Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Throughout Germany the singing society (usually a Maennerchor), is an important institution in the cultural life of every, hamlet, town, and city. During the middle of the nineteenth century, many such societies sprang up throughout America. California had a liberal share of these during the pioneer days. Some of these organizations have persisted until the present day. The function which they performed in enriching the lives of their members, and the contribution which they made to the life of the community seems to the investigator a valid reason for investigation into their background and history.

As far as the investigator can discover, no such study has been made. Since "every civilization is a synthesis of man's conquest of life" it seemed worth-while to study the attack which the German-born citizen made upon life in the new world. Part of this attack was through the singing societies which he transplanted from the old world. Why he did this, how he did it, and with what musical success, forms the body of this thesis.

The material has been presented in chronological sequence. The sources which led to the formation of singing societies in Germany are briefly treated in the first chapter. Thee gaudy period of the pioneers comprises the second chapter. The third chapter is devoted to that period which is characterized by a nostalgic love for the Fatherland, as well as a genuine, self-respecting loyalty to the new country.

The modern period, in which present day citizens carry on the old tradition, comprises the fourth chapter. This is followed by an attempt at objective evaluation. Included in this is an examination of critical comment as published in present day newspapers.





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