Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 1-8

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book could not have been written without the invaluable help of friends, colleagues, librarians, and assistants. Jonathan Elkus, David Nicholls, and Wayne Shirley read the entire manuscript. Bell Yung and Nancy Rao read the chapter on Chinese music. Paul Machlin and David Brackett commented on portions of chapter 4 dealing with jazz. Larry Rothe read material on the San Francisco ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-16

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1. The Paris of the West: San Francisco at the Turn of the Century

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pp. 1-28

San Francisco is “a mad city,” wrote Rudyard Kipling of his visit in 1889, “inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people.” 1 Indeed, San Francisco’s reputation as brash, exotic, offbeat, diverse, free-spirited, opinionated, self-confident, quirky, and above all, fun was well established by the end of the nineteenth century. By the 1870s, it was already known as the Paris of the West — a must-visit ...

Part One. From the Quake to the Crash

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pp. 29-46

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2. The Politics of Class: The San Francisco Symphony, the People’s Philharmonic, and the Lure of European Culture (1911 – 1930)

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pp. 31-62

The San Francisco Symphony opened its first season on December 8, 1911. Con-sidering that the city was, at the time, the largest urban center west of Saint Louis (Table 1), its entry into the symphonic realm was notably tardy. Los Angeles, only three-quarters the size of its northern neighbor, had had a professional orchestra in place since 1898. (In 1920 the Los Angeles Symphony, conducted by ...

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3. The Politics of Race: Chinatown, Forbidden and Alluring

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pp. 63-82

Descriptions by white tourists of Tangrenbu (Chinatown) before the 1906 quake are marked by stark contradictions: gloomy but gaudy, dingy but quaint, crowded but colorful; an area of reeking alleys and enticing restaurants; “painted bal-conies . . . hung with windbells and flowered lanterns,” but “a habitat for list-less idlers . . . perhaps dreaming of crime and heathen debauchery”; inscrutable ...

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interlude 1. Two Musical Tributes to San Francisco’s Chinatown

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pp. 83-91

During the most active years of the postquake Chinese opera — from the opening of the Mandarin Theatre in 1924 to the middle of the 1930s — several white composers took particular delight in watching Chinese opera performances in San Francisco1 Among them was Harry Partch, who attended the Mandarin soon after it opened. Although Partch rarely quoted Chinese tunes directly in his ...

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4. The Politics of Labor: The Union(s), the Clubs and Theaters, and the Predicament of Black Musicians

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pp. 92-105

Among San Francisco’s noisy political battles during the first half of the twentieth century, those involving labor were perhaps the most vicious — and certainly the most public. Like other union workers, the city’s musicians included some of the nation’s most vocal exponents for respectable pay, reasonable hours, and decent working conditions. We have already seen that the symphony management in the ...

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5. Musical Utopias: Ada Clement, Ernest Bloch, and the San Francisco Conservatory

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pp. 106-130

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music owes its origin to a talented, determined, and energetic woman who, for a half decade in the 1920s, subjugated her own ambi-tions to those of a famous yet eccentric dreamer. Although she hardly knew him, Ada Clement found in this dreamer a mentor to whom she entrusted the artistic direction of a school she had nurtured for the previous eight years. The conservato-...

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6. Opera: The People’s Music or a Diversion for the Rich?

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pp. 131-164

Christmas Eve 1910. The weather in San Francisco was a balmy sixty degrees as the city prepared for the most celebrated musical event in its history. A large, elevated platform had been erected in front of Lotta’s Fountain at the intersection of Third, Market, Kearny, and Geary in front of the Chronicle building, across the street from the Palace Hotel. By 7 p.m. the platform was bedecked with flowers, ...

Part Two. The Depression and Beyond

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pp. 165-182

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7. The Despair of the Depression and the Clash of Race

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pp. 167-179

By the time Alfred Hertz retired in 1930 as conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, the orchestra was in serious financial trouble. Nevertheless, for two more seasons the Musical Association maintained the impressive offerings the public had come to expect. The number of concerts (thirteen subscription, eleven popular) stayed unchanged, as did the five-concert municipal series and the sum-...

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8. Ultramodernism and Other Contemporary Offerings: Looking West, Challenging the East

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pp. 180-213

The San Francisco Symphony’s repertory under Hadley and Hertz may have been appealing to the public, but it made few claims to adventurousness. Hadley, of course, was just getting a new organization off the ground, and, though he did conduct some works by U.S. composers (Chadwick, MacDowell, Goldmark, Edward Schneider), his most frequently programmed American composer was ...

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9. The Politics of Work: Idealism Confronts Bureaucracy in the Federal Music Project

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pp. 214-237

On May 27, 1937, San Franciscans turned out in force to launch an exuberant celebration marking the completion of a long-planned, headline-grabbing engi-neering marvel: the Golden Gate Bridge. Pedestrians, “like rollicking, inquisitive Lilliputians, swarmed over the steel-bound Gulliver” at a rate of about 200 per minute. By 6 p.m. about 175,000 people had crossed the “thirty-five million dollar ...

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interlude 2. Highlights from San Francisco’s Federal Music Project: Take Your Choice and Keeton’s Concert Spirituals

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pp. 238-246

It is hardly surprising that the San Francisco press covered the FMP’s musical-theatrical collaboration Take Your Choice in depth. This original creation of 1936 represented a major undertaking by Bacon and his colleagues, with its sixteen rapidly changing scenes, eight principal actor-singers, a chorus of thirty, and an instrumental ensemble of fifty, combining a thirty-five-piece pit orchestra with a ...

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10. Welcoming the World: San Francisco’s Fairs of 1915 and 1939 – 1940

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pp. 247-265

In the first half of the twentieth century, San Francisco hosted two major world fairs: in 1915 and in 1939 – 40. A comparison of musical programming for these two enormous undertakings highlights changes in artistic taste and expression prompted, in part, by a new social awareness and an increased attention to diversity. Striking similarities in the political and economic circumstances surrounding ...

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11. Aftermath

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pp. 266-278

History rarely sits comfortably in the tidy packages in which we wrap it. Retrospective analyses of musical style and cultural context typically focus on areas of commonality and overlap, leading historians to posit generalized theories and identify broad trends — which, though valuable, are inevitably oversimplifica-tions that break down as soon as we zoom in our lens on the particular. Reality, ...

Notes

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pp. 279-314

References

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pp. 315-342

Index

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pp. 343-381

Production Notes

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pp. 382-382