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Selling the nightingale P.T. Barnum, Jenny Lind, and the management of the American crowd

Selling the nightingale P.T. Barnum, Jenny Lind, and the management of the American crowd Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to interpret the 1850 debut American performances of Swedish concert singer Jenny Lind as an emblematic moment in the history of live music promotion. Design/methodology/approach – This paper studies the manner in which Lind's earliest concerts and the singer herself were marketed through analysis of contemporary newspaper and magazine reports and advertisements. Findings – Lind's concerts were important for the way they demonstrate the complex balance of “high” and “low” cultural forces at a transitional moment in US cultural history, and for the way in which her manager, P.T. Barnum, used various mechanisms to manage the potential disorder posed by her immense audiences. Research limitations/implications – The paper addresses only the first few concerts of Lind's nearly two‐year American tour in detail, but uses those concerts as a case study for understanding the degree to which the business of nineteenth‐century concert promotion had to balance the pursuit of profit with the demands of crowd control. Social implications – Lind's example demonstrates how a complex range of class interests needed to be balanced in order for her to reach something approaching a “mass audience,” in modern parlance. Originality/value – The paper provides a historical perspective on issues that continue to have relevance for the promotion of large‐scale commercial events, and addresses critical questions about the nature of the collective experience provided through live music performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arts Marketing An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Selling the nightingale P.T. Barnum, Jenny Lind, and the management of the American crowd

Arts Marketing An International Journal , Volume 1 (2): 13 – Oct 21, 2011

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References (30)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2044-2084
DOI
10.1108/20442081111180331
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to interpret the 1850 debut American performances of Swedish concert singer Jenny Lind as an emblematic moment in the history of live music promotion. Design/methodology/approach – This paper studies the manner in which Lind's earliest concerts and the singer herself were marketed through analysis of contemporary newspaper and magazine reports and advertisements. Findings – Lind's concerts were important for the way they demonstrate the complex balance of “high” and “low” cultural forces at a transitional moment in US cultural history, and for the way in which her manager, P.T. Barnum, used various mechanisms to manage the potential disorder posed by her immense audiences. Research limitations/implications – The paper addresses only the first few concerts of Lind's nearly two‐year American tour in detail, but uses those concerts as a case study for understanding the degree to which the business of nineteenth‐century concert promotion had to balance the pursuit of profit with the demands of crowd control. Social implications – Lind's example demonstrates how a complex range of class interests needed to be balanced in order for her to reach something approaching a “mass audience,” in modern parlance. Originality/value – The paper provides a historical perspective on issues that continue to have relevance for the promotion of large‐scale commercial events, and addresses critical questions about the nature of the collective experience provided through live music performance.

Journal

Arts Marketing An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 21, 2011

Keywords: Jenny Lind; P.T. Barnum; Popular music; Concert promotion; Crowds; Nineteenth century; United States of America

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