Choral Treatises and Singing Societies in the Romantic Age charts the interrelated beginning and development of choral methods and community choruses beginning in the early nineteenth century. Using more than one-hundred musical examples, illustrations, tables, and photographs to document this phenomenon, author David Friddle writes persuasively about this unusual tandem expansion. Beginning in 1781, with the establishment of the first secular singing group in Germany, Friddle shows how as more and more choral ensembles were founded throughout Germany, then Europe, Scandinavia, and North America, the need for singing treatises quickly became apparent. Music pedagogues Hans Georg Nägeli, Michael Traugott Pfeiffer, and Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi invented the genre that became modern choral methods; initially these books were combinations of music fundamental primers, with frequent inclusion of choral works intended for performance. Eventually authors branched out into choral conducting textbooks, detailed instructions on how to found such a community-based organization, and eventually classroom music instruction. The author argues that one of the greatest legacies of this movement was the introduction of vocal music education into public schools, which led to greater musical literacy as well as the proliferation of volunteer choirs. All modern choral professionals can find the roots their career during this century.
David Friddle is a man of many talents: author, conductor, composer, organist, designer and accomplished chef. He has two doctorates in music: Juilliard School, 1988 (organ), and the University of Miami, 2006 (choral conducting). Dr. Friddle has worked as a church musician in multiple denomi-nations; a professional graphic designer for a NYC glossy magazine and a manufacturing company in Miami; adjunct faculty at the University of South Carolina Upstate; and as a line cook at restaurant Cibréo in Florence, Italy.
In addition to his varied professional activities, David founded two gay men’s choruses—one in Greenville, SC and the second in Asheville, NC. In 1997 he managed the SC Gay Pride March, held in Greenville; the following year he oversaw public events for the NC Gay Pride March in Asheville. His dissertation Christus is published by Bärenreiter-Verlag of Germany, and he has had articles published in the Choral Journal, American Choral Review, Newsletter of the American Liszt Society and The American Organist. Dr. Friddle has conducted in seventeen states and Europe and has given organ recitals in the major cathedrals of England and around the United States.
Acknowledgments & Proviso
Foreword, by Amanda Quist, DMA
Romanticism in Music
I. Training Volunteer Choristers to Sing
III. Building Community Choruses
III. Choral Conducting
IV. François-Joseph Fétis
I. The Beginning of Singing Societies
II. German-Speaking Europe
III. Great Britain
V. North America
VI. Italy & the Iberian Peninsula
VII. Low Countries
Friddle presents a history of 19th-century choral treatises and discusses the singing societies that such works supported. Sharing the joint goals of teaching music literacy and building choral ensembles, numerous treatises were written starting in the Romantic age, beginning with Michael Pfeiffer and Hans Georg Nägeli’s Vocal Training according to Pestalozzian Principles (1810) and including works by Joseph Mainzer, Andreas Rützel, John Spencer Curwen, Lowell Mason, and many others. With industrialization, workers moved from rural areas to cities where higher wages and more leisure time helped to support the development of choral societies. Participants, first men and later both men and women, joined these groups and devoted serious attention to choral singing. Starting with the first significant choral society, the Sing-Akademie in Germany, Friddle traces the propagation of such groups to other European countries. Crossing the Atlantic, Friddle discusses the freed enslaved people who founded Fisk University and formed the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 1870s, and the 19th-century singing-school movement, which provided a strong foundation for the singing societies that followed. In the absence of recordings, these choral treatises provide some idea of how 19th-century choruses sounded, as well as inspiration for modern choral directors. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
“This book has long been needed. It fills a gap in our knowledge of the development of choirs and choral singing in the nineteenth century, thereby providing useful background for more recent developments in the early twentieth century. David Friddle’s scholarship is solid, the commentary stimulating, and the result illuminating. It is a very welcome addition to the literature.”
"David Friddle is the sleuth that found and has assembled the numerous puzzle pieces of choral methodology. Choral Treatises & Singing Societies in the Romantic Age fills a long-standing gap. Thanks to his diligence, we can trace the invention, development, and dissemination of choral singing and singing treatises from Berlin to Oklahoma City and beyond. This comprehensive history is the first of its kind and merits our study. I urge you to look inside and discover our collective roots as choral professionals."