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Grant number like: FA-53011-07

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Leta Ellen Miller
Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2008 – 9/30/2008

San Francisco's Musical Life, 1906-45

The requested fellowship will support a book in progress on San Francisco's musical life from the 1906 earthquake to the end of World War II. Two world fairs bookend the period under consideration: the Panama-Pacific Exposition (1915) and the Golden Gate Exposition (1939). This period saw a changing aesthetic--from the emulation of East Coast culture to a more distinctive regional style embracing the area's inherent multiculturalism. In the immediate post-quake period, European-influenced arts predominated: the symphony and opera were founded, while a burgeoning jazz scene was stifled and Chinese opera (the colorful language of San Francisco's largest ethnic minority) languished. However, by the 1930s, San Francisco--which now rivaled New York in the new music scene--featured an experimentalism that included diverse traditions, particularly those of Asia. In 1940 American composer Henry Cowell praised an emerging local style fueled by individualism and cultural integration. This book will trace such changing aesthetic priorities, focusing on subcultures and their interactions. (Edited by staff.)