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date: 31 October 2020


  • Otto E. Albrecht,
  • Gary Galván
  •  and Nina Davis-Millis


City in Pennsylvania (pop. 1,526,006, ranked fifth largest in the United States; metropolitan area pop. 5,965,343; 2010 US Census). Recognized as one of the country’s principal musical and cultural centers, it is home to world-renowned institutions such as the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Curtis Institute of Music. The city also hosts two unique music-lending collections at the Free Library of Philadelphia: the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music, the largest and most comprehensive collection of orchestral performance sets in the world, and the Drinker Choral Music Library, the largest source of choral works in the United States.

Originally inhabited by Lenape (Delaware) Indians, the area was occupied by Dutch and Swedish settlers in the early 17th century. In 1681 King Charles II of England granted the land now known as Pennsylvania to William Penn, a Quaker who sought refuge for victims of religious persecution. Penn established the city of Philadelphia (Greek for “brotherly love”) the following year. Despite Quakers’ open admonishments against musical practices, evidence survives of thriving musical activity. For example, German Protestant communities had instrument builders as early as ...

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Journal of the American Musicological Society
Black Perspective in Music
Musical Quarterly