The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music

By Jim Samson | Go to book overview

19
Music and social class
DEREK B. SCOTT

A chapter of this size cannot provide much more than an overview of music and class in four major cities (London, Paris, New York and Vienna), but will focus on detail whenever this illustrates the broader argument or reveals developments of particular interest. In the second half of the nineteenth century features of musical life associated with a capitalist economy and the consolidation of power of a wealthy industrial bourgeoisie became firmly established. Prominent among such features were the commercialisation and professionalisation of music, new markets for cultural goods, the bourgeoisie's struggle for cultural domination and a growing rift between art and entertainment.

Presented below is a study of music and class in four cities, not four countries. Nevertheless, these were the major commercial cities of those countries, home to the wealthiest commercial families. In each, there was rapid population growth and the creation of a large market for entertainment. The power wielded by the upper class began to weaken earlier in Paris than in London, and was slowest to give way in Vienna where the bourgeoisie mingled least with the aristocracy. In New York, there were no inherited titles, of course, although the 'upper ten' of that city were often disposed to define themselves against the European aristocracy and, at mid-century, were perceived to be not dissimilar to the upper classes of Paris's Faubourg St Germain or London's West End.1 Paris and Vienna both underwent major reconstruction in the second half of the century. Napoleon III instructed Haussmann to redesign Paris following the 1848 Revolution, and the result was a city of wide arterial boulevards and symmetrical layouts. In Vienna, the Ring developments that replaced the city walls initiated equally important changes and, for some fifty years, property developers were continually at work. The title of Johann Strauss II's Demolirer-Polka (1862) refers to the demolition of Vienna's ramparts. In both cities working-class communities were uprooted and displaced. In all four, the demarcation between private and public became increasingly rigid and their boundaries ever more strictly policed.

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1
See Max Maretzek, Revelations of an Opera Manager in Nineteenth-Century America, Part 1 (New York, 1968; original edn as Crotchets and Quavers, 1855), p. 25; see also Charles Hamm, Yesterdays: Popular Song in America (New York, 1979), p. 69.

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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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