Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items



In stock
Ready to ship


Oxford University Press Inc
17 December 2018
Music; Theory of music & musicology; 20th century & contemporary classical music; Jazz
The year 1917 was unlike any other in American history, or in the history of American music. The United States entered World War I, jazz burst onto the national scene, and the German musicians who dominated classical music were forced from the stage. As the year progressed, New Orleans natives Nick LaRocca and Freddie Keppard popularized the new genre of jazz, a style that suited the frantic mood of the era. African-American bandleader James Reese Europe accepted the challenge of making the band of the Fifteenth New York Infantry into the best military band in the country. Orchestral conductors Walter Damrosch and Karl Muck met the public demand for classical music while also responding to new calls for patriotic music. Violinist Fritz Kreisler, pianist Olga Samaroff, and contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink gave American audiences the best of Old-World musical traditions while walking a tightrope of suspicion because of their German sympathies. Before the end of the year, the careers of these eight musicians would be upended, and music in America would never be the same.

Making Music American recounts the musical events of this tumultuous year month by month from New Year's Eve 1916 to New Year's Day 1918. As the story unfolds, the lives of these eight musicians intersect in surprising ways, illuminating the transformation of American attitudes toward music both European and American. In this unsettled time, no one was safe from suspicion, but America's passion for music made the rewards high for those who could balance musical skill with diplomatic savvy.
By:   E. Douglas Bomberger (Professor of Musicology Professor of Musicology Elizabethtown College)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 164mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   560g
ISBN:   9780190872311
ISBN 10:   0190872314
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   17 December 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

E. Douglas Bomberger teaches courses in popular and classical music at Elizabethtown College. He is the author of MacDowell (Oxford, 2013) and four other books.

Reviews for Making Music American: 1917 and the Transformation of Culture

A fascinating and illuminating cultural history of America as experienced through the eyes and ears of her creative citizens living through one of the seminal years of our country's past. A story that defines so much of the world we live in today, kaleidoscopic in its approach and gripping in its account of sequential events of profound impact that often go unrecognized. This is the kind of history writing that I love; I couldnat put it down. -- Thomas Hampson A hundred years ago almost everything changed in American music - and we are still living with the after effects today. This important book by E. Douglas Bomberger tells the fascinating story of how the United States found its own musical identity at a time of global crisis and war. -- Ted Gioia, music historian and author of The History of Jazz

See Also