chapter
North America
Pages 27

Organized choral singing in the United States grew out of the same impulses that spawned the popular, non-professional singing societies in Germany and England. Unlike the older European model, where for centuries professionals in opera and church dominated music-making, early singing societies in America emerged from the growing democratic spirit of the young republic with enthusiastic amateurs who relished finding their own voice. This republican choral model proved so flexible that it easily adapted to a variety of diverse cultures and community structures. By the end of the nineteenth century, many viewed choral music as the most important musical activity in the country.