The Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2008 - Guitar - 239 pages
The Guitar in America offers a history of the instrument from America\'s late Victorian period to the Jazz Age. The narrative traces America\'s BMG (banjo, mandolin, and guitar) community, a late nineteenth-century musical and com-mercial movement dedicated to introducing these instru-ments into America\'s elite musical establishments. Using surviving BMG magazines, the author details an almost unknown history of the guitar during the movement\'s heyday, tracing the guitar\'s transformation from a refined parlor instrument to a mainstay in jazz and popular music. In the process, he not only introduces musicians (including numerous women guitarists) who led the movement, but also examines new techniques and instruments. Chapters consider the BMG movement\'s impact on jazz and popular music, the use of the guitar to promote attitudes towards women and minorities, and the challenges foreign guitarists such as Miguel Llobet and Andres Segovia presented to America\'s musicians. This volume opens a new chapter on the guitar in America, considering its cultivated past and documenting how banjoists and mandolinists aligned their instruments to it in an effort to raise social and cultural standing. At the same time, the book considers the BMG community within America\'s larger musical scene, examining its efforts as manifestations of this country\'s uneasy coupling of musical art and commerce. Jeffrey J. Noonan, associate professor of music at Southeast Missouri State University, has performed professionally on classical guitar, Renaissance lute, Baroque guitar, and theorbo for over twenty-five years. His articles have appeared in Soundboard and NYlon Review .
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
The Guitar in America to 1880
7
Interlude The BMG MovementThe Sources
21
The Guitar in the BMG Movement 18801900
41
Interlude A New Generation of Guitarists
61
Transitions From the Parlor to the Concert Hall
77
Interlude The Guitar as Icon
96
A New Instrument
117
Interlude The Wizard and The Grand Lady
138
The Old World Reclaims Its Instrument
155
Summary and Conclusions
172
Notes
179
Works Cited
215
Discography
223
Index
227
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