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Look Inside The Royal College of Music and its Contexts

The Royal College of Music and its Contexts
An Artistic and Social History


Part of Music since 1900

  • Publication planned for: September 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107163386

£ 90.00

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About the Authors
  • Located between the great Victorian museums of South Kensington and the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Music, founded in 1883, has been a central influence on British musical life ever since. This wide-ranging account places the College within its musical and educational environments. It argues that the RCM's significance lies not only in its famous performers and composers, but also the generations of its more anonymous former students who have done so much to improve the musical life of the localities in which they have worked as teachers and animateurs. As a cultural history, this account also captures how significantly society's consumption of music - from new technologies to the altered perspectives of historical and world musics - has changed since the College was founded, and how very different our points of musical reference now are. This study traces the effects of such developments on the College's work.

    • The first institutional history of a British music college to be set within its formative social, economic, educational and cultural contexts; and to explore how these have shaped the institution itself
    • Discusses the differences between conservatoire and university music education since 1883, and the impact of the Higher Education Reform Act of 1988 to music colleges in the British education system
    • Presents the RCM not only in terms of its star performers but in the many successive generations of its students (the often 'hidden musicians') who have shaped the music life and the musical education of communities and schools across the country
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This definitive study of the Royal College of Music is also an original and illuminating contribution to the social history of modern Britain.' Tim Blanning, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: September 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107163386
    • length: 386 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.91kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction – beginnings and contexts, the themes of a history
    Part I. Building and Consolidating (1883–1914):
    1. The founding directors – George Grove and Hubert Parry
    2. The students
    3. Establishing the musical and educational ethos – concerts and curriculum
    4. The buildings and finances
    Coda – the First World War
    Part II. Renewal and conventionality (1919–60):
    5. Hugh Allen's RCM and musical life between the wars, 1919–1937
    6. The years of austerity – George Dyson and Ernest Bullock, 1938–1960
    Part III. Changing Musical Cultures (1960–1993):
    7. Keith Faulkner and rebuilding institutional confidence, 1960–1974
    8. Crossing the RCM century – David Willcocks, 1974–84
    Part IV. Into its Second Century, 1993–2018:
    9. A changed state of rivalry – the RAM, the 'centre of excellence' and the Gowrie review, 1982–92
    10. The new realities of accounting and assuring – securing the RCM's public funding in the 1990s
    11. Reimagining for the future
    Epilogue – a prosopography.

  • Author

    David C. H. Wright, Royal College of Music, London
    David C. H. Wright became Reader in the Social History of Music at the Royal College of Music, London after a professional life spent in both music college and university environments. His writings range from the culture and economics of Victorian music publishing to the Prom seasons of William Glock and Robert Ponsonby in The Proms: A New History (2007). In 2013, he published a social and cultural history of the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music.

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