Chorus and Community, Volume 2

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Karen Ahlquist
University of Illinois Press, 2006 - Music - 323 pages
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The chorus and its effect on music and the world. Although organized group singing appears world wide, in a great variety of circumstances, from church to worksite, school to civic club, parlor to concert hall, amateur setting to professional, quartets to monster concerts, in groups brought together by race, class, gender, or political, social, national, or ethnic heritage, this collection is the first to give it serious musicological attention. The chorus is a musical instrument and a social organization that crosses cultural, historical, and geographical boundaries. The essays discuss an East African chorus; groups from nineteenth-century England, Germany, and America; Hall Johnson; the Fisk Jubilee Singers; early twentieth-century Russian Mennonites; barbershop; Soviet workers' clubs; a Sardinian brotherhood; women's garment workers in Pennsylvania; choral groups in a small Illinois town (Decatur); semi-professional symphony choruses; and gay and lesbian choruses. Within this wide variety, these choruses do have characteristics in common. All of them have a more or less fixed membership. They all rehearse and perform, distinguishing between preparation and a culminating musical event given for listeners. They all have a chosen repertoire. They all have acknowledged musical leaders. With one exception, their members are not soloists; sounds are produced by an aggregate of voices, either in sections or by the chorus as a whole (the performances of the Sardinian brotherhood in Lortat-Jacob's essay are solo quartets selected from the membership). However, the choruses do not necessarily read from musical scores or sing "classical" music. And none creates income for its members individually. The accompanying CD illustrates virtually all the choruses or traditions presented in the book. [Publisher description]
 

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Contents

intro
1
chapter 1
19
index
315

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About the author (2006)

Karen Ahlquist is chair and an associate professor in the Department of Music at George Washington University. She is the author of Democracy at the Opera: Music, Theater, and Culture in New York City, 1815-60.

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