The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music

By Jim Samson | Go to book overview

13
The structures of musical life
KATHARINE ELLIS

In the sphere of art music, the second half of the nineteenth century saw the consolidation and wider dissemination of many of the structures and institutions which had been set up in Europe during the preceding decades, and which were now developing worldwide and gaining in status. Models for operatic, orchestral, educational, publishing and journalistic institutions provided by the major European centres – particularly Paris, Vienna and London – became established in the New World to the extent that cities such as Boston and New York emerged as their potential rivals on the increasingly intercontinental stage of middle-class musical life. Such consolidation took various forms: nationalist drive and the breakdown of court culture lay behind the emergence of municipal musical culture in much of what now constitutes the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary; in North America, the 'European' musical traditions of cities such as New York and Boston were initiated by immigrant German musicians and embraced by a wider middle class hungry for cultural status. The pace of consolidation also varied: in France and Britain, for instance, it was leisurely in comparison with the breathless rush from urbanisation to the establishment of Europeanised cultural institutions in a new city such as Los Angeles, in which the developments of a century in Europe took place in just a few decades, starting in the 1880s.1 Nevertheless, the relatively late appearance of now-familiar pillars of musical life in some European cities should not be forgotten: through the entire period under consideration Paris lacked a purpose-built orchestral concert hall and Vienna a permanent civic symphony orchestra. In these areas respectively each city lagged well behind Chicago and Boston, for example.

By way of discussions of urban musical life, repertory and canon, elitism, moral improvement, gender and education, this chapter examines the institutions, practices and – perhaps most importantly – assumptions which underpinned an increasingly globalised culture in which particular repertories of Western art music were canonised as pinnacles of musical achievement and set

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1
C. P. Smith, 'Inventing Tradition: Symphony and Opera in Progressive-era Los Angeles', in M. Saffle (ed.), Music and Culture in America, 1861–1918 (New York, 1998), pp. 299–321, at p. 300.

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The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Notes on Contributors ix
  • Editor's Preface xiii
  • Part One - 1800–1850 1
  • 1 - The Musical Work and Nineteenth-Century History 3
  • Bibliography *
  • 2 - Music and the Rise of Aesthetics 29
  • Bibliography *
  • 3 - The Profession of Music 55
  • Bibliography 85
  • 4 - The Opera Industry 87
  • Bibliography *
  • 5 - The Construction of Beethoven 118
  • Bibliography *
  • 6 - Music and the Poetic 151
  • Bibliography *
  • 7 - The Invention of Tradition 178
  • Bibliography *
  • 8 - Choral Music 213
  • Bibliography *
  • 9 - The Consumption of Music 237
  • Bibliography 258
  • 10 - The Great Composer 259
  • Bibliography 283
  • Part Two - 1850–1900 285
  • 11 - Progress, Modernity and the Concept of an Avant-Garde 287
  • Bibliography *
  • 12 - Music as Ideal: the Aesthetics of Autonomy 318
  • Bibliography *
  • 13 - The Structures of Musical Life 343
  • Bibliography *
  • 14 - Opera and Music Drama 371
  • Bibliography *
  • 15 - Beethoven Reception: the Symphonic Tradition 424
  • Bibliography *
  • 16 - Words and Music in Germany and France 460
  • Bibliography *
  • 17 - Chamber Music and Piano 500
  • Bibliography *
  • 18 - Choral Culture and the Regeneration of the Organ 522
  • Bibliography *
  • 19 - Music and Social Class 544
  • Bibliography *
  • 20 - Nations and Nationalism 568
  • Bibliography *
  • 21 - Styles and Languages Around the Turn of the Century 601
  • Bibliography 620
  • Chronology 621
  • Institutions 659
  • Personalia 689
  • Index 747
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