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Making Music in Los AngelesTransforming the Popular$
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Catherine Parsons Smith

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251397

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251397.001.0001

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Calling the Tune: The Los Angeles Federal Music Project

Calling the Tune: The Los Angeles Federal Music Project

(p.215) 15 Calling the Tune: The Los Angeles Federal Music Project
Making Music in Los Angeles

Catherine Parsons Smith

University of California Press

This chapter introduces the Los Angeles Federal Music Project (FMP), which partially solved the unemployment problem of musicians in Los Angeles during the Great Depression, first describing the pre-FMP music programs in Los Angeles, which were strongly influenced by the musicians' union. It then studies the national leadership of the Federal Music and Theatre projects, in order to further understand their local implementation and the issues that these projects raised. Next, the chapter looks at the administration and organization of the FMP and the WPA Music Projects, describing the FMP's 1936 production of La Traviata, and finally introduces the “Society of Native American Composers.”

Keywords:   Federal Music Project, unemployment, Great Depression, music programs, musicians' union, theatre projects, WPA Music Projects, Native American Composers

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