Music Hall

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Poster of Camberwell Palace in London, circa 1880

Music halls in the broader sense were entertainment venues in London (around 1850) and Paris (since the liberalization of theater laws in 1867) until the 1930s, offering their audiences a stage spectacle combined with a restaurant or bar, sometimes with the opportunity to dance .


The Music Halls emerged from the London saloon bars or the Parisian cafés chantants or café concerts and could only develop when the privileges for stage events were withdrawn from the actual theaters . This was already the case in London with the Theater Regulation Act 1843 (see Patent Theater ). In Paris, freedom of theater , which had already existed in the years after the French Revolution , was reintroduced by an imperial decree of 1864. The Germanized term for Music Hall , used especially in Vienna , was Singspielhalle .

In a narrower sense, Music Hall denotes the entertainment program that took place there (a kind of variety or revue with musical and acrobatic interludes), and then means roughly the same as vaudeville in American. Music hall can be more like a circus event or more like a concert .

The modern French chanson emerged from the Music Hall ( Mistinguett , Maurice Chevalier ). One of the most famous music halls still in existence is the Paris Olympia . In London, impresario Fred Karno employed comedians Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin in his music hall before they devoted themselves to film .

The cinema theaters , which increased considerably in the 1920s, contributed significantly to the decline of the music halls . The majority was closed by the 1960s at the latest. In London in particular, however, efforts are being made to renovate the buildings that have been preserved and restore them to their original purpose.

Other meanings

The term “hall” can also refer to the particular size of a (classical) concert venue, such as the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Boston Music Hall or the Methuen Memorial Music Hall .

As a music style, Music Hall is used to describe a catchy melody between folk song and hit song. A well-known music hall song is the marching song It's a Long Way to Tipperary (1914).

As a name for concert venues and clubs, the term Music Hall has been popular again since the 1970s, as shown by the Aladin Music Hall in Bremen, the Live Music Hall in Cologne, the Jovel Music Hall in Münster or the Maag Music Hall in Zurich.


  • Raymond Mander, Joe Mitchenson: British Music Hall, London: Gentry 1974.
  • Jacques Feschotte: Histoire du music-hall, Paris: Presses universitaires 1965.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ London Calling. (No longer available online.) In: ARD-aktuell ARD-Aktuell. August 15, 2014, archived from the original on June 20, 2015 ; Retrieved June 20, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /