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The National Music of America. 301
Boston, its generous founder, Mr. Henry L. Higginson, took the off-night of the week for his concerts. The old Puritans considered Saturday night as the beginning of the Sabbath ; long after this religious idea had passed away, Boston still held Saturday night sacred as regards theatre or public performances; up to the last quarter of the nineteenth century the oldest theatre of the city, the Boston Museum, closed its doors on Saturday night. It was this unused night which the Symphony Orchestra chose for its concerts, and Saturday, Oct. 22, 1881, the Boston Symphony concerts were begun.1
In accordance with the plan introduced to America by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, each concert was preceded by a public rehearsal, thus giving the ardent
1 See articles on this subject by the author in The Musician for December, 1897, and New England Magazine, November, 1889.