Music and the Making of a New South - download pdf or read online

By Gavin James Campbell

Startled by means of swift social adjustments on the flip of the 20 th century, voters of Atlanta wrestled with fears concerning the way forward for race family, the form of gender roles, the impression of social category, and the that means of local identification in a brand new South. Gavin James Campbell demonstrates how those anxieties have been performed out in Atlanta's renowned musical leisure. interpreting the interval from 1890 to 1925, Campbell makes a speciality of 3 well known musical associations: the hot York Metropolitan Opera (which visited Atlanta every one year), the coloured track pageant, and the Georgia Old-Time Fiddlers' conference. White and black audiences charged those occasions with deep importance, Campbell argues, turning an evening's leisure right into a fight among rival claimants for the hot South's soul. Opera, spirituals, and fiddling turned well known not only simply because they have been unique, but in addition simply because audiences came across them versatile adequate to house numerous competing responses to the demanding situations of constructing a brand new South. Campbell exhibits how makes an attempt to inscribe song with a unmarried, public, fastened that means have been hooked up to a lot greater struggles over the distribution of social, political, cultural, and financial strength. Attitudes approximately tune prolonged past the live performance corridor to at the same time increase and impoverish either the sector and the kingdom that those New Southerners struggled to create.

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98 In short, musical performances became useful weapons in the struggle between men of rival cities for metropolitan supremacy and therefore tangible symbols of civic masculinity. Civic boosterism played a major role in justifying the investment of male time, money, and prestige in what otherwise seemed a feminine pastime. ‘‘It is as much the duty of the citizens of Los Angeles to see that the Symphony Orchestra is supported as it is to keep up good roads Grand Opera : : :  and a public library,’’ observed one Californian.

Finally, opera week forced white Atlantans to more carefully articulate the meaning of race. By continually denying blacks access to opera performances, whites came to a deeper understanding of the meaning of their whiteness and gave white supremacy a cultural justification. In short, few civic events inspired greater anticipation and more lasting heartburn than opera week. ‘‘Woman’s Work in Music’’ Throughout the nineteenth century schools for women emphasized music instruction as a necessary domestic accomplishment.

18 Even into the twentieth century, women were still expected to play music in the home to entertain and instruct their families. ’’ 19 The advent of female virtuosi on the concert stage in the mid-nineteenth century, however, challenged the domestic confinement of female musicians. Whether it was the singer Jenny Lind, the pianistic wunderkind Teresa Carreño, or the pioneering violinist Maud Powell, women began to expand their music making into professional careers. These early artists inspired a wave of young girls growing up at the turn of the century to see music not as a social adornment, but as a potential livelihood.

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