A Survey of Sources Related to Edmond DeDe: Nineteenth-Century New Orleans Violinist, Composer and Conductor




Hanson, Christopher T. F.

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Violinist, composer and conductor Edmond D6d6 (1829-1901), long since forgotten for his musical and political contributions, was instrumental in constructing a place for musicians of color to perform and write music in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Yet, if one were to initiate a discussion of influential composers of the Romantic era, you would be hard pressed to hear his name in the conversation. Some argue that Dédé's mere existence as a productive black artist in the late nineteenth century, during such a socially and politically turbulent time in American history, warrants his inclusion in the compendiums of American and European musicology; nevertheless, it appears that Edmond Dédé has been removed from the history of American music by the progressive decline in the quantity, quality and frequency of resources published on his life and works. It is my contention that the few brief and sporadic mentions of his name among the available sources are not enough to appreciate his contributions to American music history. In this thesis, I will identify various inconsistencies in the sources related to Edmond Dédé and highlight several accomplishments of his many professional activities through a review of the literature. I will supply a modern biography for Dédé, triangulated with the survey of literature available to date. Lastly, my interview with conductor and historian Richard Rosenberg, who is dedicated to the preservation and performance of Dédé's works, among other Créole Romantics, will arguably justify such research, while also revealing some of the difficulties one may face in reviving the biography and selected works of such composers; all of which is designed to establish the spectrum in which Dédé is and should be included in American music history.



New Orleans, violinists, conductors, African Americans, folk music, Louisiana


Hanson, C. T. F. (2009). A survey of sources related to Edmond DeDe: Nineteenth-century New Orleans violinist, composer and conductor (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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