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2 - Amy Beach and the Women’s Club Movement

from Part I - Historical Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2023

E. Douglas Bomberger
Affiliation:
Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

Amy Beach’s career paralleled the rise of women’s clubs across America; the widespread amateur and professional musical organizations were important to her success. Gendered musical communities not only hosted Beach as both pianist and composer but provided commissions and audiences to purchase and perform her music, such as the thirty pieces she created for the women’s choruses associated with clubs. Beach and her compositions figured heavily in women’s organizations’ nationalistic agendas and were highlighted in their educational materials. Beach was active in the National Federation of Music Clubs, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the National League of American Pen Women, and numerous other groups; her association with the NLAPW led to two White House appearances. These organizations provided her with supportive networks of like-minded women and deep friendships. In turn, Beach’s stature validated clubs’ efforts to promote America’s music and to make women central to its musical life.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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