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Title: The history and practice of the presentation of art music performance on BBC television, 1936-1982
Author: Tipping, Roy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3533 7787
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis traces the history of the presentation of art music performance on BBC television including concerts, operas and ballets and analyses the ways found to present them. The background to the initial programming policies on BBC Television is analysed with reference to the art music activities on BBC Radio before 1936. The novel methods of televising art music are described: there were no precedents for live multi-camera shooting. Until the creation of commercial television in 1955, BBC Television broadcast about two hours of art music performance each week. From 1955 to 1963 the output of art music performance halved and the influence of Lionel Salter, Head of Music Productions, BBC Television, is traced. The creation of BBC-2 led to a revival in art music programmes and the contribution of Humphrey Burton, Head of Music and Arts, BBC Television, to restoring the amount of art music performance is considered. Early scripts and archived programmes have enabled critical evaluation to be undertaken. This analysis has shown that the first producers of art music programmes regarded their main function as giving viewers the feeling that they were watching performances from the 'best seat in the house': the concept of the objective 'relay'. As musically trained producers emerged, there was a gradual change from the relay to that of involving the viewers as unseen participants in the performances. It is shown that art music performance programmes became the subjective interpretations of the producers involved. Salter said that only musically trained producers who could fluently read music would be capable of fully communicating its structure in television programmes. The truth behind this maxim is fully investigated and the conclusion drawn is that successful presentation of art music performance on television is easier for musically trained producers but a few others without musical qualifications have shown themselves capable of producing equally satisfactory and authoritative programmes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature ; Mass media ; Performing arts ; History ; Broadcasting