The Etude

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Cover of the first issue from October 1883

The Etude was a U.S. magazine dedicated to music, which was founded by Theodore Presser (1848–1925) at Lynchburg, Virginia, and first published in October 1883.[1] Presser, who had also founded the Music Teachers National Association, moved his publishing headquarters to Philadelphia in 1884, and his Theodore Presser Company continued the magazine until 1957.[1]

Joseph Lamb, having read an issue, composed Nightingale Rag after playing a song he found in the issue itself.

Targeted as much as possible to all musicians, from the novice to the serious student to the professional, The Etude printed articles about both basic/popular and more-involved musical subjects (including history, literature, gossip, and politics), write-in advice columns about musical pedagogy, and graded piano sheet music totaling over 10,000 works. Long-time editor James Francis Cooke (editor-in-chief from 1909 through 1949) added to its masthead the phrase "Music Exalts Life!", and the magazine became a platform for Cooke's somewhat polemical and militantly optimistic editorials. The Etude's sometimes conservative outlook and contents may have contributed to its circulation decline during the 1930s and 1940s, but in many respects it moved with the times, unequivocally supporting the phonograph, radio, and eventually television, and embracing jazz by the late 1930s. By the end, George Rochberg was an editor of The Etude (under Guy McCoy, who had succeeded Cooke as editor-in-chief after over two decades as an assistant), and the magazine's musical content became more in-step with the contemporary.


  1. ^ a b Pamela Richardson Dennis (2011). An Index to Articles Published in The Etude Magazine, 1883-1957: Title index ; Subject index. A-R Editions, Inc. p. 1366. ISBN 978-0-89579-718-6. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 

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