The Norwegian male chorus movement in America: a study
Knudsen, Alf Lunder, 1934-
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Despite the important role song and music have played in the Norwegian immigrant life in the United States since the 1860s, few documented studies about the Norwegian Male Chorus Movement exist. This dissertation, a cultural study, is an historical account of the chronological development of the Norwegian Singers' Movement in America. A discussion of its origin, the European context and its development in Norway, are found in the Introduction and Chapter One. The migration of the Movement to the United States and its development on the East Coast are discussed in Chapter Two, while Chapters Three and Four present the development in the Mid-West and on the West Coast, respectively.The ethnic Singing Societies in America offer a unique musical repertoire of which the Norwegian is still rooted in the National-Romantic period of the nineteenth century. Chapter Five juxtaposes the nineteenth century and the late twentieth century repertoires and examines the works of Norwegian and American composers and lyricists who have contributed to the movement.The Norwegian Male Choruses, contrary to the immigrant churches, have maintained use of the Norwegian language. Indications as discussed in Chapter Six, are however, that in the twenty-first century, they will face a struggle to maintain the language and keep alive the Norwegian Male Chorus tradition itself. Of the 378 choruses which have existed in the United States and Canada, twenty-five currently survive.