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Founded in 1981 by New York-based composer, theorist, bassoonist, and author Johnny Reinhard (b 1956), the American Festival of Microtonal Music, otherwise referred to as AFMM (http://www.afmm.org) provides an international forum for composers, theorists, and performers whose work is concerned with just intonation and microtonality. Originally founded as an outlet for Reinhard’s in-depth studies in microtonality, the AFMM has gone on to produce an ongoing concert series that presents a vast array of music from contemporary composers. Programming has broadened to include works of composers such as Partch, Cage, Varèse, and Charles Ives. The AFMM also presents works of J.S. Bach, Andreas Werckmeister and others performed in historical tunings and temperaments. The AFMM has produced many significant and successful premieres including a realization of Ives’s Universe Symphony (1996). Their concerts have featured solo and chamber works, including the loosely connected American Festival of Microtonal Music ensemble. The AFMM has archived these concerts since around ...

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Stephen D. Winick

Government agency and archive. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress was created by the US Congress in 1976 to “preserve and present American Folklife,” the first time US federal law mandated the conservation of folk culture. The Center soon acquired the Archive of Folk Culture, which had been established by the Library of Congress’s music division in 1928. Through the efforts of such leaders as Robert W. Gordon, John Lomax, Alan Lomax, and Joe Hickerson, the archive had acquired thousands of hours of field recordings, and provided access to them in a public reading room as well as through books and record albums. By 1978, when it became part of AFC, it was already the largest ethnographic archive in the United States, as well as the source for many popular pieces of music, including Aaron Copland’s Hoedown, Johnny Cash’s “Rock Island Line,” and the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley.”...

Article

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....

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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 ...

Article

Katherine Meizel

American television show. Developed by the music executive Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment, American Idol is one of more than 40 “Idol” programs that have been televised around the world, each designed for a particular nation or region. The show was first broadcast on British television as Pop Idol in 2001, before airing in the United States on the Fox Network the following year. American Idol itself has been broadcast in more than half of all sovereign states.

Its format draws on forerunners including Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, Star Search, Popstars, and The Eurovision Song Contest and invites viewers to vote, typically by telephone or text message, in the election of a new pop star. Candidates vying for a recording contract are chosen by producers through a series of open auditions. When the voting episodes begin, contestants’ live weekly performances are critiqued by a panel of judges. Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul served as the initial panel of judges for ...

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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 ...

Article

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 ...

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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....

Article

Dee Baily

Opera company. It was founded in 1885 by Jeannette Thurber, whose policy was to engage competent, if unknown, American singers for productions of grand opera sung in English. Thurber appointed a board of eminent directors with Andrew Carnegie as president, and engaged theodore Thomas, who had his own touring orchestra, as music director. Among the fully staged operas presented by the troupe were W.A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute, C.W. Gluck’s Orpheus and Euridice, Richad Wagner’s Lohengrin and The Flying Dutchman, Victor Massé’s Galatea, Verdi’s Aida, Karl Goldmark’s Queen of Sheba, and the American premiere of Anton Rubinstein’s Nero; the repertory also included the ballets Sylvia and Coppélia by Léo Delibes. The first season opened on 4 January 1886 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the company’s ensuing six-month tour of the United States (mainly the Northeast) was hailed as an artistic success and a commendable effort in spite of poor management. After the first season, the company was reincorporated: Thomas became president, and it began its second season in ...

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[AOSA]

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 ...

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(ASBDA)

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....

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[ASJM]

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 (...

Article

American organization founded in New York in 1974, a successor to the Mailamm (active 1931–9), the Jewish Music Forum (1939–63), and the Jewish Liturgical Music Society of America (1963–74). Membership includes libraries, synagogues, cantors, composers, educators, musicologists, ethnologists, historians, performers, and lay members who are active or interested in Jewish liturgical and secular music. The society maintains relationships with similar organizations throughout the world. It presents a variety of public programs each season, often with the American Jewish Historical Society, its host at the Center for Jewish History. The organization publishes scholarly works relevant to Jewish music, notably the multilingual journal Musica judaica (since 1975). It also sponsors the Jewish Music Forum, which hosts academic seminars, events, and forums to promote awareness and dialogue about Jewish music. It awards prizes for new Jewish works and schedules to have them performed. Albert Weisser served as its first president....

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Tammy L. Kernodle

Founded by Everett McCorvey in 1995, the ensemble defines its mission as the preservation of the spiritual tradition. McCorvey, a native of Montgomery, Alabama and Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at the University of Kentucky, founded the group because he felt that the arranged spiritual tradition was not being celebrated in the same manner as other forms of African American sacred music, especially gospel music. The group’s membership, which ranges from 25 to 50 performers depending on the performance requirements, consists of singers who have performed on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and concert halls throughout Europe. Although he traveled the world as a tenor soloist and has served as artist faculty at the American Institute of Musical Study in Graz, Austria, McCorvey has made a considerable contribution to the American concert tradition through the group. The group’s repertory includes not only arranged spirituals in the ensemble and art song format, but also jazz and Broadway tunes. It has traveled extensively around the world. In ...

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[ASTA]

National professional organization for string music education. ASTA was founded in 1946 to encourage student performance of bowed instruments; to foster study and research on the pedagogy of string playing; and to facilitate the continuing education of string teachers. It was organized partly in reaction to the proliferation of wind bands in the public schools. The association’s activities have included special study of violin pedagogy (beginning in 1966), workshops for school orchestra directors who are not string specialists (1971–), and an international workshop with the European String Teachers Association held in Exeter, Great Britain (1975). ASTA also grants annual awards to artist-teachers and for distinguished service to the string teaching profession. In addition to various monographs and bulletins, the association has published the (now quarterly) American String Teacher since 1951. Its 11,500 members are string teachers and performers from all 50 states. Its current headquarters opened in Reston, Virginia, in ...

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[ASOL]

Organization founded in 1942 to provide artistic, financial and organizational support for American orchestras. In 1999 its members included nearly 900 symphony, chamber, youth and university orchestras. In addition to offering seminars and workshops for orchestra managers, staff and volunteers, the league sponsors an Orchestra Management Fellowship Program and provides scholarships for black American student musicians. In ...