History of Public School Music - In the United States
Overview - Text extracted from opening pages of book: HISTORY OF PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC IN NITED STATES BY EDWARD BAILEY BIRGE Professor of Music, Indiana University r NEW AND AUGMENTED EDITION OLIVER DITSON COMPANY THEODORE PRESSER Co., DISTRIBUTORS, PHILADELPHIA MADE IN U. Read more...
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Text extracted from opening pages of book: HISTORY OF PUBLIC SCHOOL MUSIC IN NITED STATES BY EDWARD BAILEY BIRGE Professor of Music, Indiana University r NEW AND AUGMENTED EDITION OLIVER DITSON COMPANY THEODORE PRESSER Co., DISTRIBUTORS, PHILADELPHIA MADE IN U. S. A. Copyright MCMXXVIII by Oliver Ditson Company Copyright MCMXXXVII by Oliver Ditson Company International Copyright Secured To M. T. B. PREFACE It is the purpose of this book to attempt to rescue from oblivion certain aspects of public school music which are fast becoming legendary. Available records of more than half of its history are few in number. Many of these exist only in the memories of people who were children in the middle periods of the nineteenth century. For these reasons the present volume endeavors to describe merely the main trend of the evolution of public school music, and to account as far as possible for the direction this evolution has taken. The author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to colleagues and friends who have furnished him with valu able data and suggestions among many others, to Peter W. Dykema for helpful criticisms of the first sketch of the book, to Osbourne McConathy, who in his youth was a friend and pupil of Luther Whiting Mason, for valuable in formation regarding his work and influence, and to Charles H. Farnsworth, for a copy of the Articles of Incorporation of the Musical Society of Thetford and Lime. That this book may help to stimulate an interest in the historical background of music in the public schools is the earnest hope of the author. Supplementing the above ( the preface to the nrst edi tion of this book), the author wishes to acknowledge the help afforded morerecently by several items of data in the manu script volume Lowell Mason his Life and Work, by Henry L. Mason, and in the brochure The Educational Work of Dr. Lowell Mason, by Theodore F. Seward. Bloomington, Indiana January, 1937 CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I. The Development of the Singing-School 1 II. The Magna Charta of Music Education in America 35 III. 1838-1861 The Period of Pioneering 57 IV. The Beginnings of Method ( 1861-1885) 86 V. Concentrating upon Music Reading ( 1885-1905) 113 VI. The Turn of the Century 144 VII. The Twentieth Century 163 VIII. Music Teachers' Associations The Conference Movement 280 IX. Recent Trends and Developments in Music Education 301 History of Public School Music in the United States CHAPTER I THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SINGING-SCHOOL DURING the four generations since 1838, when public school music was first introduced, nearly the whole of our educational history has been in the making. In that short space of ninety years we have fought four wars, have gone from stage coach to flying-machine, from tallow dip to electric light, from the melodeon to the broadcasted concert of the radio, and from the district school with the three ll's and a little singing for diversion, to a highly complex school system with music functioning in a dozen activities, and with high school orchestras playing symphonies and choruses singing the great oratorios. It will be worth our while to take a back ward glance at an institution which at the beginning of this period was as universal as the crossroads country store and the village post-office, and which gave to school-music its first methods and all of its first teachers. This institution was the ringing school. 1 2 History ofPublic School Music in United States Public school music in the United States has its roots in attempts to improve singing in the church service. Though many of the early colonists must have had musical gifts and appreciations, the cultiva tion of music among the early New Englanders and in most of the other colonial settlements was not en couraged by the leaders of public opinion. Its inherent power to give pleasure made it an object of suspicion and well nigh prohibition for a long period. For fully one hundred years after the first settle ments there was no music educa
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