Grant and Hettinger: Table I. Number of Symphony Orchestras Existing in 1937

Grant and Hettinger, Table I. Number of Symphony Orchestras Existing in 1937 (Period Founded and Size of City)
Grant and Hettinger: Table I. Number of Symphony Orchestras Existing in 1937 (Period Founded and Size of City)

This is a mess. We can even set aside the issues I’ve brought up regarding the lack of inclusion of WPA and other federally funded orchestras, this Table should give anyone pause just given the information contained in it alone. This is from Margaret Grant and Herman Hettinger’s “America’s Symphony Orchestras: And How They Are Supported.”

Go ahead, make a list of all the problems with this–I’m sure most thoughtful folks can easily spot the two biggest problems. The whole book is littered with many similar issues, and yet, this is a much valued source of early “data” for Classical Music decline and Crisis. It’s just too bad the data isn’t particularly reliable and neither are the folks who uncritically use them.

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