Music Online: Music Periodicals of the 19th Century | Alexander Street
Music Online: Music Periodicals of the 19th Century
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Music Online: Music Periodicals of the 19th Century

A gateway for today’s researchers to peer into the day-to-day musical world of pre-modern American music students, performers, teachers, composers, and aficionados. Explore the impact of music on the social, political, and economic history of the United States, through publications devoted to musical life in the 19th to early 20th centuries.

Music Online: Music Periodicals of the 19th Century is a collection of full-text periodicals depicting American musical life from 1838 to the early 1900s through local and international news, reviews, editorials, sheet music, and advertisements. 200,000 pages of material are available for research on the Alexander Street multimedia platform -- the only resource that allows users to cross-search the full text of all articles with videos, audio recordings, photographs, scores, and reference texts.

Contents include: 

  • Advertisements for instruments and instructors
  • Articles on music composition and performance
  • Profiles of American and Europoean maestros and musicians
  • Scores for singers and instrumentalists

This interdisciplinary resource offers a unique perspective of history and music that enables better research in musicology, American studies, music education, and sacred music. Students and scholars will access information on a variety of themes and historic events across publications that are not available on any other digital platform.

Featured Publications

  • The Message Bird (New York, 1849 - 1860)
  • Boston Musical Times (Boston, 1860 - 1871)
  • The Concordia (Chicago, 1866 - 1867)
  • Southern Journal of Music (Louisville, 1867 - 1868)
  • Mellor’s Musical Mirror (Pittsburgh, 1868 - 1869) 
  • Jubilee Days (Boston, 1872)
  • Freund's Weekly (New York, 1885 - 1892)
  • Musical Record (Boston, 1878 - 1903)
  • The Voice (New York, 1879 - 1891)
  • Music: A Review (New York, 1882 - 1883)
  • The Etude (Philadelphia, 1887 - 1915)
  • Music (Chicago, 1891 - 1902)

Purchase Information

Music Online: Music Periodicals of the 19th Century is available online to academic, public, and school libraries via annual subscription or one-time purchase of perpetual rights. 


Featured Content and Themes

Historic events, such as the Peace Jubilee in Boston in 1872

Jubilee Days (Boston 1872)

The effect of the U.S. Civil War on the American music scene

The Boston Musical Times (Boston, 1861)

The rapid growth of music education, beginning in the 1850’s,as conservatories opened across the U.S.

The Boston Musical Gazette (Boston, 1838)

America’s developing views on vocal pedagogy and speech pathology

The Voice (New York, 1879-1881)

Sacred music, from organ designs in local churches to editorial debates on appropriate repertoire and managing a church choir

The Choral Advocate and Singing Class Journal (New York, 1850)

Advertising and instrument sales, including the evolution of the piano and its growing popularity in the American home

The Boston Musical Times (Boston, 1861)