The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music

By Jim Samson | Go to book overview

9
The consumption of music
DEREK CAREW

Social background

For most Europeans and North Americans at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the legacy of the French and the Industrial Revolutions was a social and economic transformation which saw the virtual destruction of one social class, the peasantry, and the hegemony of a newer one, the bourgeoisie. In the ensuing 'age of capital' the rise of the bourgeoisie and its relationship with the nobility is as complex as it is important, and a degree of generalisation must be forgiven in what is a musical, rather than a social, history. The pace and the precise nature of this transformation differed from region to region; this chapter, however, is concerned only with the principal areas of Europe in which it is evident: Great Britain, France and the German-speaking lands. And although the bourgeoisie was by no means exclusively citified, my focus will be London, Paris and Vienna, as it is in these, the major European capitals of the early nineteenth century, that the developments can be seen at their most concentrated.

Because Britain had had her political revolution at an earlier date, the power of the monarchy posed no great threat, and, for the most part, little inconvenience. Nor did the rise of the bourgeoisie significantly challenge the nobility, since new industrial capital soon formed the main component in national capital, overtaking landed inheritance, and leaving the latter safe in the hands of its hereditary owners for their own posterity. This also meant that surplus aristocratic capital could be invested in new and exciting ventures such as the railways1 which had the advantage of being not only British, but on home ground, as opposed to some of the more distant foreign ventures, where the volatility of local conditions could, and often did, jeopardise investments; the loss of the American states was a sobering lesson, in terms of national imperial pride as well as of economics. As a corollary, the wealthier members of the bour

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1
'In what path of life can a man be found that will not animate his pursuit from seeing the steam engine of Watt? It … gives nerve and vigour to our own endeavours.' A. Young, Tours in England and Wales (selected from the Annals of Agriculture), School of Economic and Political Science (London, 1932), p. 269.

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The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Notes on Contributors ix
  • Editor's Preface xiii
  • Part One - 1800–1850 1
  • 1 - The Musical Work and Nineteenth-Century History 3
  • Bibliography *
  • 2 - Music and the Rise of Aesthetics 29
  • Bibliography *
  • 3 - The Profession of Music 55
  • Bibliography 85
  • 4 - The Opera Industry 87
  • Bibliography *
  • 5 - The Construction of Beethoven 118
  • Bibliography *
  • 6 - Music and the Poetic 151
  • Bibliography *
  • 7 - The Invention of Tradition 178
  • Bibliography *
  • 8 - Choral Music 213
  • Bibliography *
  • 9 - The Consumption of Music 237
  • Bibliography 258
  • 10 - The Great Composer 259
  • Bibliography 283
  • Part Two - 1850–1900 285
  • 11 - Progress, Modernity and the Concept of an Avant-Garde 287
  • Bibliography *
  • 12 - Music as Ideal: the Aesthetics of Autonomy 318
  • Bibliography *
  • 13 - The Structures of Musical Life 343
  • Bibliography *
  • 14 - Opera and Music Drama 371
  • Bibliography *
  • 15 - Beethoven Reception: the Symphonic Tradition 424
  • Bibliography *
  • 16 - Words and Music in Germany and France 460
  • Bibliography *
  • 17 - Chamber Music and Piano 500
  • Bibliography *
  • 18 - Choral Culture and the Regeneration of the Organ 522
  • Bibliography *
  • 19 - Music and Social Class 544
  • Bibliography *
  • 20 - Nations and Nationalism 568
  • Bibliography *
  • 21 - Styles and Languages Around the Turn of the Century 601
  • Bibliography 620
  • Chronology 621
  • Institutions 659
  • Personalia 689
  • Index 747
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