Ranking the Listener, Disciplining the Audience



In the early 1900s, Chicago’s music in the parks programs witnessed a series of skirmishes with police that took place as some in the informal audience danced to the live music being performed. The police moved into the crowd to rough up and arrest several individuals. In this era, dancing in public places represented a lower form of socializing than many civic music organizers wanted to discourage. On the other hand, the labor movement and musical “progressives” wanted to encourage attendance by the working class and insure that park performances were broadly inclusive, an outlook that accepted popular dancing at public concerts.1


Classical Music Music Educator Music Listening Music Teacher Settlement House 
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© Ruth Gustafson 2009

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