Music Appreciation Hour

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Music Appreciation Hour was a National Broadcasting Company radio series that offered lectures on classical music aimed at students. The show was part of a broader mid-20th-century movement to popularize serious music. From 1928 to 1942, Walter Damrosch hosted the show.

Radio Guide (March 18, 1939) commented:

In this music workshop Dr. Walter Damrosch analyzes types of compositions, illustrates functions and effects of instruments, reviews and compares the works of outstanding composers to promote an enjoyment of good music through an understanding of it.[1]

The show was broadcast during school hours, and teachers were provided textbooks and worksheets by the network.



  • Joseph Horowitz, Understanding Toscanini—How He Became an American Culture–God and Helped Create a New Audience for Old Music (Knopf, 1987)
  • Theodor W. Adorno, "Analytical Study of the NBC 'Music Appreciation Hour.'" Unpublished manuscript. 1938-40. The Musical Quarterly 78:2 (Summer 1994): 325-377.