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February 14 , 2010

The Provincial Music Festival in England, 1784–1914


A history of the English music festival is long overdue. Dr Pippa Drummond argues that these festivals represented the most significant cultural events in provincial England during the nineteenth century and emphasizes their particular importance in the promotion and commissioning of new music. Drawing on material from surviving accounts, committee records, programmes, contemporary pamphlets and reviews, Drummond shows how the festivals responded to and reflected the changing social and economic conditions of their day. Coverage includes a chronological overview documenting the history of individual festivals followed by a detailed exploration of such topics as performers and performance practice, logistics and finance, programmes and commissioning, together with information concerning the composition and provenance of festival choirs and orchestras. Also discussed are the effects of improved transport and new technologies on the festivals, sacred and secular conflicts, gender issues, the role of philanthropy, the nature of patronage and the changing social status of festival audiences. The book will also be of interest to social, economic and local historians.

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