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Music and Victorian Liberalism
Composing the Liberal Subject

$99.99 (C)

Sarah Collins, Erin Johnson-Williams, Simon McVeigh, Rosemary Golding, Kate Bowan, Phillip Ross Bullock, Matthew Riley, Phyllis Weliver, Bennett Zon, Katherine Fry, Peter Mandler
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  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108480055

$ 99.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The discourse of Victorian liberalism has long been explored by scholars of literature, with reference to politics, ethics and aesthetics. Yet little attention has been paid to music's role in the context of these debates, leaving a rich collection of historical and archival detail on the periphery of our understanding. From the impact of the National Sunday League to the reception of Wagner in London, this collection of essays aims to nuance current approaches to the aesthetic facets of liberalism, examining the interaction between music and liberal ideas in a variety of social contexts. The significance of music for modern conceptions of self-hood and community is uncovered, revealing a new dimension of Victorian liberalism.

    • Investigates the role of music in liberal discourses during the Victorian period
    • Engages critically with the current theoretical literature on liberalism
    • Presents a new perspective on the aesthetic aspects of liberalism showing the interaction between music and liberal culture in both elite and amateur performance contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘This book is a most welcome contribution to the renewed interest in liberalism and music culture. It reveals that Victorian liberal values were shaped by aesthetic debates in which the acts of performing and listening to music played an important role. The essays offer an absorbing illustration of the various tensions between music as recreation and music as a means of control, examining the role of human agency and the endeavour to experience life as an individual liberal subject.' Derek B. Scott, University of Leeds

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108480055
    • length: 266 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 19 music examples
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Aesthetic liberalism Sarah Collins
    Part I. Cultivation and/as Control:
    2. Musical discipline and Victorian liberal reform Erin Johnson-Williams
    3. 'Brightening the lives of the people on Sunday': the National Sunday League and liberal attitudes towards concert promotion in Victorian Britain Simon McVeigh
    4. Music and mass education: cultivation or control? Rosemary Golding
    Part II. Dissent, Individualism and Agency:
    5. A musical presence among liberal thinkers: Eliza Flower and her circle, 1832–1845 Kate Bowan
    6. 'That more liberal mode of life': Rosa Newmarch, aestheticism, and queer listening in Victorian and Edwardian Britain Phillip Ross Bullock
    Part III. Character and Emotion:
    7. Style, character and revelation in Parry's Fourth Symphony Matthew Riley
    8. The Parrys and Prometheus Unbound: actualizing liberalism Phyllis Weliver
    9. Liberalism and Victorian musical sympathy Bennett Zon
    10. Music and character in the Victorian reception of Wagner: conducting the Philharmonic ca. 1855 Katherine Fry
    11. Afterword: liberalism in the round Peter Mandler.

  • Editor

    Sarah Collins, University of Western Australia, Perth
    Sarah Collins is a Senior Lecturer in musicology at the University of Western Australia. In 2017, she was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at Durham University. Collins is the author of Lateness and Modernism (Cambridge, forthcoming) and The Aesthetic Life of Cyril Scott (2013). Her work has appeared in journals including the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Twentieth-Century Music, Music & Letters and Musical Quarterly.


    Sarah Collins, Erin Johnson-Williams, Simon McVeigh, Rosemary Golding, Kate Bowan, Phillip Ross Bullock, Matthew Riley, Phyllis Weliver, Bennett Zon, Katherine Fry, Peter Mandler

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