For questions about the history of music, including its evolution, major events, famous composers and musicians, and growth as an industry. Questions about music theory or other non-historical aspects of music should be directed to the Music: Practice & Theory or Music Fans Stack Exchange sites.

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25
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0answers
323 views

When did songs extolling leaders of companies go out of fashion?

When recently visiting Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA I came across an exhibit called "Songs of the IBM". It's from 1930s and has a song called "Ever onward" which extols then IBM ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Why do the Japanese sing Ode to Joy during the Japanese New Year?

During the New Years, the Japanese have a curious custom where they perform Beethoven's 9th symphony. This has produced some stunning sights on youtube But there's nothing particularly festive or New ...
15
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2answers
458 views

How popular was Mozart in France before WWII and after it?

Another intriguing statement by Robert Paxton: I was surprised myself to learn that Mozart had been little played in France before 1940, and that his prominence since 1945 in the French ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Is the steel pan the only acoustic musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century and used widely around the world?

I have seen claims that the steel pan (commonly called steel drum) was the only acoustic instrument developed in the 20th century. Is this true? There are related instruments (the Hang or hand pan) ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Is the “Katyusha” scene from Deer Hunter historically accurate?

In the movie Deer Hunter we can see Russian-Americans sing the song "Katyusha" during a wedding. One can clearly see that this song fits well into the movie's themes (the groom on this wedding is ...
10
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1answer
299 views

What was the earliest professional recording of “Happy Birthday to You”?

Since it's creation, there has been confusion over the copyright status of the familiar song "Happy Birthday to You". As it became widely popular, the original copyright holders lost control of when ...
9
votes
4answers
369 views

What is the oldest musical composition that can still be listened to today?

What is the oldest musical composition that exists both as verifiable historical notation (or some other primary source) and as available recording on CD (or better e.g. on YouTube)? For instance, ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the Olympics make the Star Spangled Banner the US national anthem?

A long, long time ago, I remember watching a TV miniseries about the first Olympics of the modern era in 1896. One of the amusing substories I remember involved the USA's National Anthem and the ...
7
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1answer
92 views

Why did Shostakovich not release his 4th, but did release his 5th symphony?

Why did Shostakovich not release his 4th, but did release his 5th symphony? (The 4th was released eventually, just not when it was written)
5
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2answers
859 views

What is the origin of Rap?

I want to know the origin of Rap. Does it's origin really go back to arabian poets? Or can Rapping also be traced back to its African roots?
5
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0answers
430 views

Is this really “Napoleon’s March”?

The Chabad/Lubavitch Jewish group have a tradition that this song originated as a military march played by Napoleon’s armies as they invaded Russia: ...
3
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1answer
200 views

What did “opening day” mean in the 18th century?

I was singing the hymn Oh God Our Hope in Ages Past today in Church, and noticed something interesting. The fifth verse reads as follows: Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all who breathe ...
3
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2answers
96 views

How common were professional musicians before the advent of recorded music?

I was talking to some economist friends about the future of the music business if musicians couldn't earn any money outside of live performances and swag sales, and I proposed that we could use the ...
3
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2answers
575 views

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture?

Are Zoot suits considered an element of the 1940s Hipster subculture? Wikipedia: Hipster, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

4th of July and Tchaikovsky

This question Why do the Japanese sing Ode to Joy during the Japanese New Year? brings another similar one. I live in a small US Midwest town, and every year they celebrate the Independence day (4th ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

What kind of music was played at European, High Middle Age (c. 1100-1400 A.D.)'s medieval universities' ceremonies?

What music was played at European medieval universities in the High Middle Ages (circa 1100-1400)—for example, at their commencement or convocation ceremonies, at ceremonies inducting professors into ...
3
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0answers
180 views

Ted Nugent and draft dodging

I've asked whether this is in scope: Are draft-dodgers in scope?. I'm not sure,but I'll crack on anyway. Too what extent did Ted Nugent dodge the draft for Vietnam. He certainly did receive ...
2
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2answers
81 views

What was the attendance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970? Was it the largest gathering ever in the UK? If not, what was?

I'm researching a book about UK hippies. I've seen a few estimates of attendance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, ranging between 300k and 800k. I wonder if anyone has a definitive, or near ...
2
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0answers
48 views

Did Brahms really leave Germany because he was dissatisfied with the political realities of that time?

I read in a body of text introducing musician Johannes Brahms that one main reason he left Germany for Austria in 1862 was his dissatisfaction with the political reality ("repressive regime") at that ...
0
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1answer
181 views

Is classical music 'bourgeois'? [closed]

Historically I am aware that classical music has always been an activity mostly reserved for the elite; therefore, it would seem that it is something completely inaccessible to the general population. ...