The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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294 The National Music of America.
of the most decided type. One may well acknowledge the great services of both soci­eties, yet we need not close our eyes to the inevitable shortcomings that necessarily were present in the performances of each. With the comparatively slight patronage that was then given to symphonic concerts, both or­ganisations were likely to be conducted at a pecuniary loss. In order to make this deficit as light as possible (there was scarcely a hope of avoiding it altogether), the rehearsals were few and far between, and the musicians, gaining their chief livelihood by teaching, by playing at parades and picnics, or by theat­rical work, could not give more than a per­functory attention to the symphonic task. It was necessary to build up an orchestra which should offer permanent and continuous em­ployment to its members; an orchestra that should allow the player to devote his best energies to the highest branch of his work, without incurring the risk of starvation. But
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