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Making Music American1917 and the Transformation of Culture$
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E. Douglas Bomberger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190872311

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190872311.001.0001

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November 1917

(p.164) Chapter 11 Implosions
Making Music American

E. Douglas Bomberger

Oxford University Press

The refusal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra management to program “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Providence, Rhode Island, on 30 October led to nationwide outrage against Karl Muck in early November. Anti-German sentiment ran high as concerts by Muck’s orchestra were cancelled in Baltimore and concerts by Fritz Kreisler were banned in Pittsburgh. The Metropolitan Opera dropped all German operas from its repertoire. Both Walter Damrosch and Ernestine Schumann-Heink went to great lengths to prove their patriotism, but Schumann-Heink broke under the strain and withdrew from the stage for six weeks. The Fifteenth Regiment had orders to ship out to France but was delayed twice in November. This month was a significant turning point in American attitudes, as jazz became increasingly popular and European music and musicians were viewed with suspicion and disdain.

Keywords:   “The Star-Spangled Banner”, Karl Muck, World War I, political cartoons, Metropolitan Opera, jazz journalism, anti-German sentiment, Storyville, New Orleans, Ernestine Schumann-Heink

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