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Questions tagged [music]

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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28
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1answer
531 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 ...
23
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1answer
5k 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 ...
16
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2answers
678 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 ...
13
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4answers
3k 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 ...
13
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6answers
5k 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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2answers
5k 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 ...
11
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1answer
415 views

Could Thomas Jefferson have ever heard Mozart's Symphony No. 40, KV. 550?

The third president of the United States was a lifelong admirer of W. A. Mozart. Or rather, of Mozart's music; he arranged to meet Mozart in Paris when he was Minister to France (August 1784–September ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Why did Joseph Goebbels allow an all-Jewish Orchestra to exist and perform in Berlin from 1938 to 1941?

Rehearsal for a performance of Judas Maccabaeus (Handel) in May 1934 by the Kulturbund Deutscher Juden Orchestra, in the (Bernburger Straße) Berliner Philharmonie; conductor: Kurt Singer. Sources: ...
10
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1answer
554 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
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4answers
628 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
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1answer
644 views

Do we know what ancient Roman music sounded like?

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a Simon Scarrow addict, and I admire the books dedication to historical accuracy (within the confines of fiction). Something that's mentioned in the books is music. ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Did Jim Morrison ever comment on his father's career choice or role in the Vietnam war?

I'm just wondering if and what Jim Morrison ever said about his relationship with his father Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison with regard to his position in the Navy, or his role in starting the ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Is there folk knowledge associating late breastfeeding with low intelligence and/or gullibility?

In the song "Rich Folks Hoax", written by Sixto Rodriguez (of Searching for Sugar Man) in Detroit in 1970, the hoax is characterized in the following terms: only late-breast-fed fools believe it ...
8
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1answer
159 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)
7
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4answers
2k views

Did the medieval Europe have an active “lowbrow” culture?

When we look back on another age, we tend to skip to the highlights. That goes double for things like art, sports, literature, and music. But in our own time, we recognize that by divine fiat 90% of ...
7
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1answer
204 views

How accurate is Nietzsche's account of the birth of tragedy?

In his first book, The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, Nietzsche claims that tragic drama, as a practice, emerged from an originally solely-musical chorus. First people sang story-songs, ...
6
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2answers
2k 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?
6
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0answers
843 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: http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/...
5
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2answers
2k views

Did ancient/medieval armies have music/chants to march to?

During battles or marching into battles did armies (like the Spartan or Eastern European armies) have music/chants to march to?
5
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1answer
360 views

Do we have any authentic Native American flute music from the 18th century or earlier?

Just wondering if any actual music from Native Americans was recorded (written record, transcribed to some kind of sheet music) by Europeans, in the 18th century or earlier. I'm especially interested ...
5
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1answer
432 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 ...
5
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3answers
350 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 ...
5
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2answers
216 views

Where can I find pictures of clothing of poor or common male European musicians between 1500 and 1700

Can anyone provide pictures or credible descriptions of clothing as a modest musician anywhere in Europe might have worn between 1500 and 1700? I realise that my question spans 200 years and many ...
5
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2answers
830 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 ...
5
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1answer
311 views

Why do schools in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea use the Westminster Quarters as school chime?

Today, I read about the Westminister Quarters, the chime used by Big Ben in Westminster, London. In that article, I see this assertion: Most schools in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea play the ...
5
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1answer
180 views

When did singing at work fall in and out of vogue in western civilization?

As far as I can tell, virtually nobody persistently sings at work. Especially not as in a semi-formal group effort such as a barbershop quartet or a call-and -response sea shanty. I was taught in ...
4
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1answer
13k views

Did Ted Nugent dodge the draft?

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 ...
4
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2answers
173 views

What is the origin of the name Fallopian tubes?

I read that the Fallopian tubes were described by the Italian anatomist Gabrielle Fallopio, somewhere in the 16th century. The Wikipedia describes that the structure reminded the musical instrument, ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ever called “Wolfi” or “Wolfie” by his wife?

In the 1984 film Amadeus based on Wolfgang Mozart's life, Wolfgang is commonly referred to as "Wolfi", especially by his wife (as spelled in the scripts I could find online). Amadeus also takes ...
4
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1answer
222 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 ...
4
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1answer
315 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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4answers
876 views

What music did a Napoleonic era campaigning soldier hear?

I'd like to know what sort of music the common soldier would have heard while on campaign, regardless of nationality. For instance: What was the Imperial Guard singing on entering Russia? What sort ...
3
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1answer
266 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 ...
3
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0answers
137 views

How did ancient Greek musicians tune their instruments?

I am not a musical person, in fact I am trying to learn the guitar now which sort of made me think of this question. How did the Greeks, or any ancient peoples, tune their musical instruments? From ...
2
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2answers
202 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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2answers
3k views

Who wrote the “Mi General Augusto Pinochet” Song?

It is available here. According to Wikipedia, mi general was a nickname sometimes used by General Pinochet's supporters. Is it modern or contemporary? In the former case I would like to know who ...
1
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1answer
249 views

What did Cosima Wagner mean by coating music?

I am reading the diary of Cosima Wagner (Piper, München, 1976) where she often writes: Die Noten überzogen. That means she has coated the music written by Richard Wagner. I cannot find an explanation ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Representative early Anglican hymns?

Are there any church hymns that would be in use in the early (16th to early 18th centuries) Anglican church, and would be distinctly Anglican? (In the kind of way in which Ein Feste Burg is distinctly ...
1
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0answers
59 views

Did Boulez admit that his Structures didn't succeed?

Can anyone please source or substantiate the emboldened phrase from Reddit? As others have already said, the worst piece is probably something obscure that is not performed or recorded. But if we ...
0
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1answer
736 views

Has any music act ever topped the Beatles in sales?

The Beatles in 1965. Source: Wikipedia Elvis Presley is widely hailed as the King of Rock and Roll, but in 1966 John Lennon said the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus" in a London Evening ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

Why exactly did Messiaen never meet the Nazi guard who helped him again, after the war?

This Reddit comment quotes Wikipedia that contends: After the war, [Karl-Albert] Brüll made a special trip to visit Messiaen, but was sent away and told the composer would not see him. I'm curious,...