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date: 20 November 2019

Community music ensemblelocked

  • Don Coffman


An instrumental or vocal group typically comprised of volunteer amateur or semi-professional musicians. Derived from the Latin communitas and Old French comunité, modern senses of the word community include (1) a group of people viewed collectively due to proximity, common interests or characteristics and (2) the quality of relationships in a group, such as shared goals, values, identities, participatory decision making, and mutual support. In combination with the French ensemble (from the Latin insimul, at the same time), the term community music ensemble connotes a group of musicians, a locale, a unity of purpose, and concerted action or ethos.

Therefore, a community music ensemble in the United States can be viewed as the music of a community and as communal music-making. The phrase “music of a community” typically situates the music-making ensemble within a city or municipality, such as a community band, choir, or orchestra. Members are often drawn from the community at large. They can be financially supported by fees, local government, grants, or charitable giving. Frequently organized as not-for-profit organizations, they reflect the civic or public ownership sense of ...

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