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Music and society in eighteenth-century Yorkshire

Roberts, Christopher Simon (2014) Music and society in eighteenth-century Yorkshire. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The British provinces enjoyed a vibrant musical culture in the eighteenth century. Music was a pleasurable leisure and communal activity pursued by many from across the social spectrum. The ‘urban renaissance’ (Peter Borsay) and ‘commercialisation of leisure’ (J. H. Plumb) meant recreational activities became readily available to the middle and professional classes in provincial towns and cities. One of the principal ways in which people experienced music was through domestic music-making. Its growing popularity went in hand with the vast quantity of music composed and published with amateurs in mind. By the second half of the eighteenth century, professional music-making was increasingly brought to provincial public venues such as assembly rooms, parish churches and theatres. This project explores this thriving context through the investigation of the musical interests, activities and networks of members of the provincial population in eighteenthcentury Yorkshire. Through the examination of a range of newly identified primary sources, including contemporary diaries, personal correspondence, account books and autograph music manuscripts, a wealth of information is uncovered which enriches our understanding of social and musical life in the British provinces. Among the individuals examined include the amateur musicians Edward Finch (1663-1738), a clergyman at York Minster, and John Courtney (1734-1806), a gentleman who resided in Beverley. Edward Miller (1735-1807), a professional musician who worked in Doncaster, is presented as an example of how a provincial occupational musician was able to pursue a successful career. It will be demonstrated how listening to, composing and performing music was an important element of their individual identities, and, more widely, how music shaped contemporary provincial society and culture in the region.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.655231
Depositing User: Christopher Simon Roberts
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 12:20
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9049

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