Musical Performance

Blog Post

1907-12-16

I decided to investigate the music side of the Egyptian Gazette. This is because I found it rather interesting and wanted to see how the people as well as the newspaper itself reacts to musical literature. To my surprise I found that they are much more candid than I would have otherwise expected. When looking at my Monday issue I found an article on a fifth annual musical entertainment scene. They described the pupils there as well as gave the readers insight into some of their hardships as well as how they improved from last year’s performance. Due to this, I can also safely assume that this must be something that regularly occurs since this is the fifth time they have had such an entertainment. As stated, the writer is very candid and explains the downfalls and concerns they had over the performance. For example, the chorus sounded too forced and containing a lack of vibrancy. However, the writer did not only explain shortcomings. He also gave ample credit when he felt it necessary. This happened during a duet for the soprano and tenor which he labeled as “pleasant”, along with a violin solo which he said was given in a manner that was “most commendable”. It was also stated that this chorus came from Macbeth, which gives me insight into what the Egyptian audience liked to listen to at the time.

While reading this article, I remember the blog post that I read before this. It is similar to this one, however, it looked at the individual artists and the culture rather than the performance as a whole. Nonetheless, it provided me with very helpful information, such as how the Egyptian musical culture is different from our own. He also found it interesting to see how the writers explain events such as what I noted with how candid they were. It does indeed make someone wonder if that is how the audience felt. Though this will most likely be a question that can’t be answered simply because we cannot go back to that exact time and see for ourselves. Until then, this is all we have to go off of and we must take it as it is.

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Karl-Frederick Roche
Student

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in fall 2019.

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