Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-gq7q9 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-19T00:56:05.190Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

7 - Hidden Voices

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 May 2024

Simon McVeigh
Affiliation:
Goldsmiths, University of London
Get access

Summary

SO FAR, THIS BOOK has concentrated on when, where and which music was to be heard in London, and its relationship with the wider world. But who initiated these trends – and what made them happen? Who was leading cultural change under the banner of improving English music?

❧ Power and money

Church and state were still influential in London’s music, whether through liturgical worship and organ recitals, or through royal events and military bands in public spaces. Musicians occasionally voiced exasperated opinions about establishment influence – such as Stanford chastising a church congress for their neglect of Tudor composers, or Mackenzie-Rogan lobbying for all-British music for state ceremonials. But neither church nor state were the prime movers.

Who were, then? Of course some charismatic individuals undoubtedly wielded power, whether through interpretative genius, innovative programming or entrepreneurial flair. London’s orchestras might have languished without Richter, Wood and Beecham, not to mention the self-managing London Symphony Orchestra. A second sphere of influence lay in the conservatoires, something dominating modern accounts, especially the role of RCM professors in the English Musical Renaissance. There is no mistaking their impact on orchestral training, nor that of the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall on wind-playing. Indeed, conservatoire values were absorbed at every level, from their grade exam syllabuses to the programming of myriad choral and orchestral societies, across London and beyond.

But behind the scenes many others played a part in the complex web of disparate forces involved in the nascent ‘music industry’. These were often hard-nosed and seemingly in thrall to theatre runs and audience figures – but a few possessed sufficient authority and motivation to exert influence over public taste. Only through these ‘hidden’ voices can we analyse two critical levers of London’s musical life: power and money.

❧ Musical mediators

CRITICS

Shaw’s barb that ‘the English do not know what to think’ without laborious coaching was quoted in Chapter 1: and Londoners were influenced by a powerful set of men writing across a wide range of newspapers and magazines, who enjoyed telling people exactly ‘what to think’.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2024

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Hidden Voices
  • Simon McVeigh, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Book: Music in Edwardian London
  • Online publication: 09 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805431497.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Hidden Voices
  • Simon McVeigh, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Book: Music in Edwardian London
  • Online publication: 09 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805431497.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Hidden Voices
  • Simon McVeigh, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Book: Music in Edwardian London
  • Online publication: 09 May 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781805431497.008
Available formats
×