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Look Inside Music and Victorian Philanthropy

Music and Victorian Philanthropy
The Tonic Sol-Fa Movement


  • Date Published: July 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521449687

£ 54.99

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About the Authors
  • Providing a fresh approach to the social history of the Victorian era, this book examines the history and development of the tonic sol-fa sight-singing system, and its impact on British society. Instead of focusing on the popular classical music canon, McGuire combines musicology, social history and theology to investigate the perceived power of music within the Victorian era. Through case studies on temperance, missionaries, and women's suffrage, the book traces how John Curwen and his son transformed Sarah Glover's sight-singing notation from a strictly local phenomenon into an internationally-used system. They built an infrastructure that promoted its use within Great Britain and beyond, to British colonies and other lands experiencing British influence, such as India, South Africa, and especially Madagascar. McGuire demonstrates how tonic sol-fa was believed to be of importance beyond music education – that music could improve the morals of individual singers and listeners, thus transforming society.

    • Includes previously unknown or unpublished original archival research from many diverse sources
    • Represents an interdisciplinary approach to the study of music in the Victorian era beyond musicology or literary studies
    • Provides a fresh approach to social history through exploring the far-reaching impact of the tonic sol-fa system on society
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    '… [a] captivating study …' Contemporary Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521449687
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 15 music examples
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Dissenters, philanthropists, and the world of tonic sol-fa
    2. Temperance and tonic sol-fa
    3. Missionaries and tonic sol-fa
    4. Suffragists, suffragettes, domestic ideals, and tonic sol-fa
    Epilogue: tonic sol-fa, the public, and the end of an era
    Appendix: provenance of tonic sol-fa journals.

  • Author

    Charles Edward McGuire, Oberlin College, Ohio
    Charles Edward McGuire is Associate Professor of Music at Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

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