|A brief history of . . .Music in Wisconsin|
One of hundreds of examples in the collections of Mills Music Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison, of social dance music for piano, this piece is by a noted Milwaukee orchestral conductor, composer, and arranger.
As mentioned in the German foreword, Kaun edited this volume of men's choruses derived from classic German art songs specifically for use by groups in America.
Part of the appeal of this suite to potential buyers had to do with Norwegian independence from Sweden, declared in 1905.
German immigration to Milwaukee and to east-central and central Wisconsin
coincided with massive immigration by Scandinavians, especially Norwegians,
to south-central and western Wisconsin. In many rural areas of northern
Illinois, northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the eastern Dakotas,
the German-Norwegian mix was dominant into the 1980s (pace A
Prairie Home Companion). Into the early 20th century,
the success of Norwegians in Wisconsin made them an important voice in
state politics as well as the backbone of support for the Progressive
movement, and a voice of continuing significance in Wisconsin culture.
The brief residency of Norwegian violinist and celebrity Ole
Bull in Madison during the 1870s was saluted by local Norwegians with
torchlight parades and mens' choruses. Today, Madison is home to both
an active Norwegian mens' chorus, the Grieg Club, and the German-American
Madison Maennerchor, testifying to the enduring influence of these groups.
Wisconsin music in the 19th century embraced more than German concert music, Norwegian patriotic choruses, and parlor piano music. The Anglo-American genteel tradition was well-represented from the 1840s to 1870s by the songs of Joseph Philbrick Webster (1819-1875) of Elkhorn, composer of In the sweet by and by, and from the late 1890s into the mid-20th century by those of Carrie Jacobs-Bond (1862-1946), composer of A Perfect Day. While Webster was the bard of the morbid mid-century, enjoying popularity on both sides during the Civil War, Bond's songs reassure, trusting that everything will work out for the best. This bland public image conceals the reality that Bond was extraordinarily successful in the music business, ending her days in Hollywood.Today the world of Upper Midwestern polka music preserves the 19th century strands of popular dance forms like the polka, once staples of classical music, genteel songwriting as it has influenced American country and gospel music, and male singing in harmony, while blending German, Scandinavian, Slavic and Baltic melodic and instrumental traditions. In this sense, the 19th century of music has never ended in the state of Wisconsin.
Scanning by Steven Sundell, UW-Madison, Mills Music Library, and Andrew Kraushaar, Visual Materials Archive, State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
Appelstein, Aaron. Joseph Philbrick Webster: Nineteenth-Century
American Songwriter. Madison: unpublished M. A. thesis, Musicology,
University of Wisconsin, 1975.
Cook, Susan C., ed. A Century of Making Music: a documentary scrapbook
of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, 1895-1995.
Madison: the University, 1995.
Corenthal, Michael, comp. The Illustrated History of Wisconsin Music
1840-1990: 150 years of melodies and memories. Milwaukee: Yesterdays
Memories; MGC Publications, .
Leary, James P. A Beginning Fieldworker's Guide to European Ethnic
Music in Northern Wisconsin. North Country Press, 1981.
_____. Polka Music, Ethnic Music: a report on Wisconsin's Polka traditions.
Mount Horeb, Wis.: Wisconsin Folk Museum, .
Luening, Otto. The Odyssey of an American Composer: the autobiography
of Otto Luening. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1980.
New Grove dictionary of American music. 4 volumes. Edited by
H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan, 1986 [articles
on European-American popular music, Hans Balatka, Ole Bull, Carrie Jacobs-Bond,
Hugo Kaun, Milwaukee, Polka, and Joseph Philbrick Webster].
Reagan, Ann Bakamjian. Art Music in Milwaukee in the late nineteenth
century 1850-1900. Madison: University of Wisconsin, Ph.D. thesis
in Music, 1980.
Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs. Wisconsin Composers. The Federation: 1948 [commemorates the Wisconsin State Centennial, 1848-1948.]
|Created on: April 17, 2000|