The chautauqua movement of 1874 to 1932 was a truly American phenomenon, providing education and entertainment for millions of people and employing, just for instance, thousands of musicians in the process. While scholars have previously explored various facets of the chautauqua movement, this is the first book to trace the place of music in the movement from its inception through its decline.
Drawing upon the rich collections of ephemera left by several chautauqua bureaus, this study profiles several famous musicians and introduces the reader to lesser-known musical acts that travelled the chautauqua circuits. In addition, it explores music's role in defining the chautauqua movement as ""high culture,"" legitimising the movement in the eyes of community leaders and setting it apart from vaudeville and other competing amusements. Finally, it addresses music's role in establishing chautauqua's identity as an American institution, specifically in the years surrounding World War I.