Musiikin harrastustoiminnan muotoutuminen amerikansuomalaisissa siirtolaisyhteisöissä Yhdysvalloissa
Early on in their life in the new surroundings, music played a prominent part in the life of Finnish Americans. It was a significant medium that promoted togetherness and made it easier for Finnish migrants to integrate into the Finnish community in the New World, as well as the American society at large. The development of the cultural life of Finnish Americans was strongly linked to association activities. Finns were especially supportive of the temperance society and the labor movement. Due to the social background and prevailing working conditions of the immigrants, the labor movement became extremely popular among Finnish Americans. The role of music was emphasized in the movement’s activities and it was used for many ideological and educational purposes.
In my article, I look at the formation of music culture among Finnish immigrants at the turn of the 20th century when migration from Finland was at its peak. I focus especially on musical activities at the grass-roots level, where choirs and brass bands were extremely important forms of entertainment and education. Because of an active transatlantic movement and close contacts between Finland and North America, the Finnish influence was prevalent as far as the associations’ activities and their music repertoire are concerned. Subsequently, however, the music practices gradually began to expand beyond the Finnish community.
The main research material of this article consists of archival material and earlier research on the organizational activities of American Finns. To explore the musical practices at the local level, I will utilize the minute books of the Finnish Wäinö Band in Lanesville, Massachusetts.