celtic Church with Rome, the Latin period was fully established by Norman times (11th century) and it continued until the Reformation. Archbishop Peckham (...