During the years between the onset of the Civil War and the armistice of World War I, music in American life flourished as never before. Some American musicians of the era remained mindful of their European counterparts while others concentrated just as enthusiastically on expanding local traditions. The lively music business, initially led by a network of regional publishers, coalesced into a centralized commercial giant and made New York City's Tin Pan Alley legendary. The wind band movement took hold in towns and cities to become a staple of public entertainment and public education. Now-venerated institutions and ensembles were founded and cultivated. The quest for a distinctively national concert music attracted many champions. A 'golden age' of music criticism transpired thanks to the propagation of newspapers and journals. The emergence of ragtime and jazz in the African-American community and new trends in social dancing transformed the landscape of entertainment music. New techlogies revolutionized the dissemination and preservation of performances of all kinds.
For this volume Dr. Bill F. Faucett has selected a cogent sampling of the published commentary of participants and observers responding to such developments. His anthology offers readers a fresh opportunity to reconsider a formative era in American music history. No other comparable work on the subject exists.